Here is a brief look at hair loss or alopecia as it is called. Although it can begin anytime after puberty, alopecia is a very common form of hair loss after 50.
Two types of Hair Loss:
Alopecia areata affects about 5 million people in the United States. This type of hair loss is considered an autoimmune disease, meaning the body's immune system attacks its very own hair follicles. Other factors that can bring it on include a person's genetic makeup, other illness, pregnancy, and stress.
The first sign of alopecia areata is typically a small, round, and smooth patch of baldness on the scalp. Those with alopecia areata eventually experience complete baldness, or alopecia totalis. Others may lose hair over their entire body, called alopecia universalis. The course of alopecia areata is unpredictable; hair may grow back only to fall out again.
Androgenic alopecia refers to the female version of male pattern baldness. It has been linked to an inherited sensitivity to the male sex hormone, androgen. Women may experience diffuse hair thinning over their entire scalp instead of the actual baldness that develops in men.
Menopause and After
At menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels drop in women, and this seems to be responsible, or partly so, for hair thinning (and that cheeky peach fuzz that seems to appear overnight). Other factors related to hair loss are also high levels of stress, illness, hormonal imbalances, harsh hair products, and a genetic disposition.
Rule out other Medical Reasons for Hair Loss
Blood-sugar levels, thyroid tests, and an evaluation for rheumatoid disease may be suggested by your doctor to rule out other possible causes for any hair loss. A test for excessive androgen in your system is appropriate if the loss is sudden. As for managing the unwanted loss or growth, LLLT the low light laser therapy can be an excellent option to address this type of hair loss once you address the underlying cause.
Suggested life style adjustments are a healthy diet, getting plenty of B vitamins (especially B6), enjoying a cup of green tea every day, losing some pounds, and trying shampoo that contains hyaluronic acid. These changes can be very helpful to restore hair growth although it may take a few months. Even if taking these suggestions does not restore your hair, they are good habits for general well-being. Looking into some of the hair restoration options MHN offers for both women and men can also help.
High levels of stress hormones, cortisol and even insulin can cause an excess of androgen in the body. Reducing stress may lower the androgen enough to stop the annoying hairs from peppering the chin. Walking, meditation, yoga, staying active and spending quality time with people you can about are also good suggestions.
Medications & Hair Loss
Medicinal options for menopause and post-menopause hair loss include a limited-term prescription for estrogen, Rogaine (minoxidil), steroids, or metformin (a drug often used with type 2 diabetes). All of these medications carry possible side-effects which need to be considered. .
Low Level Laser light treatments may be utilized to control hair loss and to promote healthy hair growth. Laser therapy treatments can be conducted in an office environment with a hair loss professional. We also offer an FDA cleared portable laser can also be purchased for at home use. To find out more, we suggest you meet with one of our hair loss professionals to learn more about your options.