Mayo Clinic Minute: Treatment for hair loss in women
How to Treat Women's Hair Loss
Female hair loss is a fairly common condition. Almost ⅓ of women will experience hair loss during their lives, and nearly ⅔ of postmenopausal women suffer hair loss.Female hair loss can cause low self-esteem and affect your social interactions or daily life. If you are suffering from female hair loss, there are ways you can treat it.
Treating Hair Loss Through Diet
Increase your iron.Some research suggests that low levels of iron may result in female hair loss.Try to increase your daily iron intake, or go see your physician to see if your iron levels are low.
- You may be at a risk of iron deficiency if you’re a vegetarian, have a history of anemia, or have heavy periods.
- You can increase your iron through food. Lean red meat is a good source of iron. Other meat, like chicken, turkey, and fish, also contains small amounts of iron. Beans, nuts, cereals, and some vegetables like leafy greens also include iron, but the type of iron found in these sources are harder to absorb.
- You may consider taking an iron supplement. Most multi-vitamins include the recommended daily amount of iron, while a separate iron supplement will have more than your daily amount.
- Females need approximately 18 mg of iron each day. If you are pregnant, you need 27 mg.
Eat more walnuts.Walnuts contain many nutrients, like omega-6 fatty acids, zinc, iron, B vitamins, and protein. These nutrients contribute to hair health.The oils they contain help promote hair growth.
- Having proper oils in your body keeps your hair from breaking.
- Eat approximately 30 grams of walnuts a day.
Increase your vitamin C.Vitamin C not only helps your body absorb iron, but it also helps form collagen. Collagen helps hold in hair follicles, which helps promote healthy hair.
- Add vitamin C to your diet by eating fruit, like strawberries, pineapple, papayas, guava, and citrus, such as oranges and grapefruit. You can also find it in vegetables, like kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
Incorporate B-vitamins.B-vitamins help cells thrive, including cells in the scalp and follicles. With healthy cells, your hair will grow stronger and healthier.
- B-vitamins are found in salmon, trout, shellfish, lean beef, pork tenderloin, and chicken breast. They're also found in bananas, spinach, turnip greens, soybeans, okra, beets, broccoli, lentils, and black eyed peas. You can also find it in whole-grain breakfast cereals, oatmeal, and low-fat cottage cheese.
Increase your zinc.Zinc helps promote hair growth. A zinc deficiency can cause hair loss or reduced growth.
- You can find zinc in meat, peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, kidney beans, and wheat germ.
Boost your protein.Thinning hair might be due to a protein deficiency. Protein helps your body replace the hair that you lose daily.
- Eat more chicken, fish, or lean beef. Try a four-ounce serving of chicken with dinner.
- You can also get protein from non-meat sources, like chickpeas, quinoa, and lentils.
Be aware that diet may not treat all hair loss.Though eating a healthier diet can promote overall health, including hair health, it may not help treat your hair loss. Many things contribute to hair loss, such as aging, genetics, and autoimmune disorders. If your hair loss is due to these factors, instead of malnutrition, diet may not help reduce hair loss.
Treating Hair Loss Through Styling
Reduce your use of styling tools.You may be damaging your hair and causing it to thin. Hair dryers, curling irons, hair relaxers, extensions, and getting a perm may cause a type of alopecia. Using gels, oils, and other products may also cause this form of alopecia.
- Use fewer styling products and use less product in your hair. Limit the amount of heat that you put on your hair. It can damage your hair and cause it to break. Let your hair air dry whenever possible. Reduce how often you dye your hair since that can damage your hair and cause breakage.
- If you think this may be the cause of your hair loss, visit your dermatologist. He can recommend medication to help treat this form of alopecia.
Condition your hair.Conditioning your hair regularly helps to repair damage hair, making it fuller. Consider using a deep conditioner every week that contain humectants like panthenol.
- By massaging the scalp and using the conditioner, you help stimulate circulation, which can help your hair grow.
Style your hair to help disguise thinning.There are a few ways the way you wear your hair can make your hair look thicker. Switch your hair's part. If your hair gets used to your normal part, it may start falling flatter on your head. Switch the direction of it to help give your hair some volume.
- Wear your hair shorter. Shorter hair gives more volume than longer cuts. Longer styles may also separate and reveal bald patches on your scalp.
- Get interior layers. If you want longer hair, these layers can help add fullness and disguise bald patches.
- Stop wearing your hair in tight ponytails or buns. Instead, let your hair fall loose. Keeping it in tight styles using hair ties, rubber bands, or clips can pull hair from the roots.
Consider using hair extensions.Since there are limited medical options for hair loss, one way to deal with hair loss is to use fake hair.Hair extensions are generally light and can be a good solution if you have a good amount of hair to attach them to.
- Many beauty supply stores or online retailers carry hair extensions. You can find high-quality extensions that match your hair and looks natural. You can get a beautician or salon stylist to help you put them in.
- Make sure if you use extensions that you don't pull too much on your own hair. Pulling out your hair while putting in extensions will cause more damage.
Buy a wig.If your hair loss gets severe enough that it is making you uncomfortable, invest in a high-quality wig. There are many wig shops and online retailers that sell wigs made from high-quality synthetic hair. You can also buy wigs made from real human hair.
Try a thickening spray.Several hair thickening sprays are available to purchase. These sprays temporarily increase the texture and density of your hair, making it appear thicker.
- This may be effective for small to medium bald spots.
Treating Hair Loss Through Home Remedies
Try a scalp massage.Massaging your scalp can help increase the circulation of blood to the scamp, which may help promote hair growth. Try doing this while you shampoo your hair.
- Try massaging argan, coconut, almond, or castor oil into your scalp.
- Dip your fingertips in oil and rub in small circular motions along your scalp. Do this a few times through.
Use essential oils.Adding essential oils to your massage may help promote hair growth. Try massaging these oils into your scalp daily.
- Essential oils that promote hair growth include lavender, rosemary, thyme, almond, and cedarwood.
- You have to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before applying it to your scalp. Try jojoba, grapeseed, or olive oil.
- Add three to six drops of your chosen essential oil to a tablespoon of your carrier oil.
Try a laser comb.Some studies have shown effectiveness in 25% of women who use a laser comb. The HairMax Laser Comb is the only FDA approved handheld laser for hair growth.
- The laser comb can cost almost 0.
- This method is usually tried if medical treatments did not work.
Treating Hair Loss Medically
Use minoxidil.Minoxidil, more commonly known as Rogaine, is the only FDA-approved female hair-loss topical medication. This is the most common treatment for female hair loss. This hair treatment has to be used once a day, and generally takes three to four months to show results, but could take over six months.
- The treatment comes in either a dropper or a spray pump. You apply the treatment to dry hair and scalp twice a day. The treatment is applied to where the hair is thinning, then you massage it into the scalp with your fingers. Make sure to wash your hands and any places the minoxidil has dripped, like your face. Refrain from shampooing for at least four hours after applying the treatment.
- The foam treatment comes in 2% and 5% solutions.
- If minoxidil works for you, you will have to continue using it to keep the results.
- Minoxidil doesn’t work for all women. It also won’t make all your hair grow back like it was; however, studies have shown it replaces hair in over half the women who used it.
- Side effects may include scalp itching or a rash, acne on the scalp, inflammation of the scalp, redness, or burning of the scalp. It may also include facial hair growth if left on the face. In rare cases, it may lead to more hair loss.
Try medication.Anti-androgens are a type of medication that block androgen receptors. They might make hair grow or slow the hair loss process. Most physicians will not prescribe medicine to treat hair loss since the evidence that it helps is limited. While medication is not a common treatment, physicians do prescribe it for women who an excess of androgen. Your physician will test your levels to see if your levels are connected to hair loss and require medication.
- Spironolactone, also known as Aldactone, is one kind of antiandrogen your doctor may prescribe. Tagamet, also known as Cimetidine, may also be prescribed.
- Finasteride isn’t FDA approved for women, but some doctors may prescribe it for postmenopausal women.
- Estrogen and progesterone pills or creams may work to treat hair loss in women who are in menopause.
- Some of the medications may be combined with an oral contraceptive if the women is at a reproductive age.
Use corticosteroids.If you suffer from alopecia areata, your doctor may suggest corticosteroids to treat it. This treatment method is generally given through a monthly injection to the scalp. Depending on your condition, your doctor may also prescribe an oral dosage.
- Side effects of corticosteroids vary from person to person. They range from increased appetite and acne to diabetes and high blood pressure.Talk to your doctor to discuss side effects.
Consider hair transplants.Hair transplants have been used to treat hair loss since the 1950s. In a hair transplant, a surgeon will take a narrow strip of your scalp and divide it into smaller grafts that contain a few hairs. He will then place the graft into slits in your scalp where hair is missing. The hair will then grow naturally from that spot.
- After six to nine months after the transplant, most patients see a 60% increase in new hair growth.
- Some women experience shock loss after the transplant, which is a temporary hair loss in the transplant area.
- Since each woman has a limited amount of hair, there may not be enough hair to fill in larger gaps to its original thickness.
- Hair transplants are usually not covered by insurance. They can range from ,000 to ,000 dollars.
Contact your physician.Hair loss generally doesn’t indicate a more severe underlying problem; however, if your hair loss includes itching, skin irritation, or any other abnormal symptoms, contact your physician. These additional symptoms may point to an underlying condition.
- If you experience hair loss without symptoms, you may want to speak to your doctor anyway. Getting a checkup to make sure nothing is wrong is never a bad idea.
QuestionMy mom has alopecia. She consulted a doctor and the doctor recommended corticosteroids. She took these, but she is still losing her hair. What should she do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere are different types of alopecia. Hair loss can vary from minimal or even none to baldness. Your mom's hair falling out may be unavoidable, but she should talk to her doctor about different treatment options if the corticosteroids are not working.Thanks!
Video: Hair Loss - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options
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