Articles Tagged with: thinning hair
hairbrush for thinning

What’s the Best Hairbrush for Thinning Locks?

HairbrushMost adults brush or comb their hair as part of a regular morning routine. After all, looking poised and presentable is important for making a positive impression at work, with new friends or a potential significant other.

However, over-brushing your hair or using the wrong bristles can trigger additional hair loss. When you’re already suffering with androgenic alopecia, traction areata or telogen effluvium, the last thing you want to do is instigate more shedding.

Best Hairbrush Materials for Thinning Hair

For women with diffuse thinning, boar bristles are the most pliable and gentle brush materials on the market. Brushes made of 100 percent boar bristles are said to be the highest quality, effectively distributing oils from the scalp down through the tips of strands for a shiny look.

Porcupine brushes, which are a combination of boar bristles and engineered nylon, provide better hold without pulling on follicles and causing further damage. Store brand brushes are often made of 100 percent nylon.

If you’re prone to experiencing loss while you brush, consider using a wide tooth comb. Depending on the coarseness of your strands, a wide tooth comb may not do the trick without excessive force, so opt for a tighter-weave brush if you have tangles to tame. Or, use the wide tooth comb in the shower. Water helps soften hair, making it easier to comb through tangles without pulling on the roots.

Avoid metal combs, unless styling wigs. Metal combs are too harsh on the scalp and prohibit your follicles from healing properly.

Hairbrush Design

The design of the brush is more about personal choice and lifestyle. As long as you choose high-quality and pliable materials, the shape of the hairbrush doesn’t have as much of an impact on loss.

Vented brushes can minimize blow drying time, which helps limit the number of minutes your hair is exposed to heat. Using a blow dryer too often can cause dryness and breakage, but limiting exposure keeps the hair cuticle intact.

Additionally, cushion brushes secure bristles onto a padded surface, which gives the bristles greater flexibility. The more flexible the brush, the gentler it is when combing through your strands. For patients with hair loss, delicate and thoughtful hair care is of the utmost importance.

While selecting the right type of brush can limit further damage, combatting hair loss early with restoration therapies is key. The Hair Transplant Institute of Miami offers hair transplant surgeries, low-level laser therapy devices and stem cell hair growth treatments. To book an appointment, call our office at 305-925-0222.

Can Prescription Medications Cause Hair Loss?

Can Prescription Medications Cause Hair LossPrescription medications can be just as chemically complex as the individuals to whom they are prescribed. For this reason, it is difficult to predict exactly how a specific medication will affect the individual who is taking it. Prior to taking any prescription medication, patients are cautioned to always discuss the ingredients, dosage, and potential side effects with their physician. After having a thorough and straightforward conversation about the medication, your goals, and the possible side effects, it is important to note that prescription medications may impact hair health in the following ways: Hair thinning, hair loss, change in hair texture, and change in hair color.

Moreover, patients are urged to discuss how prescription medications may or may not have a lingering effect on their bodies. When a medication causes one of the above side effects, for example, it is not uncommon for the effects to last up to 1 year or more after regular dosage has ceased.

Types of Prescription Pills That May Cause Hair Loss

The following are the most common types of prescription medications (most commonly prescribed in pill form) that have an impact on the thickness, prevalence, texture, or color of hair (i):

Thyroid Medications. Thyroid medications may contribute to hair loss by encouraging the synthesis of DHT on the scalp. To learn more, please visit our article on hypothyroidism and hair loss.

Prescription Medications for Cancer Treatment. Cancer-fighting drugs have a simple goal: To kill fast-growing cancer cells. Unfortunately, these medications may also kill normal, healthy body cells like hair follicles. As a result, such medications may cause widespread hair loss, very quickly.

Drugs That Treat Epilepsy. Sodium valproate, a leading drug for the treatment of epilepsy, has been shown in recent studies to cause hair loss among up to 3.5% of patients.

Antidepressants. Drugs like Prozac, lithium, and other medications for mood disorders have been known to cause temporary hair loss among up to 15% of those prescribed.

Contraceptive Medicines. “The Pill”, as it’s most widely known, is a contraceptive medication and an anti-androgen. As such, it may restrict testosterone levels and prevent hair loss for women while taking the medication. It is thought that “coming off” The Pill may then make it more apparent that hair is thinning or balding, as an anti-androgen is no longer able to mask the signs.

Acne Medications. Vitamin A is known to protect hair follicles from damage and promote growth. Unfortunately, most acne medications contain a concentrated form of vitamin A called retinoid that may have the direct opposite effect. In some studies, retinoid has been shown to make hair follicles dormant, thereby causing hair to thin or shed.

Prevent Hair Loss in 3 Easy Steps

To prevent hair loss from becoming a serious issue, it is recommended that the following 3 steps be followed:

1. Monitor Your Hair for Changes

Early detection of hair loss symptoms is the key to maintaining a naturally beautiful head of hair. It’s easy task, and daily check-ups can highlight significant changes in texture, thickness, or density that can be clues that a prescription medication is causing side effects. In general:

Women: Check for a widening “part” when styling your hair. You may also want to review the top 4 signs of hair loss in women.

Men: Pay particular attention to the density and spread of the hair at the crown of the head (a spot where pattern-baldness most commonly originates).

2. If Changes Occur, Consult Your Physician Immediately

When taking a prescription medication, always consult your physician immediately after any side effects are observed. Patients are also cautioned to never stop taking a medication—or start taking a new medication—without first consulting their physician. When the physician who prescribed your medication is not a dermatologist or hair transplant surgeon, you may want to follow-up with a specialist regarding hair restoration.

3. Follow-up with a Specialist Regarding Hair Restoration

Finally, patients who experience hair loss due to a prescription medication may wish to discuss hair restoration options with a specialist. Hair transplant surgeons specialize in the treatment of thinning, shedding, or balding hair among men and women of any age. From subtle eyelash transplants to comprehensive FUE procedures that span the crown of the head, transplant surgeons are well equipped to treat nearly any form of hair loss.

Sources for this article include:

(i) Dobson, Roger. “Bad Hair Day? Blame it On Your Medicine.” URL: dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2214841/Bad-hair-day-Blame-medicine.html#ixzz290mYjVod. Accessed Oct. 9th, 2012.

Foods for Healthy Hair

Foods For Healthy HairThe nutrients in the foods we eat have a profound impact on the way we look and feel. When it comes to our scalp, there are a variety of nutrients that help to create and maintain healthy hair. These include macro nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are easy to find in the items at the local grocery store, farmer’s market, or vitamin shop. These foods for healthy hair set the stage for natural hair growth by promoting circulation, nutrient delivery, and follicular stimulation. In this article, we focus on the nutrients that fuel healthy hair growth, texture, and thickness. For specific foods, we invite you to reference our Healthy Hair Diet guide. There, you will find the top 5 all-natural foods for healthier hair.

Macro Nutrients for Healthy Hair

Protein.  Hair is mostly composed of natural proteins, so it’s of little surprise that the first macro nutrient for healthy hair is lean protein. Eating a diet rich in protein may help to keep your hair looking and feeling its absolute best. Moreover, some sources of protein offer additional nutrients for healthy hair. For example, salmon is a lean protein and contains Omega-3 fatty acids, B-12 vitamins, and iron that help to fortify hair and regulate its growth.

Gluten Free Carbohydrates.  Gluten is a protein found in most grains, oats, and barleys. An estimated 1 in 133 Americans has some sort of allergy to gluten that may adversely affect their ability to digest other nutrients. For example, Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that causes the cilia of the small intestine to become agitated and swollen when gluten is digested. This drastically inhibits the ability of the small intestine to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream.

Going “gluten free” is easy, and some of the most delicious carbohydrates will still be on the menu. Corn, cornmeal, lentils, rice, and potatoes are just a few examples of the best gluten-free carbohydrates that will keep you full without the risk of agitating your digestive system.

Vitamins that Make Hair Grow

Vitamin E.  Vitamin E is among the best nutrients for healthy hair. In some studies, this vitamin has been show to promote healthy blood circulation. Improved blood flow means enhanced nutrient delivery, especially to the scalp. In this way, vitamin E can help hair grow by promoting oxygen and nutrient delivery directly to the hair follicle.

Vitamin C.  Like vitamin E, vitamin C promotes health circulation and is one of the best nutrients for healthy hair. Moreover, vitamin C is a powerful all-natural antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage. The sun is one of the most powerful sources of free radicals, making our hair particularly prone to free radical damage. Maintaining a diet rich in vitamin C will help ward off free radicals from the sun as well as other environmental stressors, helping to maintain healthy hair long into the future.

Biotin.  Biotin is an essential vitamin for healthy hair, but not necessarily because it spurs growth. Instead, biotin helps to keep hair from becoming thin and frail. By improving the overall health of the hair, biotin helps to maintain a regular growth cycle with less risk of thinning, shedding, or loss.

Minerals for Hair

Zinc.  Zinc promotes healthy hair by helping the body to balance hormone production and other cellular activities. Zinc also helps the body absorb vitamins, making this nutrient a must for healthy hair. Researchers also believe that zinc may help to curb the production of DHT, a synthesized version of testosterone that damages hair follicles and leads to shedding, thinning, and loss of hair.

Magnesium.  Magnesium promotes healthy hair by helping to regulate a number of chemical processes in the body, including heart rate and muscle function. This mineral is critical for healthy hair growth, yet most individuals exhibit magnesium deficiency. To maintain a diet rich in magnesium, look for foods like fish (halibut), cashews, soybeans, almonds, and green vegetables like spinach.

Iron.  Low iron levels may put an individual at risk for hair loss, but getting more iron is easy. Among the best sources of iron are whole eggs, liver, dried fruits, salmon, and legumes. Iron supplements are available as well, however one should always opt for natural food sources as they contain nutrients that are more easily ingested and utilized by the body.

Learn More About Hair Loss and Treatment Options

Making changes to diet and exercise regimen may not be enough to restore hair to its natural, youthful state. A number of other factors may impact the rate at which hair becomes thinner, begins to shed, or falls out entirely. Genetics, hormones, and prescription medications may each be causal factors. Readers are invited to visit the following free informational resources to learn more:

Hair Loss

Hair loss affects millions of men and women in the United States alone. Losing one’s hair does more than impact physical appearance. It may have a profound affect on professional, social, and personal relationships. Visit this section of our website to learn more about the cause, progression, and treatment of hair loss.

Hair Restoration

Never before have hair restoration technologies and procedures been more advanced and effective. From low level laser treatment (LLLT) to advanced follicular unit transplantation (FUT), a variety of options exist for effectively restoring the natural appearance of hair. Visit this section of Miamihair.com to learn more.

Hair Loss Evaluation

Are you a candidate for a hair loss procedure? Our clinic is home to the finest technicians, registered nurses, and hair transplant surgeons in Florida. Request an appointment online, or call our clinic directly at 1-877-443-9070.

Causes of Hair Loss in Women

Causes of Hair Loss in WomenThe causes of hair loss in women may differ from those in men due to a number of factors, most significant of which is biology.  One of the biggest biological differences between men and women are hormones.  Hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and thyroid, to name only a few, largely dictate the outward appearance of both males and females.  This includes height, weight, and of course, hair.  Other causes of hair loss in women include genetics, nutrient deficiencies, and general health of the skin (in particular, the scalp).  This article has been created to help women identify the 6 most common causes of hair loss including thinning, shedding, and balding.

Top 6 Causes of Hair Loss in Women

1. Unhealthy Scalp

It comes as no surprise that certain scalp conditions may be causal factors for hair loss.  The scalp is the foundation from which healthy hair grows, and growth may be inhibited when the foundation is compromised.  Specifically, the following skin conditions may lead to hair loss in women:

  • Seborrheic dermatitis:  This condition makes may agitate the skin of the scalp, face, and torso.  When affecting the scalp, most individuals know this condition by the name dandruff.
  • Psoriasis: An autoimmune disease, psoriasis appears in the form of scaly red and white patches on the upper most layer of skin.
  • Dermatophytosis: Known by the common name ringworm, dermatophytosis is caused by a fungal infection and appears as a light red circular mark on the skin.

2. Thyroid Disorder

Thyroid disorders are relatively common among American adults, affecting a reported 5 percent of the population.  Thyroid disorders come in one of two varieties:  Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.  Both hypo- and hyperthyroidism may contribute to hair loss in women.  In the case of the former, the body under-produces the thyroid hormone and individuals may notice weight gain, persistent feelings of fatigue, and a general inability to concentrate.  Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is marked by an over-production of thyroid hormone that may cause other side effects like rapid weight loss, muscle atrophy, and irritability.

3. Telogen Effluvium

Another common cause of hair loss in women is telogen effluvium.  This disorder is characterized by unnatural thinning or shedding of the hair and is most commonly triggered by periods of immense or abrupt body stress.  Women who are pregnant, experiencing extreme weight loss, or feeling persistent mental/emotional stress may develop this scalp condition in which hair spends an abnormally short amount of time in the growing portion of the hair growth cycle.  This causes hair to enter the telogen phase (shedding phase) more quickly than is normal, increasing the rate at which hair is expelled from the scalp.

4. Androgenetic alopecia

The American Academy of Dermatology has named androgenetic alopecia as the most common cause of hair loss among both men and women.  Androgenetic alopecia is hereditary; the “gene for hair loss” may be passed down from parent to child.  Contrary to popular hair loss myths, androgenetic alopecia may be inherited from either the mother’s or father’s side of the family.

5. Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata affects an estimated 4-5 million Americans, making this condition a very common reason for hair loss among women.  Though the precise cause of alopecia areata is not known, women who suffer with unhealthy amounts of stress or general illness are most susceptible to developing the condition.

6. Anemia

Anemia is caused be an iron deficiency in the blood.  This is marked by a low level of red blood cells and may be the result of a diet that is significantly lacking in iron rich foods like egg yolks, dark green vegetables, lentils, and artichokes, among others.  Anemia is also characterized by extreme fatigue and pale skin, as a low blood cell count renders the blood unable to transport adequate amounts of oxygen.

Learn More About Preventing Hair Loss

Early detection is the best means of identifying, treating, and overcoming hair loss.  To learn more, please visit our quick-reference guide titled Women and Hair Loss: Top 4 Signs.  If you are experiencing thinning, balding, or shedding hair, you are not alone.  A reported 20 million women suffer with hair loss in America alone, and there is a wealth of treatment options available.

Our clinic proudly represents the top team Florida hair transplant surgeons, lead by Dr. Bernard Nusbaum and .  To learn more, please schedule a hair loss consultation with the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami or call toll free 1-877-443-9070.

Women and Hair Loss: Top 4 Signs

Women and Hair Loss: Top 4 SignsHair loss in women is more common than many may think, amounting to nearly 20 million females in America alone.  Most women do not notice signs of thinning or balding in their hair until the age of 50 or 60, long after it has already begun.  It may take women much longer to notice the signs of hair loss compared to men because they tend to wear their hair longer, effectively hiding telltale symptoms of hair loss for many years.  Women also lose hair across the entire top of the head, in contrast to men who typically lose hair in concentrated areas like the crown or temple.  This wider, more dispersed pattern of hair loss adds to the difficulty of early detection.

Yet it is early detection, evaluation, and treatment that are the 3 keys to effectively treating hair loss in women.  Early detection is perhaps most important, as hair loss is most effectively treated during the early stages of development.  For this reason, it is important that women learn to recognize the signs of hair loss while also performing regular self-examinations to ensure symptoms are caught as soon as they become visible.

Top 4 Signs of Female Hair Loss

Female hair loss manifests itself in a variety of ways; learning to recognize the signs of thinning or balding is the best way to diagnose and treat the condition early, which ultimate creates better results.  The most common signs to look for include the following:

  1. Thinning hair:  Unlike men, hair loss in women tends to develop in a general or widespread area throughout the top of the head.  Women must pay particular attention to this region, checking regularly for noticeable changes in thickness.
  2. A wider “part”:  If you regularly part your hair, take note of the thickness/width of the part.  Parts will appear to become wider as hair loss progresses.
  3. Hair accumulation on pillows, combs, and in the shower:  It is normal for hair to accumulate on our personal items and throughout our living spaces.  However, hair accumulation in these areas will become more pronounced as hair loss progresses.  Here’s a tip:  Look for increases in hair accumulation on the pillow of your bed and the comb you use most.  Effectively monitoring hair accumulation in the shower may be more difficult; some hair is inevitably washed down the drain, and it may be challenging to separate your hair from someone else’s.
  4. A more visible scalp:  Take notice of how much of the scalp is visible when your hair is pulled back.  As hair loss progresses, the underlying scalp will become increasingly visible.

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