Hair loss as early as your teens? It’s absurd, you may think. Yet real life shows that there are more and more cases when people experience hair loss at a very young age. What are you to do? Where are you to go to get answers? Is hair loss prevention possible? Let’s explore these questions together to gain more understanding and confidence we can deal with it.
“My hair was falling out in what seemed like handfuls,” says 31-year-old Samantha Ames*, who began losing her hair 10 years ago. “I even started showering in the dark to avoid seeing all the hair go down the drain.”
To women, hair is often a huge part of our self-image and what makes us feel attractive. Hair loss isn’t merely scary, it’s traumatic. Even the prospect of losing it can make you, well, lose it.
“There’s a stigma attached to women who lose their hair. When I began to lose my hair, I began to lose myself,” says Ames, who founded a Web site called the Women’s Hair Loss Project to unite and support women who find themselves with the same condition.
Yet even though she does a lot to help others with hair loss, she herself does not reveal her true identity publicly. No one who follows the blog or joins the support network knows her real name.
“I’m anonymous so I can be completely honest about my own hair loss situation,” says Ames. “That’s something I would never be able to do if I lived with the fear that a family member or co-worker could Google my name and find out my innermost thoughts.”
Take a look at this detailed post which explores Hydrolyzed Collagen Benefits for Women. You will learn different types of collagens out there.
Understanding Hair Loss and Scalp Conditions
As with any issue we face, when it comes to hair loss, the more information you have, the better you can deal with the myriad feelings that arise if you start seeing more hair in your drain. Read on to learn about three common types of hair loss – and what you can do.
Hair loss reasons if you lose about 100 hairs a day
#1 Diagnosis: Normal Hair Loss
Finding some hair in your shower drain or brush is nothing to worry about. It’s considered normal and a part of the regular growth cycle.
“Hair grows for approximately three years, sits dormant for three months, then falls out,” says Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, a hair restoration surgeon in Miami and New York.
What to do: If you’re worried you’re losing too much, gently tug on about 50 strands of hair. If more than one or two come out, you may have abnormal shedding.
This post has a detailed discussion and a list of Natural Hair Care Products that could improve the health of the hair follicles and strengthen the overall hair growth. The products are based on unique extraction from seaweeds, kelp and algae.
Which Vitamin Deficiency Causes Hair Loss?
The “magic” of Vitamin D has been known for a long time.
Vitamin D stimulates hair follicles to grow. Thus being deficient in Vitamin D means not only poor hair growth, but even hair loss and other hair problems.
The easiest way to get Vitamin D is to get some daily sunshine and eat foods rich in this vitamin. But if for some reason you need to take supplements, do opt for those that are effective in the required doses for you.
Another vitamin deficiency that can cause hair loss is Biotin. It belongs in the vitamin B family and has the official number in it as B7. For those people who experience hair loss due to insufficient vitamin B7, supplements work great.
Learn more comprehensive Health Benefits of Biotin, plus a comprehensive Food list rich in this vitamin.
Some of the best supplements on the market today are sublingual vitamins. They melt under you tongue and get into the blood stream bypassing the acid environment of the stomach. These vitamins are great as part of your hair loss prevention.
Plus, you’ll get these benefits with sublingual supplements
- Better Absorption
- Faster Uptake: Sublingual vitamins start their work within moments
- Ease of Use: You don’t need any water or glass to take them
- Less Expensive than other forms of supplements
If you are a woman nearing 50, check out some of the best Daily Vitamins for Women.
An interesting fact about Vitamin D is that it’s better to take in with Calcium in lower doses (500 mg) to benefit not only your hair health, but also your bones.
“Low dose calcium supplementation (500 mg) combined with vitamin D supplementation reduced osteoporosis fracture rates, but high dose calcium supplements (1000 mg or more) combined with vitamin D supplementation did not.” [1-3]
Be alert if your hair falls out after childbirth, an illness or stressful event
#2 Diagnosis: Telogen Effluvium
Hair can be affected by any significant shock to the system, including a high fever, starting or stopping use of birth control pills, having surgery or experiencing some other stressor, either psychological or physical.
What happens: The stress causes a significant portion of hair follicles on the scalp to transfer from the growing phase to the dormant phase, called telogen. Six weeks later, those hairs start shedding en masse and can continue falling out for several weeks or even months.
During this time of regrowth, it’s important to continue treatment of any scalp conditions.
“Inflammatory scalp conditions such as psoriasis or dandruff can reduce the rate at which hair that has fallen out gets replaced,” says hair-and-scalp expert James Schwartz, who holds a doctorate in chemistry.
“It’s similar to a plant that’s growing in soil: If the soil is unhealthy, plants tend not to look so good either.”
What to do: Watch for baby-fine strands around your hairline — the first sign hair is growing back. It’s a good idea to confirm the diagnosis with a dermatologist who specializes in hair loss.
Best Vitamins for Hair Loss
Keep in mind that when you start looking into female hair loss vitamins, you need to evaluate the entire situation on your health. Do contact your MD first who could help you to devise a plan to visit a dermatologist and even trichologist, a specialist in the scalp and hair.
In this Anti-aging Hair Care discussion I compiled a list of some of the best hair growth products. Check it out.
Watch for if the part in your hair gradually grows wider
#3 Diagnosis: Female Pattern Hair Loss
“One of the earliest signs of female pattern hair loss is seeing more scalp when you part your hair,” says Epstein. “Or your ponytail feels lighter, or your hair is thinner on top and at your hairline.”
Hormonal changes cause most women a little thinning as they get older, which may make your scalp slightly more visible through your hair or at the part.
But some women are more sensitive to the changes and are genetically predisposed to significant hair loss. You might experience more extreme, noticeable thinning, and hair loss could start as early as your teenage years.
Learn of the changes during Menopause any woman should be prepared for as hormonal changes set in.
Although the trait can be passed down from either side, the maternal side is the best predictor. That means if your mother suffers from hair loss, you probably will too.
What to do during Female Pattern Hair Loss
The first step is to talk to a board-certified dermatologist. Certain topical products may slow thinning and regrow some hair. But with so many ineffective ones on the market, get advice before spending money. Your doctor may also suggest a hair transplant. Although it produces natural results, the outpatient procedure can cost thousands of dollars.
You can also take steps to minimize the appearance of hair loss with cosmetic hair loss remedies. If your scalp is light, lighten your hair color to reduce the contrast. Getting highlights, and using volumizing shampoos and “thickening” powders and sprays help make fine hair look a little thicker. A short haircut will also help you achieve more volume. Or keep hair long so you can pin it back to cover thin areas on the scalp.
Check out a personal experience for the hair quality during a personal three-month journey with Viviscal.
Wigs are another option. These days, you’ll find versions made of human hair that look natural and are comfortable to wear.
- Bischoff-Ferrari, H.A. and W. Willett Comment on the IOM Vitamin D and Calcium Recommendations. Harvard School of Public Health: The Nutrition Source, 2010.
- Zoler, M.L., High Vitamin D Intake Linked to Reduced Fractures. Family Practice News, 2010(November 16, 2010).
- Bischoff-Ferrari, H.A., Orav, E.J., Willett, W. et al., A Higher Dose of Vitamin D is Required for Hip and Non-vertebral Fracture Prevention: A Pooled Participant-based Meta-analysis of 11 Double-blind RCTs, in The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2010 Annual Meeting2010: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
* To protect her privacy, her real name is not used.