Hair loss: Is it your age, hormones, weight or environment?

Hair loss: Is it your age, hormones, weight or environment?

Finding a fistful of hair on the floor of your shower or on your pillow in the morning can create the kind of panic you feel deep in the pit of your stomach. Some 40 percent of men will have noticeable loss by the time they are 35, while 65 percent of women will experience it by the time they turn 60, according to national dermatological studies. It can happen gradually, or quickly. And when it’s the latter, the stress is so intense, it can trigger even more hair loss. Hair loss, no pun intended, is a growing issue. And it’s not just because the population is aging. Younger people are experiencing more of it Hair loss can come from an intricate interplay of hormones. When hormones are not in balance, hair loss can ensue. For example, being overweight or obese affects insulin, testosterone and estrogen levels. Also, the presence of hormone disrupters in our environment may have an effect as well. Hormone disrupters are chemicals that interfere with the hormone system of humans. They include a variety of chemicals, such as drugs, pesticides, compounds used in the plastics industry and in consumer products. Hair loss can also be the sign of an illness, such as anemia, or a thyroid issue. First line treatment for hair loss includes Rogaine (minoxidil). It is effective in about 85 percent of cases, according to studies, especially when it is started in the early stages of hair loss. Minoxidil was invented as an ingestible blood-pressure medicine, but the side effect turned out to be hair regrowth. It was then developed as a topical treatment, and became available as a generic drug in the 1990s. It works by revitalizing shrunken hair follicles, increasing their size. You do have to keep using it; hair loss resumes if you stop. Finasteride, known as Propecia or Proscar, is an antiandrogen, that is specifically designed to address male pattern baldness. It is not prescribed for women. While it has been effective for many men, medical journals also have reported that a small percentage of them have reported serious sexual side effects, including impotence and other disorders. Hair transplants and hair-replacement surgery — often performed by cosmetic surgeons – are additional options to address hair loss. For women, cosmetic enhancements, including hair-colored sprays or powders that minimize the appearance of bald patches. And, of course, wigs remain an option. While they might not be numerous, studies continue –including one that looks at Latisse, a product approved for lengthening and thickening eyelashes. Effective solutions for hair loss — whenever they come — will undoubtedly have a highly motivated market of people interested in pursuing them.

By | 2018-09-27T11:30:18+00:00 November 29th, 2012|News|0 Comments

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