Types of Hair Loss
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Not all types of hair loss are created equal. Learn about the most common types, and what might be causing yours.
Transcript: There are HUNDREDS of different factors that can contribute to hair loss. But let's go over the most...
There are HUNDREDS of different factors that can contribute to hair loss. But let's go over the most common types, and their possible causes. Most common is male or female pattern hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia. This type of hair loss usually presents as a receding hairline in men, or thinning on the top in women. Its causes vary greatly, but are usually tied to genetics. Prostate cancer and heart disease have been associated with male pattern hair loss, while polycystic ovary syndrome may be a cause of female pattern hair loss in some women. For treatment, men have the option of Rogaine or Propecia, while women can only use Rogaine to both slow the hair loss and help stimulate new hair growth. TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM is hair loss that causes your hair to fall out suddenly over a few months. This condition is often triggered by medical problems such as, thyroid disease, medications, vitamin deficiencies, CHRONIC stress such as depression or CIRCUMSTANTIAL stress such as the death of a loved one. When the stressor occurs, hair follicles go into a period of inactivity. After a few months of this resting phase, the hair will shed and be replaced by a new one that will grow about half an inch per month. Diet changes or stress REDUCTION may be needed for a long-term fix. Another type of hair loss is alopecia areata. It affects only 2 percent of the US population. It's an autoimmune disease in which your body attacks your own hair follicles. Hair either falls out completely, or in round patches. This hair loss is unpredictable, falling out and growing back, often without treatment. The first treatment doctors turn to is corticosteroids INJECTED into the bald patches-- they CALM the inflammation that's causing the hair loss AND they encourage regrowth. To learn more about hair loss check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-12 | Tags »
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Are you wondering how to reunite your split ends and make your hair healthy again? Check out this video to learn more about reducing split ends.
Transcript: Split ends start out with a mild fissure running up the hair shaft. When a split end is left unchecked,...
Split ends start out with a mild fissure running up the hair shaft. When a split end is left unchecked, it will start to travel up the strand, causing BREAKAGE. It's IMPOSSIBLE to repair split ends fully. Serums with high-density silicone fluids can HOLD the ragged fibers together-but this "fix" washes away with your next shampoo. If you choose this band-aid repair, apply the serum ONLY to your tips, not your roots. The tips are the oldest parts of your strands. They undergo natural weathering every day, whether it's from the wind, the sun, your comb or even your fingers. The damage is WORSENED by blow dryers, chemical treatments, curling irons and hair straighteners. Experts like me prefer you let your hair AIR DRY completely. But if you MUST use a blow dryer, curling iron or flat iron, DON'T set them on the hottest temperature and try to LIMIT the amount of time your hair is directly exposed to the heat. To further reduce the risk of split ends you should also CUT DOWN on hair treatments-whether you're coloring, straightening or perming. Since your hairbrush roughs up your hair, opt for a gentler WIDE TOOTH comb to detangle strands. Even with these precautions, you should use leave-in DEEP CONDITIONER weekly. And use a regular, rinse-out conditioner when you shampoo. A regular diet full of vitamins B and C, PLUS protein, iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids may help your follicles grow stronger strands, too. BUT, too much of these beneficial nutrients can cause harm, so PLEASE talk to your doctor if you're thinking about supplements. But the only REAL way to prevent further breakage is to snip OFF the split end. That's why it's a good idea to get a trim every so often. Watch other videos in this series for more hair care help!More »
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As if divorce or job loss isn't traumatic enough, they may cause you to lose your hair temporarily. Watch this to learn about psychological causes of hair loss, including telogen effluvium.
Transcript: The hair loss gods seem to have it in for us. As if normal age-related pattern baldness wasn't enough...
The hair loss gods seem to have it in for us. As if normal age-related pattern baldness wasn't enough to worry about, it turns out that psychological issues can ALSO cause us to lose our locks. So, let's talk about how to recognize symptoms so you can get the treatment you need. Telogen effluvium is a condition that is just as unglamorous as it sounds. After experiencing a severe bout of stress - like from surgery or a car accident-your body can respond in a STRANGE way, by sending your hair follicles into hibernation. A couple months later, when your follicles recover, they start growing new strands. This pushes out the old hair causing up to 70 percent of it to fall out in clumps. The good news is that your hair should return to normal on its OWN - it might just take a few months for it to fully grow back. Some experts believe that ALOPECIA AREATA is another type of hair loss where emotional anxiety or depression plays a role. Alopecia areata is when your immune system attacks your own hair follicles resulting in round patches of hair loss or total hair loss on your scalp. Sometimes this can happen within a matter of days. The good news: Because your hair follicles aren't damaged your hair can return to normal. Corticosteroid creams and injections may help slow loss and allow new hair to grow back faster. Another disorder, trichotillomania, is an emotional disorder in which people have the IRRESISTIBLE urge to pull out their own hair. Experts believe that an imbalance of brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine may play a role. People who have it KNOW they should stop, but they KEEP pulling--to the point of developing noticeable bald patches on their scalp. Treatment typically includes psychotherapy or teaching the patient to form new habits-- like clenching their fists when they feel the need to start tugging. Antidepressant medication might also be prescribed if depression is one of the reasons for hair pulling. To learn more about common hair troubles, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
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If your hair suddenly starts falling out and thinning, it may be a sign of Telogen Effluvium hair loss. Fortunately, it can be treated. Watch this video to find out how.
Transcript: Realizing you're losing your hair-suddenly and SEEMINGLY without reason-is terrifying, but there is...
Realizing you're losing your hair-suddenly and SEEMINGLY without reason-is terrifying, but there is a very real reason behind this loss-telogen effluvium.With this type of hair loss, your hair follicles suddenly SWITCH from the anagen-or growing-phase into the telogen-or resting-phase. At the end of telogen , which lasts about 3 months, some of your hair will FALL out. So -- what causes this switch? Several physical OR emotional stressors can trigger this hair loss, BUT once these stressors are REMOVED, your hair will usually grow back. You may need to adjust your DIET to re-grow your hair. Telogen effluvium is SOMETIMES caused by a severe vitamin or mineral deficiency. It's also possible that you're getting TOO MUCH of something, such as vitamin A. MEDICATION can also be a primary factor behind your hair loss. Hair follicles react to DOZENS of medicines such as: oral isotretinoin, certain blood thinners, some antidepressants, amphetamines, beta blockers, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and certain hormone-related medications ... and that's just the SHORT LIST. Severe illnesses, thyroid disease, anemia and about 30 other diseases are also associated with telogen effluvium. In these cases, the illness MUST be treated in order for hair growth to resume. Due to hormonal changes, telogen effluvium is also possible a few months after childbirth or after a woman stops taking oral contraceptives. SOMETIMES, telogen effluvium is seen to occur after a significant event that causes emotional trauma, such as a bad divorce, a loved one's death or a period of stress or depression. While a direct medical link has yet to be established here, hair usually starts growing again after recovering from the trauma. Depending on how LONG you suffer from telogen effluvium, it's referred to as either acute or chronic. If you have the chronic type, you've been shedding hair for more than six months. You can try Rogaine to spur new hair growth. To learn more about other common causes of hair loss, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
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Thought gray hair didn't start until you got older? Sometimes it doesn't wait. See why you could start going gray before 30.
Transcript: Lots of celebrities use their gray hair as a trademark . But... MOST of us aren't looking to go gray...
Lots of celebrities use their gray hair as a trademark . But... MOST of us aren't looking to go gray anytime soon. Melanocytes add color to your hair follicles. If the melanocytes stop working, your hair will grow out gray or white. Typically, this happens for Caucasian-people in their mid-30's, Asians in their LATE 30's and African Americans in their mid-40's. Men generally start going gray a few years before women, first noticing gray hairs at their temples and sideburns.....but for many people, going gray DOESN'T follow a predictable timeline. Genetics play a large role in the WHEN part of going gray while many people blame stress for their grays. The stress - gray hair connection is still being examined, but it IS possible that stress hormones COULD increase the activity of cell-damaging free radicals. Free radical activity can also be increased by cigarette smoke, pollution and excess ultraviolet light. Early gray hair can sometimes be due to NUTRITIONAL deficiencies. Lack of vitamin B12, fatty acids, zinc copper and selenium have all been known to affect hair pigmentation. Other POSSIBLE causes of gray hair are vitiligo-a condition causing general pigment loss --, thyroid disorders, and anemia. If you spy a gray hair in your 20s, don't fret - more often than not it's in your genetics. But feel free to ask your doctor if you're concerned. You can't really avoid gray hair-so either embrace it, or mask it with hair dye. For additional hair health tips watch more videos in this series.More »
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Surprisingly, the sun can cause a lot of damage to your hair. Watch this video to find out how to rescue your sun-damaged hair.
Transcript: Hats. More than just a fashion statement. They're the most important tool to protect your head form...
Hats. More than just a fashion statement. They're the most important tool to protect your head form the sun. In order to talk about sun damage to hair, however, I have to first mention your scalp. Even with thick hair, skin cancer on your scalp is possible. If you don't want to cover up with a hat, use hair product with built in sun protection. Or even dilute regular sunblock with water and put that in your hair. SPF hair products can protect both your scalp and your hair from sun damage. UV light can degrade hair pigment, so if you have blonde hair that gets lighter in the summer, you know what I'm talking about. Direct sunlight can break down keratin, your hair's main protein. The UV rays split up the molecular connection between certain amino acids, ultimately leading to dry, brittle, and weak strands. The sun's heat will also dehydrate your hair by evaporating your hair's moisture. Since hair isn't living, it's not able to rehydrate on its own. Oddly enough letting your wet hair dry in the sun can cause more damage. When hair is wet, it swells, making it more delicate and sensitive to damage. Pigment de-coloration intensifies and keratin can become more fragile. You're kind of torturing your hair when you let it dry in the sun, yet another reason to wear a hat. And, why it's very important to condition for both men and women. Using a leave in conditioner weekly may be useful for your hair if it's often exposed to sunlight. A conditioner enriched with proteins and keratin will help counter the sun damage. Right after you come in from the sun, wash your hair with a moisture rich shampoo and rinse-out conditioner. If you're in the sun regularly, it's a good idea to avoid doing things to your hair. Hair that's already weakened by the sun gets additionally damaged by blowdryers, flat irons, hair dyes, vigorous brushing, and even any sun-activated lightening products. For more summer haircare help, watch other videos in this series.More »
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Understanding alopecia, the medical term for baldness, includes knowing the causes and how to deal with the potentially embarrassing condition. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: Alopecia: The word sounds harmless enough, but it can cause a LOT of anxiety for anyone who has it. Alopecia...
Alopecia: The word sounds harmless enough, but it can cause a LOT of anxiety for anyone who has it. Alopecia is the medical term for baldness. The type people are MOST familiar with--probably because it affects up to one third of the population--is androgenic alopecia, also known as male pattern hair loss or female pattern hair loss. In men, it shows up as thinning on the top of the head or a hairline receding in an M shape. In women, it presents as overall hair thinning, especially widening of the part. It can start as early as your teens and your risk INCREASES with age, especially after 50. Because this type of hair loss is genetic, it can't be cured, but you CAN put the brakes on it a bit. Hair foams with minoxidil or prescription drugs with finasteride have been shown to slow down hair loss. Take note, however -- finasteride IS NOT approved for use on women. Another type of alopecia is alopecia AREATA, which is actually an AUTOIMMUNE disease that causes your body to turn on itself, if you will. Your immune system starts to treat your hair follicles like foreign predators and RETALIATES. The result: Circular bald patches that can appear within a matter of DAYS. In EXTREME cases, you could lose all your hair, EVEN your body hair-fortunately, this is rare. Alopecia Areata can strike anyone at any age-just look at 22 year old Kayla Martell, a Miss America contestant. Because the actual hair follicle isn't destroyed, the hair will usually grow back within a few months, but is often initially thinner and whiter than your normal strands. Some people experience alopecia areata repeatedly. There is no PERMANENT cure for alopecia areata, but treatments can help STOP hair loss so it can grow back faster. Most commonly, Minoxidil creams and corticosteroid shots or creams. For EXTENSIVE hair loss, immunotherapy creams will trigger an allergic reaction that will look similar to poison ivy. After 6 months of treatment on average, about 40 percent of patients will experience hair regrowth. . Experts are not exactly sure how this reaction works, but they speculate that these reactants may "distract" the attacking cells AWAY from the follicles. Other LESS common types of alopecia can be caused by everything hairstyles that are too tight [show ref. img] to disorders that irreversibly damage hair follicles. In these cases, the treatment depends on the cause, so if you experience any obvious hair loss, see your doctor. For more ways to hold onto your hair, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
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If you're a man who's losing his hair, you may want to learn about Propecia--it's the only FDA-approved prescription hair loss drug. Watch this to learn if it's the right treatment for you.
Transcript: Although there is no cure for baldness, Propecia is an effective treatment for many men. The prescription...
Although there is no cure for baldness, Propecia is an effective treatment for many men. The prescription medication not only stunts hair loss in men, but can also stimulate NEW hair growth.Male pattern hair loss is due to an inherited vulnerability to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone--or DHT--which is a byproduct of testosterone. When DHT comes in contact with hair follicles, it continually SHRINKS them until they can't produce visible hair. Propecia, commonly known by its active ingredient Finasteride, keeps DHT from forming in your scalp. It's not a permanent fix, but it can DRASTICALLY slow hair follicles from shrinking in men with mild to moderate hair loss in the front or on top of their head. If the DHT level is LOW ENOUGH, some follicles can even return to NORMAL hair growth.Propecia needs to be taken DAILY for several months before you see any results. However, once you STOP taking it, your hair loss WILL return to its normal rate. If you haven't seen any changes after a year on the drug, however, it's probably not going to work for you. There are some side effects to Propecia. While rare, Propecia can cause a DECREASE in sexual desire and sperm count as well as arousal issues. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor RIGHT away. Propecia is NOT FDA approved for women. To learn more about the causes and cures for other types of hair loss, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-20 | Tags »
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There are some drugs that induce hair loss. Thankfully, it is usually temporary. Learn more about medications and hair loss in this video.
Transcript: If you've seen TV commercials for prescription medications, you've heard the LONG list of potential side...
If you've seen TV commercials for prescription medications, you've heard the LONG list of potential side effects. Often, one of them is "possible hair loss." Everyone reacts a little differently to medications, so here's what you need to know if hair loss is a side-effect of YOUR medicine.There are literally DOZENS of medications that can trigger temporary hair loss, usually a type called TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM. Examples include: The acne drug isotretinoin, a derivative of vitamin A and, some blood thinners, cholesterol-lowering drugs, antidepressants, amphetamines, anti-fungal medications, beta blockers, and hormone-related medications such as birth control and performance-enhancing steroids. Before taking a new medication, ask your doctor OR pharmacist about ANY potential side effects. If hair loss is one that concerns you, ask your doctor for an ALTERNATIVE medication that doesn't carry the same risk. So, how DO medications TRIGGER telogen effluvium? They do so by disrupting your NORMAL cycle of hair growth. The drug sends the hair follicles into the telogen-or resting--phase. You won't start to notice thinning until 3 months AFTER this occurs. With certain drugs, hair loss is MUCH more likely. Take, for example, chemotherapywhich can cause a type of hair loss called ANAGEN effluvium. Many forms of chemo are designed to kill off cells in the body that turn over quickly, like cancer cells. But as a side effect they also target the fast growing hair follicle cells.A few weeks after starting treatment your hair may start to thin; many people lose all oftheir hair they are undergoing chemo. So what can you do if you've experienced telogen effluvium from medication? Usually, once you STOP taking a medication, your hair will regrow normally in a few months. If you stop taking medication and your hair DOESN'T come back, you may need to stimulate new growth with Rogaine. For chemo patients, hair often grows back fairly quickly once treatment stops-although it might be a different texture. And in some cases, hair may stay permanently thinner.To learn more about other types of hair loss, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
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Want to learn just how likely hereditary hair loss is? Watch this video!
Transcript: Getting a little thin up top? Blame your parents. But don't disown them-they couldn't help it! Hair...
Getting a little thin up top? Blame your parents. But don't disown them-they couldn't help it! Hair loss is in their genes. In fact, heredity is the NUMBER ONE cause of hair loss in both men and women. Contrary to popular opinion, inherited hair thinning--also known as male and female pattern hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia-ISN'T passed down exclusively from your MOTHER's side. In reality, it can be passed down from EITHER parent. And experts believe male and female hair loss is a dominant trait-meaning you can get it from mom OR dad for it to appear.When you inherit the tendency for pattern hair loss, you're actually inheriting sensitivity to the hormone dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, a by-product of testosterone. This hormone shrinks the hair follicles, rendering them unable to grow a normal-sized hair.Fortunately, you won't necessarily LOSE your hair just because you've inherited the hair loss trait. Other factors such as levels of male hormones are at play. Men with male pattern hair loss tend to lose hair first on the TOP of their heads or in a RECEDING "M" shape from their foreheads. Where they lose it depends on where the concentration of DHT is highest. Over time, more hair follicles are exposed to DHT and miniaturize, so it's logical that 85 percent of men who are 50 or older have thinning hair.Women with higher than normal levels of male hormones in their system can have similar hair loss, but the thinning is usually spread evenly across the top of the scalp. For both genders, hair loss can be slowed down, but never COMPLETELY reversed. The prescription medication Propecia - or finasteride-- is FDA approved for MEN only. The drug minoxidil - also known as Rogaine -- is approved for both men and women. BOTH have been proven to grow back some hair and impede the loss of new strands. To learn more about treatments for common hair loss, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
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