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Hair Loss In Women

The intent of the following article is to provide information on possible treatment options for hair loss in women. Some of these products are not available in the United States, and others are not necessarily designed for women specifically. However, studies have shown that they can be effective is used appropriately.

Oral Contraceptives are helpful in reducing hair loss in females if the hair loss is a result of a hormone imbalance. These prescription medications can treat female-pattern hair loss by eliminating the excess of the male hormones in the body, known as androgens. Proscar, also known as finasteride, is another approved mens hair loss treatment that is effective when the cause is believed to be associated with androgens. Even though it is not intended for women, it may be effective in decreasing androgen since oral contraceptives containing the synthetic progestin drospirenone reported improvement in some cases. The limited studies performed on women using finasteride indicated that it is in fact harmful to male fetuses, so women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should avoid using finasteride.

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Minoxidil 2% Topical Treatment is the only FDA-approved topical treatment medication for female-pattern hair loss. The way Minodixil works is by prolonging the growth phase of the hair, allowing it to get fuller over time. Minodixil must be applied to hair twice per day, and it usually takes three to four months to begin seeing improvements. In addition to the 2% formula, there is also a Minoxidil 5% topical treatment designed specifically for males. While the 5% medication does work on females as well as males, it has been reported that the stronger Minoxidil 5% topical treatment may increase the growth of facial hair in women, so it is obviously not recommended for use in women. Both Minoxidil 2% and 5% are available over-the-counter.

Spironolactone, sometimes referred to as Aldactone, works by slowing down the production of androgens and also by blocking the action of androgens. Cyproterone Acetate with Ethinyloestradiol is a product sold under the name Diane 35 and Diane 50, and it is a combination of cyproterone and an estrogen, estrodial. It works in a similar manner as spironolactone it blocks the male hormones in the female body. Cyproterone acetate with ethinyloestradiol is a common oral contraceptive prescribed for women in Europe suffering from androgenetic alopecia. In most cases, it takes up to one full year for the drug to stop further hair loss and generate the regrowth of new, strong hair. The drug must also be used continuously for the positive effects to continue. The downside of cyproterone acetate with ethinyloestradiol is the possible side effects, which include breast tenderness, decreased libido and headaches. While the drug is not currently available in the United States, it is known to be even more effective than spironolactone.

HairMax Laser Comb is currently only approved for use in men, but some women find it to work for them too. The HairMax Laser Comb resembles a hairbrush, but it uses red light therapy to increase circulation.

The aforementioned treatment options are not for everyone. Always consult your doctor before beginning any new medications.

The culprit of normal hair loss after childbirth is falling estrogen levels, and while there is nothing to worry about in terms of permanent hair loss, there are some helpful hints you as a new mother should know and use. In most cases, women who have just given birth to a child will experience substantial hair loss in the first four months, especially around the third and fourth months after childbirth. It normally takes up to one year or so for the woman to get back her full head of hair. However, some women will lose more hair than others, and some will regain their hair back faster than others.

This problem with noticeable hair loss after giving birth is only temporary, so there is no need to be alarmed, ladies. If you are seeking ways to cover up the amount of hair being lost or if you want to improve the state of the remaining hair, it may be in your best interest to take a look at the following remedies to help you regain normal hair fullness.

Shampoos and Conditioners

First, you want to avoid conditioning shampoos and all intense or heavy conditioners. These products will weigh your hair down and make it look flat.

Second, you want to use shampoos and conditioners that are designed to increase your hairs volume. These products include special ingredients that coat your hair and make it appear fuller. It is also a good idea to use shampoos designed for people with thin hair, because they contain lighter formulas and will prevent your hair from looking flat and from feeling like it is weighed down.

Third, you should only use conditioners on the tips and ends of your hair, not on the scalp itself. Using conditioner on the scalp will only add to the weight being applied to the hair on the top of the head and will cause the hair to look flat.

New Hairstyles

One of the best ways to make thinning hair look fuller is to restyle it. Hair stylists are artists when it comes to increasing the fullness of a persons hair and bringing out the best new look for a new mother.

Another good tip is to consider trying a shorter hair style, because often shorter hair styles will make your hair look fuller. Shorter hair styles are also much easier to maintain and style, so many new mothers prefer them. The major reason and attraction to shorter hair includes the amount of time saved on a daily basis.

While temporary hair loss is common after childbirth, there are options to help increase the fullness of a womans hair until the estrogen levels return to normal and hair is restored back to it's original state. As mentioned before, most women regain their full head of hair after approximately one year, so if hair loss continues any longer than that consider seeing a dermatologist because the underlying problem resulting in your hair loss may be something serious.

There are many different types of extensions with a variety of length and volume for anyone. Some of the most popular options include Strand-by-strand, Mega Hair, Cinderella Hair, Hair Locs, Shrink Links, Mico Tabs, Poly Strips Extensions, LaserBeamer by Hair Dreams, and Micro Hair Extensions by ExtendMagic. The bonding, micro braiding, netting, clip-ins, lace extensions and fusion methods are detailed below to help you choose the right hair extension option for you.

Bonding

Bonding is a temporary weave method that is used to add volume and/or color streaks to your natural hair. The bonding process begins with tracks of hair being glued to your hairs roots. A medical grade adhesive is used to complete either a soft bond or a hard bond. Hard bonds are typically used only when soft bonds do not properly adhere to a persons head.

Micro Braiding

The micro braiding process takes several hours to complete, but the extensions can be worn for up to six months if properly maintained. This method employs small, tight braids that join the persons natural hair with the hair extensions. Another plus is that the person can wash their hair about once every two weeks. A person considering micro braiding should be aware, however, that considerable damage may occur if the extensions are not taken care of.

Netting

The netting technique involves you guessed it a net! A persons natural hair is tightly braided underneath a thin, breathable net. The net is then used to attach the weave extensions to. If properly maintained, this technique can last for months. However, it is important to make sure your natural hair under the net is completely dry after weekly washes in order to limit the possibility for mildew. It is recommended that a hooded hair dryer or heated cap be used at home.

Clip-Ins

Clip-in hair extensions are convenient and easy to use, which makes them appealing to many people considering the different types of hair extensions. This method requires sectioning the persons natural hair and then attaching the extensions to the base of the scalp via the clips sewn onto them. The only downside to clip-in extensions is the need to remove them each night before bedtime.

Lace Extensions

Typically, the first step in applying lace extensions is measuring the scalp to ensure a perfect fit. The nylon mesh cap used in lace extensions is either woven onto the scalp or attached to the hairline using a special adhesive. Single strands of hair are then pulled through the cap to give the persons head a natural look and feel, while simultaneously allowing the head to breathe.

Fusion

Despite the fusion method being more expensive and time consuming than other hair extension methods, it is considered to be the most natural in appearance. Using a special heating appliance, human hair extensions are adhered in sections to individual strands of the persons natural hair. One of the best features of the fusion technique is the fact that the hair can be washed weekly once applied, and the person can still use hair products such as gel or mousse. There are two common techniques of fusion: hot and cold.

Hopefully, the information provided above will help you determine which of the different hair extension methods currently available is right for you. Contact a local stylist for more information.

If you currently wear extensions, a wig or another type of hair piece, it is essential to keep the hair clean, no matter if it is real human hair or synthetic hair. Most people who wear wigs are strongly encouraged to wash their wig after approximately 10 to 15 wears. For extensions that are not removable, it is best to wash no more than once per week.

Washing Wigs

  • Before you wash your wig, you will need to gently remove all of the tangles from it using a wig brush. Then, fill a large bowl or a bathroom sink with cold water. Place a small amount approximately one tablespoon of shampoo and agitate the water to uniformly mix in the shampoo.
  • The next step is to place the wig into the soapy water. You want to gently swirl the wig around in the water and shampoo mixture for a few minutes. After a few minutes, let the wig soak for approximately five additional minutes. Once the wig has soaked in the soapy water, drain the sink or empty the bowl and add clean cold water and repeat the process until the water and wig are free from all shampoo. Use the wig brush again to remove any tangles from the wet wig.

After blotting the wig dry, place it on a wig stand or lay it inside-out on a flat surface. It is important not to wring out your wig in an attempt to dry it. For synthetic wigs, never allow them to dry by a heater or out in the sun.

Washing Extensions

  • The key to washing extensions is to use a sulfate-free shampoo. This will help prevent the hair from being stripped of it's moisture, making it far less prone to damage.
  • You should not wash hair extensions more than once per week. It is a better option to simply rinse the hair with warm water when necessary. Over-washing your extensions will damage them over time, so if you must wash your own hair more than once per week it is recommended to wear removable extensions this allows you to take out the extensions, wash your hair, and then re-apply the extensions.

Moisturizing and Conditioning

  • After human hair has been removed from the scalp, it is no longer supplied with natural and essential oils. To keep the wig or extension hair from turning dry and brittle, it is best to moisturize and condition it before washing.
  • Apply a generous amount of cream, moisturizer and/or conditioner to the wig or extensions and allow it to soak in for several minutes. Wash out the moisturizer/conditioner using the steps explained above.
  • If a really deep condition job is necessary, consider using a processing cap and apply heat with a blow dryer.

With regard to the washing, drying and conditioning process, the essential tips to keep in mind are as follows: do not use hot water to clean or rinse your wig or extensions, do not over-wash or over-dry the hair, and moisturize before each wash to keep the hair smooth and strong.

Hair growth occurs in three phases: the anagen, catagen and telogen phases. The anagen phase is when the hair itself is growing this phase lasts between 2 to 4 years. The catagen phase is when the hair growth stops and no pigment is being produced this phase typically lasts only ten days. The third and final phase, the telogen phase, is when the hair sheds and new hair grows in it's place.

It is estimated that roughly 85 to 90 percent of a persons hair at any one moment is in the anagen phase, meaning the remaining hairs are split between the catagen and telogen phases. This is why losing hair in the shower or hair brush, approximately 15 to 150 hairs per day, is completely normal.

One common reason for excessive hair loss, especially in women, is known as telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium is usually brought on by stress, however, a large number of other contributing factors can also cause hair to enter the resting (telogen) phase prematurely. Unhealthy hair loss occurs when the follicles remain in the telogen phase indefinitely, and the more time that passes, the less new hairs are being produced, which leads to hair thinning and eventually baldness.

Telogen effluvium can be chronic; however, most cases are acute and short-lived. The condition is often generated by psychological stress, hormone imbalances, illness (high fevers, infections and thyroid disorders), severe trauma, dieting, insufficient protein intake, iron deficiency, childbirth, menopause, surgery and/or reactions to certain types of medications. If the cause is related to psychological stress, then the progressive thinning of hair can sometimes lead to bigger problems over long periods of time after all, the more hair a person loses, the more stressful the situation, often causing it to become worse.

The tricky thing about telogen effluvium is that hair loss does not become noticeable until weeks or even months after the trigger incident has occurred. This makes finding the source and eliminating it much more difficult. The good news, however, is that the excessive hair shedding caused by telogen effluvium is usually temporary.

In most cases, no treatment is required to stop telogen effluvium. But it is important to pinpoint the underlying cause as soon as possible. When the cause is related to a stressful work/home environment, illness, trauma, medications, childbirth or poor diet, the telogen effluvium usually ceases after only 6 or 8 months. After the old hairs fall out, new hairs grow in to replace them.

As far as active telogen effluvium, there is no known treatment, but doctors can often diagnose contributing factors which will help re-grow hair in the long term. Blood tests can be done to diagnose iron deficiencies and/or thyroid abnormalities. Biopsies and scalp examinations can be done to determine the state of the hairs falling out hairs in the telogen phase feature club-shaped, white roots and, under a microscope, are easily recognizable. Medical records can also be reviewed to evaluate past problems with stress or determine any adverse reactions to certain medications.

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Posted in Memorial Post Date 04/26/2015


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