Dec 17, 2012

Thinning Hair in Women

I started to notice my hair was thinning when I was around the 40 year mark. I stressed about it for a year or so then finally decided to go to my doctor who told me that it was par for the course and an age related thing of which I should just accept. As the years passed I started to 'forget' just how thick my hair had been until I looked back at some old photographs and was shocked as to how much thinner it had become and decided to take positive action and try to regain some of the luster and thickness I once had.
There are many products out there for men but there really does appear to be a huge gap in the availability for hair growth products for us women and I decided to research and try some of the 'few' that are out there. 
There are many reasons and causes to thinning hair i.e bad diet, stress, skin disorders such as psoriasis, hormone imbalance, illness and medication to name a few.

Current treatments on the market 
Rogaine (Minoxidil) 2%
The issue with this product is the percentage. The male version contains 5% Minoxidil and this works 'reasonably' well. I say 'reasonably' as I have a family member (male) who has applied this product twice per day for over 20 years and although 'new' hair growth has not been in abundance it most certainly has slowed down and dare I say stopped the loss of any additional hair.Using 5% Minoxidil on women commonly causes an increase in hair growth in 'unwanted' places such as on the face. It can also heighten the risks of headaches therefore only the 2% is FDA approved for women. 
Oral Contraceptives
Since birth control pills decrease the production of ovarian androgens, they can be used to treat women's androgenetic alopecia. Keep in mind, however, that the same cautions must be followed whether a woman takes contraceptive pills solely to prevent contraception or to treat female pattern baldness. For example, smokers age 35 and older who take the Pill are at higher risk for blood clots and other serious conditions.
Discuss your medical and lifestyle history thoroughly with your doctor. Contraceptive pills come in various hormonal formulations, and your doctor can determine which is right for your specific needs, switching pills if necessary until you are physically and emotionally comfortable with the formulation.
Only low-androgen index birth control pills should be used to treat hair loss. High androgen index birth control pills may contribute to hair loss by triggering it or enabling it once it has been caused by something else.
Finasteride Propecia,Proscar                                                                  The drug finasteride inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha reductase in the hair follicle, thereby inhibiting the production of follicle-harming dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT shrinks hair follicles and makes it difficult for healthy hair to survive.
Finasteride was first marketed under the brand name Proscar to treat the prostate gland. It was available in 5 mg pills. In 1998, a 1 mg version with the brand name Propecia entered the market as the first pill approved by the FDA for men's hair loss.
It works quite well to prevent hair loss and trigger regrowth for most men, and it may work for some women, although women must not take it if they are pregnant. Also, women should not get pregnant while on the drug because of the risk of birth defects in a male infant.
Biotin Supplements
There has been a lot of talk about biotin in regards to hair growth so I thought I would give it a try and report my findings. I have been taking 5,000 mcg per day of Biotin for the past 60 days and I have just started to notice a positive effect. My hair feels softer to the touch and I am experiencing less breakage. However the biggest effect I have just recently noticed is my eyebrows! Having plucked my eyebrows to to 'barely' there in my teens and early twenties I am now suffering the long term effects of being over zealous. The sudden appearance of thicker and darker eyebrows has been quite a shock as I was not expecting this to happen, but I want to emphasize this has been a wonderful and joyful surprise! I, like so many others spend a good part of my makeup application 'filling in' the sparseness of my non existing brows when I unexpectedly noticed that my brows had become thicker and darker since using Biotin.
How Biotin Works
Biotin is created from yeast and bacteria. We naturally produce biotin in our bodies, which is then used for many different things, including the strength of muscles, bones and tissues. Biotin is also used in the growth of hair and new skin cells, making them healthier and more abundant. For individuals who are experiencing hair loss, extra biotin may help the hair grow in thicker, healthier and longer.
Biotin Topically or Orally
There is a lot of information that is contradictory regarding whether biotin is best taken topically or orally. The truth is that experts don’t think biotin can be absorbed through the skin. Much like collagen, which is available in thousands of topical creams, biotin is thick and if it is possible for the skin to absorb it, it is not done easily. However, when biotin is taken orally and goes into the body through the blood stream, it has better potential to work. This allows the body to use the supply of biotin to boost hair growth and prevent or alleviate hair loss.The only way to really change the health of your hair is by taking supplements that work internally on the follicle where hair is made, any shampoos or oils or other topically applied things do nothing to change hair's structure, that can only happen with systemically provided support, which means supplements that you take internally
Biotin Deficiency
The reason biotin may work to stop hair loss or encourage new hair growth is because individuals who are biotin deficient often experience hair loss as a symptom. As the individual provides the body with the biotin it needs, the body is able to function again properly. Other signs of biotin deficiency include brittle fingernails, depression, chronic fatigue and more. In cases of biotin deficiency, a supplement may work to stop the hair loss an individual is suffering from.

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