Articles Tagged with: birth control

Free Infographic: A Guide to Hair Loss Prevention for Women

Visit Us on Facebook for Free Hair Health InfographicsAll too often we associate hair loss with middle-aged men only. However, males are not the only ones losing their luscious locks. An estimated 20 million American women suffer with some form of hair loss, according to reports by the American Hair Loss Association. Causes may vary, but two of the most influential factors include heredity and hormones.

In terms of heredity, some women may be genetically predisposed to developing hair loss. Others may experience hair loss as the byproduct of significant hormonal changes, which might be the cause of lifestyle choices. Regardless of the root cause, there is much to gain by understanding a few hair loss prevention basics.

Preventing Female Hair Loss (infographic)

In the infographic below, we’ve identified a few Do’s and Don’ts that will help to proactively manage hair health. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Learn More About Female Hair Loss Prevention

The Hair Transplant Institute of Miami is home of South Florida’s top hair transplant surgeons and restoration technologies. We are pleased to offer the most comprehensive and scientifically advanced hair loss evaluations, designed specifically to diagnose and treat hair loss in men and women with maximum effectiveness.

To schedule an appointment with our Institute, please call (305) 925-0222 or toll free (877) 443-9070.

 

Hereditary Hair Loss, Demystified

Hereditary Hair Loss, DemystifiedAsapSCIENCE is making a big splash on YouTube. With over 500,000 subscribers, the science-based YouTube channel promises to deliver a weekly dose of science and fun through a series of animated videos that attack and demystify some of life’s most thought provoking questions. From describing the science of aging to learning why the chicken really crossed the road, the producers at AsapSCIENCE seem committed to helping Internet users better understand life, one 2 minute video at a time.

Earlier this month, AsapSCIENCE produced an excellent video on the science behind the most common instance of hereditary hair loss. We’re excited to share this video with our readers and encourage everyone to take a look:

An Important Note: As mentioned at the conclusion of the video, the presence (or absence) of a hair loss gene on the X chromosome is just one of the contributors to hair loss. And while it is the most common, it is important to remember that researchers are continually finding new hair loss genes. The hair loss gene APCDD1, for example, was just recently identified by collaborative research conducted at Columbia, Rockefeller, and Stanford Universities.

Hair Loss: A Polygenic Trait

The myth that “hair loss is inherited from the mother’s side” is derived from hair loss research of the early 1900s. Though well intentioned and progressive at the time, researchers were limited in their ability to analyze all possible contributing factors exhibited by their subjects. In the past, researchers have taken a single gene approach to hair loss research, choosing only 1 gene to track, analyze, and compare across different groups of subjects (i). This eventually led to the belief that hair loss was caused by a single gene on the X chromosome (as described in the video above).

While it’s true that certain genes on the X chromosome may cause hereditary hair loss, we now know that there’s a much bigger picture to consider. Modern medical research has identified hair loss is a very complex condition that is actually polygenic, meaning that a number of genes can play a causal role in its development and progression. Moreover, such genes can be inherited from either parent.

Genes and Appearance: What Determines Expression?

To complicate matters further, genetics are not the only thing to impact the way in which hair loss becomes visible, or expressed. A number of other factors may contribute as well, including:

Age. As a man or women continues to age, the likelihood that a hair loss gene may begin to express itself may increase.

Hormones. The relative balance of certain hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and DHT may have a profound impact on the health of hair follicles. DHT, in particular, is known to cause hair miniaturization by impairing healthy follicular function. For women, birth control pills may cause hair loss by similarly disrupting the relative balance of estrogen to testosterone.

Stress. According to the American Hair Loss Association, there is an apparent link between stress and hair loss (ii). Stress seems to affect hair follicle biochemistry, which may cause the hair to enter into a “resting” phase prematurely. This can lead to Telogen Effluvium, specific type of stress-induced hair loss.

Seek a Professional Hair Loss Evaluation, Today

When it comes to reversing the signs of hair loss, early detection is ctritical. Patients trust the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami because we are home to South Florida’s most talented transplant surgeons and clinical team. We are proud to offer the most comprehensive approach for evaluating and treating hair loss—an approach that has produced countless success stories.

Hair Loss Evaluation & Treatment. Readers are invited to learn more by visiting our hair loss evaluation page online. For direct assistance, readers are invited to contact our clinic directly at (305) 925-0222.

Sources:

(i) “Hair Loss Genes.” Bernstein Medical. Accessed 25 March 2013.

(ii) “Effluviums.” American Hair Loss Association. Accessed 25 March 2013.

Birth Control Pills and Hair Loss

Birth Control Pills and Hair LossDoes ‘the pill’ cause hair loss? The topic of birth control and hair loss is as old as the medication itself, dating back to the 1960s when oral contraceptives were first introduced to American women. Unfortunately, women are often surprised to learn that common side effects of birth control may include hair loss. Those who consider taking birth control must also realize that contraceptives may cause a variety of additional side effects, and they do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

Learn More. To learn more about birth control and specific side effects, please consult your physician. Always seek the guidance of a licensed medical professional before making any changes to diet, exercise, or prescription medication regimens. The following article is meant to provide a basic overview on oral contraceptives, hormones, and hair loss. It is not a substitute for the expert opinion of a licensed professional.

Which Birth Control Pills Are Most Likely to Cause Hair Loss?

To understand which birth control pills are most likely to cause hair loss, it is first helpful to learn the make-up and basic function of each option. Birth control prevents pregnancy by using different combinations of hormones to suppress ovulation and/or prevent conception. Generally, an oral contraceptive can be characterized by the number of hormones it contains. Combination birth control, for example, contains both estrogen and progestin. The Minipill, by contrast, contains only progestin.

Combination Birth Control vs. Minipill: Which Is Best?

In general, hair loss caused by ‘the pill’ is most often a side effect of hormonal fluctuations. In most cases, birth control causes a relative increase in androgen levels. This may cause a corresponding increase in DHT production, which researchers believe shrinks the hair follicle and causes hair miniaturization. Once this happens, the hair becomes thinner and finer over time. Eventually, it may cease to grow altogether.

Since combination birth control pills contain both progestin and estrogen, they may help to keep androgen levels in check. For this reason, physicians may recommend combination birth control medications to women whose genetics or family history makes them predisposed to hormonally induced hair loss. The minipill, on the other hand, contains no estrogen and may cause a greater relative rise in androgen. With greater fluctuation comes increased sensitivity to hormones (like androgen), which may ultimately contribute to hair loss both during and after birth control use.      

The Androgen Index: Identifying Which Pills Are Least Likely to Cause Hair Loss

The Androgen Index is a way of describing the impact a birth control medication may have on relative androgen levels. By choosing a medication with a low Androgen Index, you may limit your chance of experiencing hair loss (i).

According to the American Hair Loss Association, the following list orders birth control from lowest Androgen Index (1) to highest (20):

  1. Desogen
  2. Ortho-Cept
  3. Ortho-Cyclen
  4. Ortho Tri-Cyclen
  5. Micronor
  6. Nor-Q D
  7. Ovcon-35
  8. Brevicon/Modicon
  9. Ortho Norvum 7/7/7
  10. Ortho Novum 10-11
  11. Tri-Norinyl
  12. Norinyl and Ortho 1/35
  13. Demulen 1/35
  14. Triphasil/Tri-Levien
  15. Nordette
  16. Lo/Ovral
  17. Ovrette
  18. Ovral
  19. Loestrin1/20
  20. Loestrin 1.5/30

High Risk Contraceptives. According to the American Hair Loss Association, the following contraceptives have significant potential for “causing or exacerbating hair loss” (ii):

  1. Progestin Implants, like Norplant.
  2. Hormone Injections, like Depo-Provera.
  3. Skin Patch, like Ortho Evra.
  4. Vaginal Ring, like NuvaRing.

Hair Loss Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment

If you are suffering with hair loss, you are not alone. Nearly 2/3rds of all males experience symptoms of balding, and an estimated 20 million American women experience symptoms of thinning by adulthood.

At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we hold our patients’ desire for a full and natural head of hair in the highest regard. We are home of South Florida’s most talented transplant surgeons, microscopists, nurses, and staff. Our team works diligently to ensure each patient feels comfortable and confident during each visit, from evaluation to procedure and post-procedure follow-up.

Early diagnosis is key to full, effective, and natural hair restoration. We invite you to learn more about hair loss evaluations at our Institute, or contact our friendly front desk at 305.925.0222.

Sources:

(i) Birth Control and Hair Loss. American Hair Loss Association. Accessed 25 February 2013.

(ii) Oral Contraceptives. American Hair Loss Association. Accessed 25 February 2013.

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