A reader wrote to me recently and asked if I’d put hair loss out there for discussion. I told her that I would.

Womens hair loss

Source

From The American Hair Loss Association…

“Mistakenly thought to be a strictly male disease, women actually make up forty percent of American hair loss sufferers. Hair loss in women can be absolutely devastating for the sufferer’s self image and emotional well being.
 
Unfortunately, society has forced women to suffer in silence. It is considered far more acceptable for men to go through the same hair loss process. 
 
Even more unfortunately, the medical community also treats the issue of women’s hair loss as if it were nonexistent. Since hair loss doesn’t appear to be life threatening, most physicians pay little attention to women’s complaints about hair loss and essentially tell their patients that “it’s no big deal”, and that “you’ll just have to live with it.”
 
Of course what these physicians don’t seem to realize is that the psychological damage caused by hair loss and feeling unattractive can be just as devastating as any serious disease, and in fact, can take an emotional toll that directly affects physical health.
 
The American Hair Loss Association recognizes that hair loss in women is a serious life altering condition that can no longer be ignored by the medical community and society as a whole.”
 
If you or someone you love suffers from hair loss and the subsequent devastating effects, could you please join this discussion and share your thoughts and experiences?

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26 Comments

  1. My hair has thinned a lot since menopause, but it was really thick before so I don't mind too much. My eyebrows have thinned some too and I don't need to shave my legs as often which I think is great. The same happened to my Mother as she aged. I eat a healthy diet and take a lot of supplements as I do want my hair and overall health to stay good as I age. I think though that hair loss is just a natural part of aging for a lot of us….

  2. I've also dealt with hypothyroidism. Please know if you see a conventional doctor for this condition, you'll be put on medication that causes your thyroid to completely shut down. Permanently.

    The best thing I've ever done is to start seeing a naturopath.

  3. I was losing a comb full of hair everytime I washed it. My neighbor told me about biotin and I started using it about 2 years ago. I now have more hair than when I was younger and lose only a few hairs at a time. It took about 3 or 4 months to notice any difference, but I wouldn't be without it now. I am 79 years old, so it's never too late to try it.

  4. I've been losing a lot of hair for the last few years. Just a little bit at first, then slowly becoming more and more. Yes I've had loads of stress, finished menopause, and chemical usage (perms, then later color). I colored my hair with one of those "temporary" drug-store dyes (L'Oreal) and great gobs of my hair fell out in the sink as I was rinsing it. Later I had it colored professionally, and while I didn't notice any extra falling out – the color didn't even last a month, but it left me with brittle hair, only on the ends. My bangs – even when I cut them shorter – the ends stay really brittle. Way too much scalp is showing around my forehead, which I try to hide with my bangs, but that's no longer working. I'm really glad you had this discussion, I'm making an appointment with my doctor to have my thyroid thoroughly tested. All that was checked during my recent physical was TSH. Thanks Brenda.
    Mary

  5. I don't have hair loss but I want to pass on what a neighbor once said regarding hair loss in men. It seems like it would apply to women as well. This neighbor, Lou, was a man with a handsome head of thick, silvery hair. He also was a barber. He said that the reason many men go bald is from standing under the shower with the water beating down on the top of their head each day over the course of many years. I don't recall exactly how he said he washed and rinsed his own hair. Maybe he did it in the sink at his barber shop. I just know that he said he didn't let the shower spray beat on his head. I have no idea if there is any truth to his claim. My husband, aged 62, has lots of hair, but it recently has starting to look a little bit thinner on top. I'm going to tell him right now to quick standing so long under the shower each morning. He might save on the water bill too!

  6. I have had hair loss for some time now..I absolutly hate looking at it…it is embarrassing…even more so for women I think..Here is an article I found recently that is interesting and has some great suggestions:

    http://www.naturallivingideas.com/top-10-home-remedies-for-thinning-hair/

    I can't say yet what might work or not work but they are natural and chemical free and worth a try..Below the article there are links to other posts which may help..also in the article are links to recipes for making the treatments for your hair..

  7. I'd been suffering with hair loss, but not only that. My hair was becoming very brittle and thin. I went to my doctor in June for something else entirely, and I mentioned my hair to him. He had an idea what it might have been, but didn't want to say anything until he ran a test. Sure enough, he was right. Turned out I have hyperthyroidism, which hair loss is one of the symptoms and, also, the thinning and brittle texture. It's been two months now since the diagnosis and taking the meds he prescribed, and I'm already seeing a difference, so your reader might want to ask her doctor to check her thyroid.

  8. I started noticing that after showering and shampooing that I was losing far too much hair. I thought it was medication I was on, but after having the medication changed the hair loss continued. I have probably lost at least a third of my hair's volume and scalp is showing on the top of my head and also widow's peak area. Nothing shows up in my blood work as being wrong. I eat a good diet. I have gone through menopause although I still get a hot flash here and there. I think much of the hair loss may be genetic when I think back to my grandmother's and great aunts' hair.

    I don't think the hair will ever grow back since I am 62 years old. Wigs are much too hot to wear, so I decided that rather than trying to find a miracle treatment to re-grow my hair that I instead would try to slow the hair loss down. Five days ago I read about Green Tree Thinning Tonic and I have already seen a dramatic change in my hair loss. YAY!!

  9. I have thinning hair at the temples and on top. There are also genetic links to female baldness. My great-aunt was almost bald in her 60's. I also have thyroid disease but it has been medically under control for the last 30 years or so.

  10. All comments above mention hair loss; none mention a "remedy". My suggestion is merely a cosmetic one but it has saved me from the fear that everyone was staring at my thinning scalp: "Joan Rivers Great Hair Day Fill-In Powder".
    I have used this for quite a few years and recommend it to my friends. I love this product. I need to use quite a bit as my hair is very thin on top and my scalp really shows. When I put this on it covers my scalp and actually makes my hair look thicker. That in combination with fine, graying hair, I was seriously considering buying a wig. This product "fills in" for the missing hair and people don't realize that it's an illusion. The product is easy to apply and has great staying power, even through hot, sweaty situations. As far as I'm concerned it has been a god-send! It's seems silly to say that a product could relieve you from the embarrassment of thinning hair but it absolutely does. I'd recommend it to anyone who is having thinning hair problems!

  11. I always had very thick hair. I started coloring my hair in my 20s. The front of my scalp is where my hair was turning the whitest. I would leave the color on longer there as the box said. Now that is the area that my hair is thin. I quit coloring my hair 15 years ago. My hair is so white now but it is healthy and shiny which isn't always the way with white hair. I also have hypothyroidism. I know that affects hair loss as well. I have no suggestions other than stop coloring your hair.

  12. Many factors can play into women's hair loss – thyroid issues, menopause, stress, unhealthy diet, etc. I haven't had any hair loss, but I know other women who have, including my mother (not total hair loss, but a certain spot). I think it's best to first go to your doctor and have a thorough blood test to rule out any disease, and then depending on the results, do your research and try supplements that promote healthy hair such as the ones Donna ^ mentioned.

  13. I have had some hair loss for several years, mostly from stress. At age sixty-nine, I decided to research supplements which would slow down the loss. Biotin, evening primrose oil, saw palmetto, and silica with horsetail are in my morning vitamin cup. This regime seems to be helping, along with a good diet.

  14. One of my fears of losing hair has been realized. It first started with the thinning of my eyebrows. I thought it was due to stress after going through my mom's lung cancer journey & her death. I told myself that I was starting to enter my pre-menopause years. Then last year I began to notice that I was getting some thin areas on the upper scalp area near my temples. Then I started having very low energy & not feeling like myself at all. It took 5 months for the reason to be totally revealed. I was diagnosed with minimally invasive follicular thyroid cancer in April. What I have since learned is that our thyroid rules so much of our entire body. As Ann posted above, hormones play a huge role in all of this. One of the other things that I have learned is sadly, most doctors only test TSH levels which for many show "normal" (like myself) even if there are issues present. My biggest takeaway from all of this, is we all know our bodies like no one else does. Push for the proper tests, push for your health issues/concerns to be taken seriously.

    1. Great point! I didn't realize that TSH levels can present as normal when there's something else going on. You have probably helped many women by telling us that!

  15. My guess is it's most likely hormonal. Women suffering from hair loss should have their hormones checked. It seems more prevalent after menopause or childbirth when hormone levels are greatly effected. Just my thoughts. Thank you for posting on a subject that seems to be affecting more and more women. Possibly it's also stress related as we women take on more and more responsibility these days.

  16. I'm not but my hubby is. It's hard on him. I'm in my lat 30s and my hair is changing its just getting drier. So frustrating. I'm grateful it's still thick. My dear friend and neighbor, in her 60s, is losing hair. I keep trying to get her to wear a hairpiece but she says, " those pieces are too hot."

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