Because of your hair growth cycle, it usually takes 3-6 months after the event for you to notice the shedding, says Maria Hordinsky, M.D., chair of the department of dermatology at the University of Minnesota and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology. So if you were laid off in January or lost a lot of weight that month, your hair may not start falling out until April or May. “As soon as you notice hair changes, look at a calendar and think back to what happened within the past six months,” says Hordinsky.
The good news is that shedding is completely reversible in most cases, says Mercurio.
Use these techniques to combat shedding:
If your scalp is more visible than it used to be, it means your hair is thinning and the problem is likely female pattern hair loss (or alopecia). Unfortunately, this situation is genetic and there’s not much you can do to reverse it. But you can slow down the changes. Your best bet is minoxidil, an over-the-counter medication that can help slow hair loss and promote regrowth, says Paradi Mirmirani, M.D., a dermatologist at the Permanente Medical Group in Vallejo, California. See a derm to discuss treatment (find one near you with a specialty in hair disorders). The sooner you start medication, the better your results will be.
You can also try some easy cosmetic changes to hide thinning, suggests Mirmirani. Part your hair on the side instead of down the center, wear it back in a ponytail without a part and color your hair so it more closely matches your scalp color. This could be your excuse to finally go blonde!
While the stigma associated with female hair thinning and loss makes the subject feel taboo, it’s an extremely common complaint. “There’s a misconception that hair loss in women is rare,” explains Robert Bernstein, M.D., founder of the prestigious Bernstein Medical Center for Hair Restoration in New York City. Truth is, 30 percent of women will experience some form of thinning. But wait—there is hope. These seven solutions help with thinning tresses at any age.
Stylist (and reality TV star) Tabatha Coffey’s new line of wigs and extensions were created to add volume to thinning hair. The short, mid and long clip-in extensions are made from Keralon strands and feel exactly like real hair—you can even heat style them. They clip onto the top of your hair for a more natural look. It’s also the first-ever line of extensions to come in gray—three shades of it, as a matter of fact.
Pantene scientists have partnered with the smart cookies over at Olay to conduct studies about female hair thinning. The result? Pantene AgeDefy. This hair thickener, which contains a blend of caffeine, niacinamide and panthenol, has been shown to increase the diameter of existing hair fibers, so it’s as if 6,500 fibers have been added to the head. Bonus: After a month of use, hair becomes less brittle and more manageable.
Eat Pretty Diet
Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D., YouBeauty Nutrition Expert, says that noshing on specific foods can actually help to create luscious locks. Wild salmon, tuna and trout are packed with omega-3 fatty acids that help to provide moisture to the scalp to prevent dry and brittle hair. Kirkpatrick also recommends foods that contain B vitamins to keep hair follicles in tip-top condition, thus decreasing the risk for hair loss. Fruits and vegetables, and beans and lean meat sources, such as chicken or turkey breast, are all great sources for B vitamin.
This product is available at our sister site BeautySage, where we only sell products that are proven to work.
Dry shampoo does double-duty with this (editors’ favorite) product. Sachajuan’s powder-based aerosol spray builds volume at the roots and dries with a matte finish creating the illusion and feel of fuller locks. Thicker-looking hair is only a shake and a spray (about four inches to be precise) away. Bonus: More time between washes!
This brush—with a longtime cult-following—is designed specifically for fine and thinning hair. The massage that a Mason Pearson provides gets the blood and oxygen flowing to feed the thirsty (aka, thinning) hair follicles. Yes, it’s an investment at $160, but the long-lasting bristles have been carefully constructed with natural components that that do not tear fragile hair.
This product—with a long list of celebrity and model clientele—is a 100 percent drug-free supplement containing a mashup of protein-rich cod, English whiting and shark. Sound nasty? Marine protein is known for providing nourishment for thinning hair and promoting existing hair growth from within. The supplement also contains zinc and biotin—two must-have nutrients for healthy hair. But patience is a virtue. Since supplements affect the hair growth cycle from the start, it takes at least three months (and possibly as long as six) to see results.
Prescription drugs, like Propecia (aka: finasteride) help lower DHT levels in men, but is not yet FDA-approved for women. Some doctors do prescribe it to female patients, but it’s not recommended because of links to breast problems. In this same vein, over-the-counter Rogaine, with two percent minoxidil, can help with thinning hair if used consistently. In extreme cases, certain females are candidates for Follicular Unit Extraction Hair Plants—where the hair is removed directly from the scalp and grafted on to the thinning or balding areas.
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