Women thinning & balding prematurely can thicken & regrow thinning hair using over-the-counter products from Keranique, Oscar Blandi, & Peter Thomas Roth.
With the disturbing image of Naomi Campbell’s thinned hairline making its way around the web once again this year, and August being National Hair Loss Awareness Month, it only made sense to take a deeper look into the subject of thinning hair. We looked to world-renowned dermatologist and hair restoration surgeon Dr. Umar to answer questions about this topic we all want the answers to.
Q: Why does hair thin?
A: Miniaturization Is one of the most common causes of hair thinning. In women who experience female pattern baldness, there is likely to be other variables that contribute to the condition besides genetics. Usually this includes hormonal imbalances and environmental factors which exacerbate the interaction of their sensitive hair follicles with DHT, stress, pregnancy, certain medications, crash dieting, anemia, iron deficiency, use of chemical dyes, and relaxers have all been implicated in female hair loss.
Women will typically experience hair thinning on the top part of their scalp which may or may not spread to other regions. In women because the hair line is often spared, mild to moderate thinning is easily camouflaged by use of extensions, hair products etc. Hair thinning in women should be evaluated by a dermatologist with the objective of excluding treatable secondary causes such as thyroid disease, nutritional causes, medication etc.
A blood test is often part of the evaluation process. In women of African descent, the most common cause of hair loss is traction alopecia which results from hair grooming practices that exert a sustained pulling force on the hair roots. Examples of such grooming practices include, hair weaves, braiding, pony tails etc.
Q: What, if anything can a woman do to regain some of her lost hair at home or medically?
A: In women who experience female pattern baldness, there is likely to be other variables that contribute to the condition besides genetics. Usually this includes hormonal imbalances and environmental factors which exacerbate the interaction of their sensitive hair follicles with DHT pattern hair loss (called androgenic alopecia) occurs in 38 percent of women. The truth is, there really is no “ultimate” option-only the best option for the individual.
Hair transplant is the best surgical option available, while Rogaine is the best over-the-counter treatment, Finasteride (marketed as Propecia TM) is contraindicated in women and is not to be used . If secondary factors are implicated, then those factors should be treated. If traction alopecia is implicated, treatment would include cessation of the culprit grooming practice, and a visitation to a dermatologist who may consider medications.
In all, good nutrition and a healthy life style as well as good stress management and coping practices would contribute to a healthy head of hair and is the best prescription available. There are also some natural remedies that may help to slightly reduce hair loss over the years, like vitamins and adequate sleep.
We discovered three over-the-counter products to help thicken and regrow thinning hair:
Keranique Regrowth Treatment ($30, dermstore.com) is formulated with FDA-approved 2% Minoxidil to help strengthen hair strands to prevent premature breakage while it boosts hair growth and stop hair loss. Use regularly 2 times a day directly on the hair loss area for at least 4 months to begin seeing any hair growth and continued use is necessary so hair loss won’t begin again. Please note that using more than the recommended dosage will not speed up hair regrowth. Read the enclosed 2% Minoxidil leaflet before use.
To thicken hair strands try Oscar Blandi’s Hair Lift Instant Thickening & Strengthening Serum ($30, macys.com) which thickens and strengthens hair by up to 47% and improves body & elasticity via a moisturizing system that infuses sodium hyaluronate derivatives into each strand. Rice Starch Powder absorbs excess oils in the hair to naturally plump the hair shaft. Brown & Red Algae Marine Derived Synergistic Complex (Marine Glycogen) coats hair in a sheer film which revitalizes limp, lifeless hair. Heat Activated Copolymers protects hair from the drying and damaging effects of heat styling. This is an easy-to-use product that you apply after your conditioner and before your styling products and acts as a strong base.
Peter Thomas Roth Hair To Die For Treatment ($58, peterthomasroth.com) is a product that was “developed for thinning, lifeless, damaged hair due to age, over processing, hormonal changes, stress etc.” Hair To Die works to retain and maintain the health and natural thickness of your hair. The Tri-Phase Complex™ ingredients targets all three stages of the hair growth cycle which I talk about in Post Shaving & Waxing Body Hair Growth Inhibitors. This skin care-inspired formula goes to the root to treat and promote the appearance of stronger, denser, thicker, fuller and more luscious looking hair. Safe for color and chemically treated hair.
Q: Why is hair thinning so pervasive in women in their 50’s?
A: Androgenetic Alopecia is a genetic condition which affects about 85% women who complain of hair loss in their 50s. Before menopause the hair destructive effect of DHT is ameliorated by feminizing hormones such as estrogen. In menopause (often the case at the age of 50), there is a significant reduction of these feminizing hormones. Thus the effect of DHT is largely unopposed. The result is a precipitous onset of hair loss or the aggravation of hair loss that was hitherto mild. Also at the age of 50, thyroid problems are more common. Thyroid disease is a cause of hair loss and should be excluded in this demographic.
Q: What should women not do to exacerbate the problem of thinning hair.
A: Avoid hair grooming practices that exert a pulling force on the hair root, avoid hair damaging chemical products such as relaxers, avoid crash dieting, avoid a stressful lifestyle amongst other.
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