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Archive for the ‘women and hair loss’ Category

Women and Hair Loss: Treatment Options, Words from Hair Foundation’s Doctors, Partners

Here at the Hair Foundation, we’re constantly talking about women and hair loss whether it’s different and new treatments, products to try or words of wisdom from our esteemed doctors. We’re always on the lookout for news articles on the subject and we recently saw this one with a quote from one of doctors on our Scientific Advisory Council, Dr. Neil Sadick.

In this recent Huffington Post article, “What Women Can Do To Treat Hair Loss, ” Dr. Sadick, a dermatologist, spoke in the section, The Future Looks Very Bright.

From hair loss treatments on the horizon, this included platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which will stimulate hair growth. Numerous studies are being conducted to review the ideal methods to tackle this new technology and from this treatment, platelets, when split from a person’s blood, will discharge growth factors. These are then injected into a person’s scalp to “stimulate the hair shafts.”

Sadick said of the studies’ results, “So far we’re seeing decreased hair loss after one or two treatments, and some degree of new growth after three to five.”

Along with this exciting finding, the article also mentions a number of other treatments that included some of our partners’ products, such as Proctor and Gamble’s Pantene. Used as styling aid, the AgeDefy Advanced Thickening Treatment ($20) is a sprayed on hair and then it thickens hair fibers. According to a 2011 study cited by the British Journal of Dermatology, it found the product expanded individual hairs’ diameter by approximately 10 percent.

A shout out was also given to Merck’s prescription finasteride (Propecia and Proscar), an antiandrogen medication. This is used by postmenopausal women and approximately 50 percent of them battling female pattern hair loss have probably undergone regrowth from using it.

Want to learn more about treatment options for women’s hair loss? Please check out our website including our informative videos.

The Hair Foundation’s Dr. Draelos Answers Some Commonly-Asked Hair Loss Questions

Recently, we spoke with the Hair Foundation’s Board of Trustee Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos and asked her the following questions about hair loss.

Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos

What actions do you see by people when they try to treat hair loss?

People will respond to hair loss by utilizing chemical procedures to make their hair appear fuller. Rather than doing so, it instead damages hair cuticles. These processes weaken hair and can contribute to additional hair loss.

What are some of the bad hair loss recommendations/myths commonly found on the Internet?

A lot of times I see the recommendation to massage your scalp to increase blood flow and look for hair growth.

But this doesn’t work. To get to the blood flow, it’s deep in the scalp and you can’t get there. Rather, rubbing hair over your head damages it from the friction.

We don’t want to dissuade innovators from taking products to market; we want improvement, competition, and innovation, but should we be early adaptors?

It is always best to speak with your dermatologist or surgeon first and allow them to evaluate new products given their scientific knowledge.

We all know hair loss myths such as my grandfather had hair loss, so does that mean I will also have it? If I wear too many hats, too many ponytails, undergo too much blowdrying, perms or color, will this also cause hair loss?

We don’t know how hair loss is inherited but I can say blow drying your hair can cause damage as it essentially “cooks” hair and harms protein. If you do utilize a hand blow dryer, but sure to use it 12 inches away from your hair.

For ponytail wearers, don’t wear your clasps too tightly.

Does stress, diet, taking super-charged vitamins, too much exercise, dietary restrictions, alcohol/smoking also affect/stimulate hair loss?

A body needs to be healthy before it can grow hair; if this isn’t the case, you will undergo changes.

Weight loss can cause hair shedding if one’s body weight is too high. It is recommended to get into a normal range, which ultimately results in healthy hair later.

How far into the process of treating/or trying to treat my hair loss can I go before I can cause irreversible damage?

Hair follicles undergo minituirization; you can’t see the open, exit scalp. It is best to seek help sooner than later.

What are the mistakes that women make when treating hair loss? Why?

It is very common for women to tease their hair and make it stand away from their scalps. This affects their cutlices and once the hair is removed from it, the hair shaft will become fragile and frizzy; a thin look will ensue.

Teasing one’s hair also makes it less shiny.

I would advise using hair care products that add body.

When I go to a visit a doctor, what is he/she really going to tell me about treating hair loss? One of the reasons you  volunteer your time to foundations is to help skin and hair issues and to prevent people from harming their health (skin, nails, hair).

The top dermatologists/surgeons have banded together because they’ve seen countless patients come to their office with burns or  misdiagnosed problems (from the Internet or otherwise) that can’t always be repaired. Not all over-the-counter treatments are appropriate and it is advisable to gain professional advice before undergoing self-treatment.






New Hair Foundation Videos Are Here!

For the second straight year, the Hair Foundation’s esteemed team of doctors have put together free, short videos on numerous hair loss concerns for men, women and children. These videos will answer many of your commonly-asked questions such as women and hair loss, new treatments for hair loss and chemotherapy and hair loss.

If you see a topic that hasn’t been covered, please feel free to contact us at and one of our doctors will try to address your concerns.

Here’s the new 2013 videos.

Understanding Hair Loss in Children




The Best Hair Removal Techniques




Tips for Managing Chemotherapy Hair Loss




Hair Loss Treatments for Women






Hair Loss Treatments for Men




Healthy Hair Care and Styling Tips




Tips for Coverage and Camouflage of Thinning Hair




Hair Care Tips for Aging and Thinning Hair




Exciting Advancements In Hair Care and Hair Loss




Hair Loss Disease and Treatments




To view additional Hair Loss Foundation videos, please visit our library.

ABC News: Hair Foundation’s Dr. Valerie Callender Discusses Women and Hair Loss

In a recent ABC News story, “After Hair Loss at 11, Shame Ruins Woman’s Singing Career,” the Hair Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) member, Dr. Valerie Callender, offers some background on hair loss and treatment experiences from her dermatology practice.

The story begins with a young woman who has suffered from hair loss since age 11. It came from a heredity condition and it was quite traumatizing for her.

According to the American Hair Loss Association, hair loss has been called a ”devastating disease of the spirit.”

For Dr. Callender, she has experience with patients suffering from hair loss. She said, “As a dermatologist, the longest office visit I have is when I have a hair loss patient in the room. We think of it as our crown and glory. In Western civilization being attractive is having healthy, thick, long hair and when you start losing it, it’s devastating.”

Hair loss can be caused by a number of factors including aging, heredity, or allergies. Recently actress January Jones from AMC’s “Mad Men” spoke out about her thinning hair on top after utilizing hair dye.

Callender said, “As a clinical dermatologist, the first thing I think about with allergies and hair loss is the chemicals in hair grooming procedures or treatments. The number one reason for an allergic reaction to a chemical is hair dyes.”

Additional reasons for hair loss can come from scalp dermatitis, allergies to fragrances found in skin care products, soaps and lotions, and mold and yeasts on the scalp.

But the most common hair loss is called androgenetic alopecia. This comes from aging.

Callender explained, “Basically, what men have is pretty easy. In contrast, women are more complicated. We can have so many different causes of hair loss. A work-up in women is really, really important. You need to see a dermatologist to determine the cause.”

For the ABC News story, Callender said the woman’s hereditary hair loss is “rare, but not uncommon.” Women will suffer from thinning hair after menopause due to losing estrogen and progesterone while male hormones (“androgens”) are “unmasked.”

She explained of men, “They lose it not only on their scalp, but on their body and we get hair on our face and chin where we don’t like it.”

Hair loss treatments include over-the-counter hair products such as Rogaine but it must be done on a continuous basis or hair will again fall out.

Other options include low-light treatment using a laser comb, hair transplants, hair pieces and hair systems.

If you have any questions about hair loss treatments, feel free to contact us at

Berg Pharma Announces Chemo-Induced Alopecia Clinical Trial

Berg Pharma, a Boston-based pharmaceutical company focused on discovery and development of new treatments in cancer and metabolic diseases, has announced the start of its new clinical trial, “Phase I Dose-Escalation Study to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability and Pharmacokinetics of a Topical Compound 31543 in Adult Patients Receiving Chemotherapy for the Treatment of Breast Cancer.”

The trial will be conducted at New York City’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Here’s more details about the news.


InStyle’s Guide’s to Thinning Hair

In the June issue of InStyle, it devotes a page to thinning hair for women of different ages. Throughout the article, there’s references to Hair Foundation’s partner products and council members.

Take a look.

For women in their 20s, birth control pills and crash diets can cause thinning hair. A daily supplement with fish oil can help if hair problems comes from dietary issues. A leave-in conditioner with caffeine is also a good option.

One product to try is Nioxin Diamax thickening treatment. This is made by the Hair Foundation’s partner Procter and Gamble.

For women in their 40s, Dr. Jerry Shapiro, a member of Hair Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council said, “As you age, hair follicles start shrinking, generating strands that are thinner.” In addition, hair is starting to get grey, dull and fragile. It should be nourished with a scalp treatment that includes arginine, a major ingredient in hair-strengthening ingredient kertain. For extra hydration, use a weekly deep-conditioning mask.

For 50+ women, menopause will cause estrogen levels to drop, which could cause hair shedding. Speak with your doctor about Minoxidil, a FDA-approved drug for regrowth. This can be found in Rogaine, a Johnson&Johnson product.

To fluff out your hair, another suggested product is Toppix, a Spencer Forrest product and Hair Foundation partner. Sprinkle the keratin protein powder on your hair and see fuller results.

And regardless of age, if you’re looking for an at-home laser treatment for listless hair, try the HairMax laser comb. One of the Hair Foundation’s partners, the company received FDA approval in 2007 for the over-the-c0unter genetic hair loss treatment. And last year, Hair Max received approval for its HairMax LaserComb® Lux 9. It treats androgenetic alopecia (female pattern hair loss) and the promotion of hair growth.

The laser comb is simple to use. By discharging a low-level laser to raise blood flow and circulation to the scalp, it will energize hair follicles for growth. Using it three times a week for 15 minutes, you could begin seeing results in 12 weeks, according InStyle.

For additional questions about hair loss, check out our online videos.

Anti-Aging Tips for Hair

In the recent article, Anti-aging beauty tips can help you prove that age is just a number, it cites thinning hair as one of the most upsetting signs of aging, right behind wrinkles. Noting a recent study by Nioxin, a salon treatment for thinning hair, it found that women are especially concerned about seeing their hair lose density.

Dr. Valerie Callender, a member of the Hair Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council (SAC), contributed to the article by offering the following hair anti-aging tips.

She notes the following:

For thicker, fuller looking hair

Full, healthy hair is the ultimate sign of youth and 87 percent of women ages 18-55 feel a strong enough connection to their hair to consider it a part of their personality. But as chance might have it, as many as three out of four people in the United States experience hair thinning.

“Thinning hair can be a result of poor scalp health,” says Callender. “It’s important to clean and refresh the scalp.”

Eat right

A healthy diet affects not only weight, but can help maintain healthy, lustrous hair and glowing skin as well. “The right diet nourishes the entire body from the scalp down,” says Callender. A diet rich in protein and iron is essential for a healthy scalp, and foods full of antioxidants promote glowing skin. For this purpose, enjoy salmon and beans for healthy, lustrous hair, and blackberries, strawberries and plums for radiant skin.

Are you interesting in learning additional anti-aging tips for your hair? Please visit the Hair Foundation’s blog, which includes tips by Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos, a member of the Hair Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Hair Loss from Low Carbohydrate Diets

It’s a tough time of year to think about our diets and working out with so many holiday distractions. With New Year’s quickly approaching, many of us are already thinking about resolutions. I know I have but I haven’t written them down yet.

One of the most popular ones is to lose weight and a lot of people choose to do that by dieting.

In a recent Telegraph article, the question was posed by a reader whether there’s a link between diet and hair loss. After a few months on a low-carb, high-protein diet (think Atkins diet), the woman noticed thinner hair. She asked if there was anything else she could do to help with the hair loss through either diet or treatments.

The question was answered by three different experts: a general practioner, a nutritional therapist and a registered dietician.

Here’s their responses.

GP (Rupal Shah)

It sounds as though you have telogen effluvium, a common type of hair loss that can occur as a result of sudden weight loss. The good news is that it is reversible, usually within a few months. In the meantime, try to eat a balanced diet and avoid stress. Low iron levels can be linked with hair loss, so it may be worth checking that you are not anaemic.

Consider seeing your GP for extra tests if the situation isn’t improving.


About 10 per cent of people on carb exclusion diets experience hair loss, possibly due to a lack of nutrients like B vitamins and silica. Some believe that the ‘stress’ of ketosis (the mechanism by which fat is burned) causes hair loss. When removing a major food group it is essential to replace nutrients found easily in grains and fruit and not just eat steak and cream!

Take some dietary advice so you get it right.


Hair loss can be caused by a number of things including stress and anxiety, but the most likely dietary cause is a lack of iron.

Your high-protien diet means you should have been eating plenty of red meat and eggs, but I wonder if you’ve been getting enough Vitamin C which helps the body absorb iron. Try to eat tomatoes, oranges or other fruits rich in vitamin C. It’s also worth noting that high protien diets don’t suit everyone and this could be a side effect.

If you have noticed thinning hair from a new diet, you should consult your doctor.

Please feel free to review our online videos about hair loss to learn more.




Pregnancy and Hair Loss

In a recent People magazine article, actress Selma Blair talked about the physical changes she faced after child birth. One of these is hair loss.

Blair said,

This is so not glamorous, but it’s true: I need to take longer showers so that I can collect the hair that falls out and throw it away so I don’t clog the drain. Why do actresses never talk about that?”

She added that three months after giving birth, her hair started falling out. Blair didn’t want to combat the problem with hair extensions and made the decision to let nature take its course.

The actress isn’t alone in her post-pregnancy hair loss problems. According to an ABC story, women may see their hair becoming thicker during pregnancy but afterwards, hormonal changes will affect this as hair decides “to go into old age at the same time and decide to come out.”

This hair loss is called telogen effluvium. It is defined as “the excessive shedding of hair that occurs one to five months following pregnancy,” as defined by The American Pregnancy Association. It is commonly seen three months after pregnancy and it can take up to six to 12 months for hair to return to normal.

This temporary hair loss has affected between 40 to 50 percent of women.

In addition, the hair loss isn’t most likely to be noticed by others; however, if you are seeing bald spots, you should talk with your doctor. The majority of new moms do see the hair loss cease.

Ways to combat the hair loss is go with a shorter hair cut (now you know where the name Mom Hair comes from) during this time. Others have cut their hair and donated it to Locks of Love for wigs.

Other recommendations for your hair during pregnancy and after delivery includes the following from the American Pregnancy Association’s website.

  • Consult with your health care provider to ensure a proper balance of hormones
  • Avoid pigtails, cornrows, hair weaves, braids and tight hair rollers which can pull and stress your hair
  • Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables, which contain flavonoids and antioxidants that may provide protection for the hair follicles and encourage hair growth
  • Use shampoos and conditioners that contain biotin and silica
  • Hair is fragile when it is wet, so be gentle; avoid fine tooth combs
  • If you need to use blow dryers and other heated hair instruments, try to use the cool setting
  • Supplement your diet with the following nutrients including Vitamin B complex, Biotin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Zinc


Survey Shows Non-Scalp Restoration Surgery Growing in Popularity

For many people facing thinning scalp hair, a number of remedies including reputable medical therapies and hair restoration procedures can help restore hair loss and slow down future ones. However some people, including those with thinning eyebrows, aren’t sure where to turn for help.

In a recent International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) press release, it tells of a new remedy for thinning eyebrows. The treatment came to light after Denise Goolsby, 37, of Virginia Beach, Va. started noticing her eyebrows were beginning to thin while in her 20s.

Goolsby explained,

“I always had fine eyebrows, so when I noticed them getting thinner I tried tattooing as a first step — but it only made the problem worse. It got to the point where I actually had no eyebrows left, and it became too much to deal with to pencil them in with cosmetics every day.”

So what did Goolsby do to remedy the situation?

She contacted Dr. Edwin Epstein, a Virginia Beach hair restoration surgeon and former ISHRS president, who has conducted hair restoration surgery on other areas of the body than the scalp, including eyebrows. For Goolsby’s case through outpatient surgery, tiny single hair follicular units from a donor area at the back of her head had been transplanted to the eyebrow area.

Epstein explained that donor hair is selected based on whether or not it has the appropriate texture and orientation to lay as eyebrow hair after transplantation. He noted that this type of non-scalp hair restoration can be a good option for many patients with hair loss, but prospective patients should always contact a hair restoration physician and discuss this alternative before taking any action.

The transplanted hair will slowly grow for several months and for Goolsby, her eyebrows were fully grown within six months. Because transplanted hair continually grows over time, her eyebrows will need to be regularly trimmed.

In response to the procedure, Goolsby said, ”My new eyebrows look great, and it’s so refreshing not to feel self-conscious about them after years of trying to cover up the noticeable hair loss,” said Goolsby.

Recent statistics

This summer, the ISHRS released a recent member survey and disclosed that 92.8 percent of hair transplant procedures performed in 2010 targeted the scalp area while 7.2 percent of procedures targeted non-scalp areas of the body. This included eyebrows (4.4 percent), face/moustache/beard (1.5 percent) and eyelashes (0.6 percent).

In the period covering 2008 to 2010, hair restoration procedures conducted on eyelashes, eyebrows and faces rose 14.2 percent while the highest hair restoration procedures for the scalp, facial (moustache/beard) and chest hair restorations had taken place within the United States.

Meanwhile, Asia performed the greatest number of eyelash, eyebrow and pubic area hair restorations.

To learn more about hair restoration procedures, please visit the Hair Foundation’s website at