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Hair loss and medication options

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), between 50 and 100 hairs fall out each day. Your head normally contains roughly 100,000 strands of hair, so that minor loss is not always visible. In most cases, new hair grows in to replace the lost hair.

Hair loss can be transient or permanent, and may only affect the scalp or the entire body. It may be brought on by genes, hormonal changes, illnesses, or just the natural aging process.

Alhtough it's more common in men, women can experience hair loss on their head.

How common is hair loss in both men and women?

By the age of 35, roughly 40% of men have noticeable hair loss, and this number rises to 65% by 60. About half of males experience significant hair loss, or “male pattern hair loss” in thier 40s and early 50s.

As for women, almost 40% experience hair loss by the age of 40. And over 80% of women experience hair loss that is visible by the time they are 60.

Risk factors

Your chance of experiencing hair loss may be increased by a number of variables, such as:

  • Age
  • Hereditary; a family history of baldness on your mother's or father's side of the family
  • Extreme weight loss in a short amount of time
  • Particular medical conditions including lupus, hypothyroidism, polycystic very syndrome (PCOS), and/or lupus

Signs and symptoms of hair loss

Hair loss can manifest in different forms depending on the cause. It might strike abruptly or steadily, and it can only affect your scalp or your entire body.

Common signs and symptoms:

  • Excess hair that falls out: If you notice more than usual hair on the brush or the comb after use, this could indicate hair loss.
  • Expanding part: If you have a split or part in your hair, you can start to notice that it is getting wider over time. This could indicate hair thinning.
  • A receding hairline: The same goes if you notice that your hairline appears higher than usual; this could also indicate thinning hair.
  • Pain and/or itching: You may also feel discomfort or itchiness on your scalp if a skin disease is the root of your hair loss.
  • Bald spots: patches of hair loss on your scalp.

What causes hair loss?

It's normal to lose hair after an operation, a severe fever, or chemotherapy for cancer. Many women begin to noticeably lose hair a few months after giving birth.

Hair loss may also be triggered by improper hair maintenance or an overly tight hairdo, including a tight ponytail.

Some variables that can affect hair loss include the following:

  • Particular medications

    Several medications, including those often used for cancer, arthritis, mental health conditions including depression, cardiac problems, and high blood pressure can cause hair loss as an adverse reactions.

  • Hormonal changes

    Long-term or short-term hair loss can result from a number of circumstances, including hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and thyroid issues, including hypothyroidism.

  • Family history

    Androgenic alopecia is also known as male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness, is a very common type of hair loss. Men typically have a receding hairline and bald spots, while women typically experience thinning hair at the top of their scalp.

  • Medical conditions

    Alopecia areata, an immune system-related ailment that results in patchy hair loss, ringworm infections of the scalp, and the hair-pulling disorder trichotillomania are a few examples of common health issues that could result in hair loss.

  • Experiencing extreme trauma

    Most individuals notice significant hair thinning several months following a traumatic event, whether it be physical or emotional. However, this particular type of hair loss tends to be transient.

  • Tight hairstyles

    Traction alopecia is a kind of hair loss brought on by excessive styling or tight- pulling hairstyles like high ponytails, cornrows, or permanent hair dyes and bleach can also cause hair thinning.

    It's important to note that hair loss may become permanent if scarring takes place.

  • Losing more than 20 pounds

How is hair loss diagnosed?

To better identify the causes, your doctor would typically conduct a physical exam with information from your health history, such as any recent illnesses, surgeries, stressors in your life, as well as your family history.

Additionally, doctors could take a biopsy of the skin on your scalp if they detect an autoimmune, skin disorder, or conditions such as hypothyroidism or iron deficiency. When examining the hair roots under a microscope, your doctor scrapes samples from your skin or from a few hairs pulled from your scalp. This can assist in determining whether hair loss is being caused by an infection.

Also, your healthcare specialist could request blood testing to look for any nutrient deficiencies or indications of an underlying illness.

What are the different types if hair losses?

There are numerous types of hair losses, including the following:

  • Androgenic alopecia

    Androgenetic alopecia is the most prevalent kind of hair loss, affecting more than 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States.

    Androgenetic alopecia, sometimes referred to as male pattern hair loss or female pattern hair loss, is inherited but can be treated with drugs or surgery.

    Your hairline may gradually recede until it takes on the recognizable "M" shape.

  • Alopecia areata

    Since alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder, the immune system of your body attacks healthy tissues, including your hair follicles.

    It may not only result in hair loss, but also stop the growth of new hair.

    Both adults and children can be impacted by this illness, and hair loss can occur abruptly and without warning

  • Hypotrichosis

    Rare hereditary disorder known as hypotrichosis causes very little hair to develop on your scalp and body.

    Infants born with this disorder may initially grow hair normally, but a few months later, their hair falls off and is replaced with thin hair.

    By the age of 25, many individuals with hypotrichosis individuals tend to go bald.

  • Traction alopecia

    Certain hairdos, such as tight braids, ponytails, and cornrows, can pull your hair away from the scalp until hair strands are broken and fall out, resulting in hair thinning, or baldness.

  • Anagen effluvium

    Rapid hair loss from medical treatments like chemotherapy is known as anagen effluvium. However, your hair will often regrow naturally when treatment is finished.

  • Cicatricial Alopecia

    Scarring alopecia, also known as cicatricial alopecia, is an uncommon type of hair loss in which scar tissue grows in their place after inflammation kills the hair follicles. Hair doesn't grow back when scar tissue has formed.

    Depending on the type of cicatricial alopecia producing your symptoms, you may need treatment.

  • Telogen effluvium

    When numerous hair follicles on your scalp reach the telogen phase, or resting phase, of your hair development cycle but the subsequent growth phase is not initiated, the condition known as telogen effluvium results. Without new hair development, this results in widespread scalp hair loss.

    This kind of hair loss is generally brought on by an illness, such as a thyroid disorder, childbirth, surgery, or a fever, or stress, pregnancy, or side effects of particular medications. Iron deficiency is a major cause of hair loss in women, and other nutrient deficiencies may also result in telogen effluvium.

  • Tinea capitis

    Tinea capitis, often known as scalp ringworm, is a scalp fungal infection that frequently results in hair loss in young children.

    Your scalp may feel itchy, and the infected regions frequently appear red or scaly

    This condition results in bald areas that may enlarge over time. Hair loss occurs in patches, often in circular patterns.

    Dermatologists might recommend taking an oral antifungal treatment to get rid of the fungus.

Can hair loss be prevented?

You can reduce or avoid hair loss with the following:

  • Avoiding tight hairstyles: Make an effort to keep your hair loose and not tight, including loose braids, so that your hair isn't placed under too much stress.
  • Avoid rubbing or pulling your hair as much as you can.
  • Avoid using permanent hair dye or styling your hair with hot tools
  • Smoking cessation; According to several research, men who smoke more often tend to experience more hair loss over time.
  • Scalp massage; In a particular study, healthy Japanese men who received daily scalp massages for 4 minutes for a period of 24 weeks had thicker hair at the end of the experiment.
  • Plan a balanced diet that is high in nutrients. Snacks and meals should aim to contain a lot of iron, including lean beef, beans, and green vegetables, as well as protein, including eggs, lean meat, and/or seafood.
  • It’s also recommended to protect your hair from sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light.

Additionally, use a gentle baby shampoo to wash your hair if you're experiencing hair loss. Try cleansing your hair every other day or fewer. It's recommended to use a shampoo that is as near to all-natural as you can if you find your hair is very dry, frizzy, or unmanageable.

You may also include the following vitamins in your diet for potential help in hair growth:

  • Iron

    The most prevalent vitamin shortage in the world, iron deficiency, can cause anemia and hair loss, specifically in women.

  • B vitamins: including biotin (vitamin B7 - can be received from your diet, including nuts, sweet potatoes, bananas, and onions), folate, as well as vitamin B12

    Although biotin is one of the more well-liked supplements for hair, skin, and nails, there is little evidence to support its advantages for those who consume sufficient biotin.

  • Zinc

    Although data on the efficacy of zinc supplements for hair development is inconclusive, a zinc deficiency can result in hair loss.

  • Vitamin D

    Although there is minimal evidence to suggest vitamin D supplementation for hair development, vitamin D deficiency is linked to hair loss.

  • Vitamin C

    The antioxidant, vitamin C, has a number of significant roles that can influence the health of your hair, such as improving iron's absorption and collagen production, which includes amino acids that may be utilized to create keratin, a crucial component of hair structure.

  • Vitamin A

    Although vitamin A may aid with hair growth, using too much vitamin A may actually cause hair loss.

    Retinol is actually one of a number of substances referred to as vitamin A.

Are there medications that can treat hair loss?

Your dermatologist could also suggest stopping taking a certain medicine for several months if it's the reason you're losing hair.

Rogaine (generic: Minoxidil)

This medication is available over-the-counter (OTC) in liquid, foam, and shampoo forms.

It can applied on your scalp once daily for women and twice daily for men for at least 6 months to 12 months to get the best results.

Numerous individuals use products containing minoxidil to either regrow hair, decrease the pace of hair loss, or both. This medication is best used to help early hair loss.

Common side effects of this medication include

  • Changes in the color or texture of your hair
  • Scalp inflammation
  • Hair growth on the surrounding skin

Finasteride (brand: Propecia)

This medication is commonly used once a day to treat male pattern hair loss in only men.

The hair loss of many men using finasteride slows down, and some even report new hair growth.

According to the FDA, it will take at least 3 months of daily use to see results from Finasteride in men.

It’s important to note that women who are or might become pregnant should refrain from handling this medication.

Common side effects of this medication include

  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Abnormal ejaculation
  • Breast swelling and/or tenderness

Spironolactone (brand: Aldactone)

This medication is part of a drug class known as potassium-sparing diuretics, or “water pills,” and can only be used for women.

This medication can be taken once to twice daily, and is often used for treating female pattern hair loss.

According to studies, Spironolactone helped approximately 40% of women with female pattern hair loss. And I n another research, 166 women taking spironolactone reported 42% mild improvements and 31% increased thickness.

You must avoid getting pregnant while using spironolactone. Birth abnormalities may result with this drug. Your dermatologist may even recommend a birth control pill to prevent pregnancy.

Common side effects of this medication include

  • Breast swelling or tenderness
  • Increased thirst and/or urination


Iron supplements are particularly important if your hair loss is caused by anemia or heavy menstrual bleeding.

Hair transplant

Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE) are the 2 most common hair transplant techniques.

  • Follicular unit transplantation (FUT)

    With follicular unit transplantation (FUT) surgery, your doctor makes a small cut (approximately 0.4 to 0.6 inches) in your skin on the side or back of your head and removes a few hair follicles at a time.

    As a result, the balding areas of your scalp are then filled with these follicles. The procedure is most effective in concealing a receding hairline brought on by male pattern baldness, and can take up to 4 to 8 hours to complete.

  • Follicular unit extraction (FUE)

    A form of hair transplant called follicular unit extraction (FUE) involves removing individual hair follicles from your skin and relocating them to an area of your body where hair is weaker or missing.

    This procedure is generally completed in several 2 to 4 hour sessions over the course of several days. Keep in mind that you can normally leave following this outpatient operation and return home after each session.

Both hair transplant treatments are considered minimally invasive surgical procedures, however, they may be costly and uncomfortable for some.


For both men and women who suffer from genetic hair loss, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of a low-level laser device.

It enhances hair density, according to a few studies, however, in order to demonstrate long-term impacts, more research is required.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)

Research indicate that this is a potentially safe and effective hair loss therapy. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) includes extracting a short amount of blood, putting it in a machine that divides it into components, and injecting one of those components, specifically the plasma, into the region experiencing hair loss.

This whole process takes around 10 minutes, however, you will need to come back for further injections. Generally, the majority of patients

Is it possible for hair to grow back?

Yes, some treatments can slow or stop hair loss or even stimulate hair growth. However, many individuals could possibly keep losing hair if they don't get treatment as soon as they notice possible hair loss.

However, certain forms of hair loss are unfortunately irreversible. This may include hair follicles that were affected by hairstyles that were too tight, those affected by chemicals used on the hair, and those damaged by specific autoimmune illnesses.

If you are worried about hair loss, especially if you are also experiencing additional symptoms, talk your primary care prover or your dermatologist right away.