Archived Q&A and Reviews
My almost 3 year old daughter is losing her hair. The doctor says it is normal, like how women who have just had a baby have their hair thin. She is loosing it not in patches but her hair is thinning (a lot) mostly on the top of her head. Also, it doesn't appear to be growing very much. She has no obvious cause, no ring worm, she doesn't pull her hair, etc. Even though her doc says it sometimes happens with little ones and not to worry I am still worried. Any body out there that has any good information or advice about this condition would be really welcome. Thanks
Have you recently treated for lice using Nix or Rid? Last year, after our daughter was treated for lice using Rid she experienced quite a bit of hair loss for a few months. The doctor said not to worry unless the hair was coming out in clumps or was in excess of 100 strands a day. Her hair is back to normal now--several months later. anon
I believe that there is some thyroid issue that can result in hair loss. Maybe getting a blood test to check her thyroid would be a good idea? anon
I have been worried because I have been finding hair on my the pillow of my 22 month old daughter. Its not massive hair loss but enough to worry. She has been having a problem with dandruff which I have been treating by regular shampoos and lukewarm coconut oil being massaged into her scalp regularly. I have almost certainly ruled out lice and wondered if anybody had advice to offer? Nan
I forget what the term is for this condition, but there is a baby brush you can buy to gently scrub your babies scalp to get rid of the dry skin. It doesn't hurt them. From my daughter's reaction to it, it must have felt good. You need to do it everytime you wash the babies hair. I have seen this in a lot of babies and also some small children. I stuck with Johnsons Baby Shampoo and made sure it was completely rinsed out and I stayed away from the oils because it was actually contributing to the problem. The thing is you want to get the excess dead skin off your baby so the new skin can breathe. The oil tends to clog up the hair folicles. After about a week or so, her scalp was much healthier. I could see the difference. Your doctor or nurse practitioner can tell you where to find the brush or tell you their recommended method for dealing with the condition. I know there is also a medicated shampoo they can prescribe, but only really severe cases require it. Your best bet is to call your doctor's office in case the condition requires medication. Marianne
I recommend that you discuss this with your daughter's pediatrician. Dry skin/dandruff and hair loss can be symptoms of a number of problems related to the endocrine system and can point to auto-immune disorders. I don't mean to alarm you. Hair loss for example is often a symptom of a thyroid disorder which can be managed very easily. Elysse
To the mom concerned about hair loss in a small child: Assuming your child will be seen by one competent physician if not more, you may also ask about nutrition. The body usually sacraficies those things they least need if nutrient deficient. When it comes to protein deficiency, the hair (loss) and nails (soft) are the first to go. Also, sometimes stress could cause hair loss. Another reader mentioned thyroid problems, which is more likely than auto-immune disease which is more rare at this young age. p.s. when it comes to nutrition... I find that clinical dieticians at hospitals are much more apt at evalutions of diets than physicians who do not get much education if more than one or two courses in med school in nutrition. Good luck. Anonymous
About a month ago we noticed that our daughter was losing quite a lot of hair, especially on the top of her head. Once she had a head full of curls, and now it is very thin on top, almost bald - like a middle aged man's receding hairline. I also notice that the texture is changing - from curly to straight. Her pediatrician was not concerned about this, but has recommended we see a pediatric dermatologist to rule out any skin condition, and we are scheduled to see the dermatologist in late October. However, she continues to lose more hair every day, which is causing me much worry. Her doctor has ruled out a thyroid problem, but agrees the continued loss is unusual. Has anyone experienced anything like this? Worried Mom
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Has anyone had experience with a five and 1/2 year old who has suddenly begun shedding copiously? My daughter has always had thick long hair and over the past 3 weeks LOTS of it had ended up in the hairbrush and the bathtub. I don't see evidence of too much breaking in the middle, and we don't pull it back any differently than we have done in the past. But her hair is noticeably thinner and lack luster. When I brought this concern to the pediatrician they said that unless scalp is showing I shouldn't worry. Though I'm not usually a worrier, I feel that this is not an adequate response when something about a growing child has changed significantly, especially when the dr. hasn't even examined the child (and didn't think it was necessary) I don't know much about hair. Does this happen when hair hasn't been cut for a long time? Could it be due to lack of protein in the diet? (daughter won't eat meat, but she does eat chicken, dairy, peanut butter and tofu). Can it be hormonal changes in a almost six year old? I have read that anemia or hyperthyroid conditions can lead to hair loss. Any insights? I don't really want to wait til she's bald to get the attention of the doctor; should I insist on tests, or am I worrying about something that happens naturally? Thanks! Laura
My daughter had significant hair loss when she was around 2 1/2. I hauled her off to a dermatologist (they are, oddly enough, the specialists for hair-related issues), and it turned out that the hair loss was the result of a high fever that my daughter had had about three months before. Apparently, this is not an uncommon reaction to high fever, particularly in children. Annie B.
I sent this question on to my folks, two recently retired pediatricians with vast knowledge about childhood diseases, and my mom's response is as follows: The medical term is 'alopecia' and there are many causes, some medical and some psychological - I have not checked out the Mayo Clinic site but it is a good starting place - the other is the National Library of Medicine - has a section for the public. Sounds as though this should be investigated further. Hope that is useful. Deborah
I've been experiencing hair loss since I was 16 and am ready to do something about it. Does anyone have experience with a dermatologist or specialist in female hair loss in the oakland berkeley area? anon
I have not had personal experience with any specialists in the East Bay, but here are some resources. You could get more information from the websites or by calling:
http://wasser.sitewizard.biz/femalehairloss.html http://www.heralopecia.com/interact/viewtopic.php?f=29=767 http://www.mhtaclinic.com/hair-loss-for-women.html
You could also do a Google search using the term ''androgenetic alopecia''. Good luck. Feels the pain of thinning hair
You should have your thyroid level checked. Hypothyroidism is very very common in women. Hair loss is one of the symptoms along with feeling cold all the time, brittle nails, hoarse voice, constipation, anxiety, depression, lethargy, weight gain, ''enlarged tongue''...of course not everyone has all these symptoms (I did) but even if you ahve a few your thyroid could be low. It's a simple blood test. anon
If you started losing your hair at 16, it is unlikely that it is thyroid related. I have been experiencing hair loss too, noticeably for the last 1.5 years and I am 45. I have been through all the tests and mine was diagnosed as hereditary androgenic alopecia.
Normally you start with your GP running blood tests to rule out things like thyroid and hormone problems, etc. Then you are referred to a dermatologist. Not all dermatologists understand hair loss equally. I have been to a few and finally found Dr. Christina Avakoff in Oakland and Lafayette (510) 625-9930. She is not covered under my HMO plan but I pay out of pocket and she is pretty reasonable. She has personal experience with hair loss and I think this makes a big difference. There is a specialist at UCSF Dr. Vera Price, and I found that Dr. Avakoff was more helpful and similarly knowledgeable. Dr. Price is very hard to get an apt. with, expensive and follow up appointments are usually 1 year later.
The two treatments seem to be Rogaine (Minoxidil)5% (for men but everyone says not to waste time with the 2% Women's formula) and if there is no chance of you getting pregnant,and you have a bad reaction to the Rogaine, some will recommend Propecia.
Definitely get a start on this now because the longer you wait, the harder it is to slow or reverse. Good luck! Hope you have success
I'm a 30 yr old married woman and I'm going bald. My hair has been 'thinning' for a few years, but it wasn't until recently that I really acknowledged the balding. My family has pointed out my thinning hair in the past, but I always ignored them. Now I see more and more every day how the hair on the top of my head is becoming thinner and thinner and if you part my hair in a certain way I have a clear bald spot. I have to comb my hair in a Donald Trump style comb-over in order to cover it up!!! What do I do??? Do vitamins or any other natural substance help? When I was pregnant several years ago, my hair was so thick and beautiful, I always hoped it would stay that way. Sadly no, it went away after the breast feeding ended... now I'm stuck with even less hair and a definite bald spot to boot. Please, please help! Any advice would be much appreciated! is it cool to be bald at 30?
Have you had your thyroid checked? One of the symptoms of hypothyroidism is thinning hair. It's a simple blood test. Other symptoms can be brittle nails, hoarse voice, tiredness, cold/chilled (esp. hands and feet, weight gain, constipation and in extreme cases, anxiety and ''enlarged tongue''. You can have one or all of these to have low thyroid. There are also vitamin deficiencies that can cause hair loss or hair thinning. In this case I'd suggest seeing a nutritinist who can refer you for lab tests....skin, hair, saliva, etc. Good luck, anon
Are you taking any medications that might have hair-loss as a side-affect (even way down the list)? I lost a lot of hair years ago, saw my primary and a dermatologist. They didn't have any reasons 'why' except that it happens to some women, but told me I could use Rogaine-type preparations. I didn't do it. I only figured out much later that the hair loss was related to an anti-depressant that I had been taking for years. I don't know why the doctors didn't put two and two together. Just a thought. anon
I have had spouts of my hair falling out. I am 36 and have an eight month old baby. This first happened to me when I was 31 and was going through a very nasty divorce. I am certain it's stress related. I have had it on and off only at times of severe stress in my life - and I mean SEVERE stress. I have had a a couple of handfuls in the plug, it falling out when I brush it and I have looked like Prince Charles.
I'm not a doctor, but I think it's stress related. I read an article several years ago, stating that if you are under extreme stress, your body goes into ''red alert'' state, this causes your body to take all of your energy and utilise it in ''high power'' so things like hair falling out can happen. Even if your hair is not falling out, due to extreme stress, the fact that hair can fall out under extreme stress may be an indicator that you can use when discussing with your doctor. I hope this is helpful. Vicky
I so sympathize. I am 29 years old and recently I was taking a medication that caused me to lose half my hair in a month. Unfortunately this is a medication I will need for the rest of my life. Here is what I did to stop the shedding.
First, have a thyroid test to make sure nothing's wrong with your metabolism. If you have a metabolism problem that could be what's behind your hair loss.
Second, check your diet, you may be eating poorly and that will cause you to lose hair.
Barring the above, take selinium and zinc supplements. I use a very expensive ($80 for a two month supply) vitamin that is time-released, from www.truehope.com... it's called EMPower Plus (I use that one because it's specific for mental and emotional health, which I also need anyway). However, you can also use Centrum or Centrum Silver, which is about $15 for a six month supply. Those both have the necessary selinium and zinc. I haven't used it extensively but I assume if you take one in the morning and one in the afternoon, it would do the same trick (the bottle says to take only one... check with your GP... blah blah blah)
Secondly, take biotin supplements. I've been taking between 2500 mg and 3000 mg a day for 4 months now. Biotin is a natural substance found in eggs and other foods that builds healthy hair and nails... I have definitely noticed a difference in my nails growing fast, and my hair is stronger too. If you get it at GNC, it is somewhat expensive - $24.99 for a 4 month supply; but you can get it at Target for $1.50 a bottle (you will need about 4 bottles to equal a four month supply with their brand).
You can use Rogaine to promote hair growth. I haven't done this, but it worked wonders on others who have. You can find that at any drugstore.
You can use a hair loss-stopping shampoo like Nioxin, usually found in salons. Again, it's expensive, I believe $40 a bottle, but the bottle is huge and lasts a while. I didn't notice Nioxin working for me, but it also has selenium and zinc in it. The shampoo that really worked for me is called Mane & Tail, and it's also expensive, although less so than Nioxin. You can get it at a drug store.
Hope this helps! Hair thickening back up again
I understand your distress: my hair has been thin since I was a young adult and I am always conscious of it. Assuming that you did not recently have a baby (as a cause of hari thinning), in addition to seeing your regular doctor to have thyroid disease ruled out, you might also see a dermatologist who would diagnose the type of baldness you have. Different types of baldness have different causes and remedies. Some women have male-pattern baldness that varies in severity. Rogaine for women may work in some but not all (doesn't work for me). thin hair
Does anyone have a suggestion on hair replacement for a man or a women. Any success stories? Thank you. Frontal hair loss
I have female friend who lost her hair during cancer treatment. Most of it never grew back above her ears--think monk look. She went to Hair Club (www.hairclub.com) and they did a fantastic job matching her hair color and texture to what existed on her head. One cannot tell the difference between the two. She looks so good that she actually agreed to do a commercial for them in exchange for a year of treatments. She looks terrific
I've been reading the posts about hair loss after pregnancy which made me wonder about hair loss during perimenopause. I didn't see anything on the web about this, but I might have missed something. I'm assuming it's perimenopause since I'm 45, but my cycle is still very regular. I'm very healthy and feel fine. I wonder if anyone has found anything tht works to minimize hair loss at this age. I should say that my hair is pretty thick, so nobody else has noticed, but I'd like to keep my hairs! Also the shedding all over is annoying. Thanks. shedding
I'd be willing to bet you have low thyroid. VERY common in women eps. after childbirth and approaching/during menopause. It's a simple blood test to test your Thyorid Stimulating HOrmone and T-3,T-4 hormones. Talk to your Dr. Very simple to deal with. hypothyroid menopausal mom
I don't have an answer for you, but wanted you to know you are not alone. I will be anxious to see if anyone has any good resolutions.
I am 43 and started experiencing the hair loss about 2 years ago. I've been checked for thyroid, anemia, etc, and all checked out fine. I've tried natural progesterone cream and 2 different kinds of birth control pills, but nothing seems to work (I am also experiencing some heavy periods and some PMS symptoms I've never had before).
Like you, I have TONS of hair, so people tell me to quit complaining, but I swear my ponytail is 1/3 of what it used to be and I agree the ''shedding'' is so annoying. I pick hair off of myself all day long. Best of luck, Peri or Pre too
A friend of mine, in her late 50s, is losing her hair to the point where she is getting a bit desperate! She needs to maintain a professional appearance, and doesn't feel that hats or scarves will work for her. Has anyone had ''the full Sinatra'' hair plugs? Other suggestions?
I'm in my 50s too, and had great success with minoxydal (generic of Rogaine) using it twice a day. Unfortunately, I developed a scalp sensitivity to it after a couple of years and had to stop using it, but I know that doesn't happen to everyone. Thyroid disorders are one of many things that can cause hair loss, so tell your friend to be sure to have both TSH and Free T4 tests done and evaluated by someone who's up to date on interpreting the results- the standards have recently changed. Not such plentiful hair anymore
My hair has been falling out dramatically (probably one third is now gone) over the past four months.I am not really stressed out about anything. Regular blood tests have turned up o.k. Now my hormones are being checked. I feel that I have lost circulation in my scalp and have neck pain that radiates up to my head. Sometimes I have headaches on the top of my head. when I put on shampoo, my head feels itchy. I don't have any noticable dandriff or critters. I have acne rosacae whose flare up coincided with my hair loss. I also started swimming. Chlorine connection? Anyone have any thoughts to help me get to the root of the problem here, literally? suggestions on tonics, etc? I just started accupuncture. Need help before I'm bald
a mom with more than just a bad hair day
Did you recently go off birth control pills? Sounds really hormonal. Also, perithyroid problem cause this. Do some research on it. Siple to remove it. Good luck christina
What you're going through is really upsetting and understandably causing you a lot of anxiety. I'm not a medical person, but my grown daughter had this happen recently. The blood tests requested by the OB/Gyn revealed very low estrogen. The predominance of testosterone accounted for the hair loss. I did a lot of reading online about hair loss (men and women) and all indicators point to testosterone. My daughter was under a lot of stress at the time (not a small amount due to her hair falling out!). After that discovery, the strategy on how to regain a normal level of estrogen was up to the OB/Gyn and her (you). Some doctors prefer non-drug approaches, some prefer birth-control pills which boost estrogen. It's a very, very upsetting period you're going through. My daughter's hair is thinner now than before, but she still has OK hair thickness----it used to be very thick. It seems doubtful her original thickness will ever be regained Anon
About a year ago I, too, had quite a bit of hair loss of the kind you are describing -- large bald patches (diagnosed as ''alopetia areata''). My doctor referred me to a dermatologist, who gave me one round of steroid injections in my scalp. It worked perfectly, and within 6 weeks the hair started growing back. Since then, I have had complete regrowth and no recurrence. Before seeing the dermatologist I had researched alopetia areata, so I knew that these steriod injections were the standard first line of treatment.
I happen to have been diagnosed earlier with an auto-immune thyroid condition called Hashimoto's Tyroiditis, and while my thyroid level has always been in the normal range and I have no real symptoms of the disorder (it just showed up in a blood test), the dermatologist felt sure that the hair loss was somehow related to my thyroid. So, even if your hormone tests come back fine, the dermatologist told me that you can still have hair loss that's related to very subtle hormonal changes.
A note about the steroid injections: they aren't very painful (just a brief stinging), and they're safe -- the steroid doesn't enter your bloodstream. I felt comfortable doing them even though I was breastfeeding once a day at that point; both the dermatologist and a lactation consultant assured me that injections in the scalp don't enable the medicine to enter the bloodstream.
Good luck! I know that hair loss is psychologically difficult to deal with No longer going bald
Didn't anyone tell you how normal it is to lose your hair after childbirth? Mine started falling out at around four or five months post birth and is still falling out at eight months. Handfuls of it. Apparently you're constantly growing and losing hair, but when you're pregnant the cycle gets out of whack and you stop losing it. Then a lot of hair falls out at once when you've given birth. Anon
I have had tremendous hairloss and constant dandruff since my baby was 4 months old, over 4 years ago. I have seen a couple of dermatologists, had my thyroid test, everything seems normal. When I use the prescription strength dandruff shampoos, my dandruff goes away, as soon as I try to switch to something less drastic, it comes back. The hairloss has never stopped. The docs say they don't see any bald patches so they don't really have an answer. But the sheer volume of hair I lose every time I wash/comb/brush my hair scares me. I always have hair on my back, even when I haven't combed my hair all day.
Could I be balding already? I recently turned 30.
I am looking for any recommendations for herbal remedies/alternative medicines (and where I can obtain them) that may help my condition.
Thank you, RJ
Chinese Medicine is often very good for hair loss. You don't say whether you are a man or a woman, but in either case, their are numerous syndromes in Chinese medicine where hair loss is a sign or symptom. Especially for women, it is common after pregnancy and birth, often due to Blood deficiency. Stress can also be a big factor, and the stress of having a baby is a big one. Herbal supplementation can help correct the problem over time. There is not one remedy I can tell you to go and buy. Chinese Medicine takes the whole person into consideration, and an herbal formula is prescribed of anywhere from 2- 20 herbs in a combination that is just right for you. If you don't already have/know a Licensed Acupuncturist/herbalist, I would be happy to help you. You can see more about me in the database at Acupuncture.com. Rhoda Climenhaga, L.Ac. , network mom of a 9 year old rhoda
In the last few years, aside from the period of pregnancy, I've noticed my hair getting thinner and thinner. I've always had a lot of very fine, curly hair that looks a lot thicker than it is. But when I neared 40, it seemed my hair fell out more and that it just isn't as thick and curly as it once was. Not many people can tell; but I can see more of my scalp and my ponytail is much thinner. I've been to two dermatologists who tell me I don't have female- pattern-baldness, just thinning that occurs with age. I'm still breastfeeding and am reluctant to try Rogaine. And I'm not talking about post-partum hair loss, though I had that too. Has anyone else experienced this? Any suggestions for a nutritionist, herbalist or western medicine practioner?
I would suggest seeing your primary care doctor and asking about thyroid testing (or ask to be referred to an endocrinologist). My mom had the same problem several years back when she was in her 50's, and her doctor discovered her thyroid levels were out of whack. She now takes thyroid medication, and her hair's much thicker again. Heidi
It sounds like you may want to get your thyroid checked. Thinning hair is one of the more common symptoms of an underfunctioning thyroid gland, and it is also very common after pregnancy. You also may want to check out your progesterone level -- this starts to drop around age 35-40 and low levels can also cause an increase in hair loss. It's common for many hormones to be out-of-whack after pregnancy, but they can be rebalanced once you know what is going on. Tara
With the same hair structure as you (curly but thin & dry), I have been experiencing similar thinning and increased hair loss in the recent 1-2 years. It continued after the massive post- baby hair loss. In addition, my hair went darker and almost straight after giving birth until weaning at 14 months - so now I have curly breaking ends, slow curly new growth, and straight middle sections that lie flat among the frizzies... Just commiserating, no patent solution so far, so I'm curious to hear what others recommend. Weird stuff on my head
I am 38 and my hair is thinning too, leaving noticable (to me) bald spots that follow the more typical ''widows peak'' male pattern of hair loss. My dermatologist has ruled out diet and thyroid as causes. He said that Rogaine is the only known treatment at this time, but since I am nursing and plan on at least one more pregnancy it will be years before I can try it. I'd be curious to know if others have had success with Rogaine. BTW - my dermatologist said not to waste my time on the ''for women'' version. He said it is too weak. anon
This is NOT about hair-loss after childbirth as my child is 2.5
I have been loosing my hair for several months. Never had a great mane (I have fine hair) but now I am starting to see my hairline receding very fast and too many hair around the house.
I am 44 and this might have something to do with it but I am in good health, I do not dye/perm my hair, I do not take medication.
have you experienced the same? any good remedies? effective vitamin/mineral supplements? effective treatments? doctors to recommend? direct experiences with minoxidyl (Rogaine) or other over-the-counter products and their (scary) side effects?
My sister and I had hair loss when we were even younger. We had it before we were pregnant with our first child. Around age 32. I remembered my hair was thinning and some close friends/relatives asked (worried) about my bolding spots. I talked to my physicians about it and she mentioned that it could be stress. I definitely think it was, I had a stressful job at the time and worried about my financial situation. I started going running again regularly to reduce stress (Taichi or Yoga would be better for relaxation I think, I was not into it at the time and running was free), also uses nioxin products on my hair: Bionutrient cleanser (shampoo), Scalp Therapy (conditioner), Bionutrient Treatment (hair tonic). Seems to help reduce the hair loss right away (in couple of weeks). My hair grew back probably in 6 months. I still uses Nioxin and it's been at least 5 years now. I've never experience another bad hair loss again (even when I gave birth). My sister on the other hand, did Rogaine and other hair tonic. The hair loss stopped, but her hair never grew back. From my sister's experience, I avoided using Rogaine Once you used it you can't stop. If you stop you will loss your hair again. I heard from some people that Rogaine has improved their formula for women, but I was not willing to take the risk. Hope this helps. pl
Had it not been for hair loss, my thyroid condition would never have diagnosed. I had no other obvious symptoms of any illness. Don't let anyone tell you it's caused by ''stress''. Hair loss in women is usually hormonal. Once a thyroid condition was diagnosed and I began taking medication I also started taking evening primrose oil, which I believe helped with hormonal balance and slowed the hair loss. Mary
I suggest that you have your thyroid checked. Hair loss can be a symptom of a thyroid problem. It was for me. Beverly
One thing to check is your thyroid level--especially if you're also experiencing dry skin, low overall energy-level, weight gain and/or sensitivity to cold. Your doctor can check it with a blood test. Elise
Hormone changes can contribute to thyroid malfunction. Getting blood tests (whole thyroid panel is best) and/or taking your basal body temperature for the 2nd-4th days of one's menstrual cycle (normal is 97.8-98.2F). This ''test'' is done with a non- digital thermometer in the armpit first thing in the morning for 10 minutes. Shaking down the thermometer the night before is recommended so no activity influences the reading. Thyrosol, a supplement by Metagenics, sea vegetables and animal protein can help support low function, if you prefer to avoid medication. Nori
I'm a 39 year old female and my hair is starting to thin. My hairdresser suggested rogaine and I would like to know if it really works and whether there are nasty side effects. Has any one tried a different product that worked? Thanks.
My mother is a hairdresser and buys Nioxin for herself and my father who is sixty and hasn't had hair in 30 years. After using Nioxin for a couple of years he needs to use a comb now (poor dad in a chrome dome). She takes classes on the product to know how to use it and give advice on it. Check into your beauty salon or supply and see how they can educate you on the product. It can't hurt, it is a shampoo and conditioner and other products, such as scalp therapy.
Another suggestion... it could be internal, you might also want to have an all-over exam including blood work. Maybe a nutritionist or Chinese medicine practioner can also be of some help. janice