In honor of National Hair Loss Awareness Month, we’ve gathered the important information you need to know about thinning hair and hair loss.
The American Academy of Dermatology has designated August as National Hair Loss Awareness Month so that those experiencing thinning hair and hair loss can readily access information and advice related to this issue. At Toppik, we feel it is our role to always keep you up to date on hair-related information, but we want to address a couple of important issues in honor of this month’s cause.
Whether you’re young or old, male or female, have thinning hair or thick hair; there are important facts about hair loss that everyone should know. Knowing these facts will ensure that you’re prepared to deal with this problem head on.
You might be someone who is looking for hair regrowth products for men, or a woman who has sudden hair loss, but whatever the reason, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to let you know that you’re not alone, (very far from it actually!) and that there are numerous treatment options available to you.
Many don’t realize that hair loss is not a purely physical issue either; the emotional toll hair loss can take also has a huge effect on both men and women. With online communities and resources for support, we’ll show you the hope and courage that others can inspire.
Men’s Hair Loss
According to the American Hair Loss Association, about 85% of men will have significant hair thinning by the time they turn 50, and some men will even begin to lose hair as early as 21.
Don’t stress! Hair regrowth for men is possible, and although this number may seem high, knowing the different types of hair loss you can experience, and the causes behind them, can significantly help when dealing with any hair loss issues.
Types of Hair Loss
Involutional alopecia is the gradual thinning of the hair that occurs with age. It is a natural condition that happens as more and more hair follicles go into the telogen, or “resting” phase. In this phase, hair continues to get shorter with fewer hairs growing, and it becomes harder to regrow hair.
Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness, is a hereditary condition characterized by a receding hairline and gradual disappearance of the hair from the top of the scalp. This condition is responsible for the majority of hair loss in males. It can affect both men and women, but men may experience this type of hair loss as early as in their teens or early 20’s.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune skin disease that results in hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. It occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, which is where hair growth begins. It is not permanent, but experts do not know the cause of the attack on the hair follicles.
Hair Loss Causes
There are many ways in which hair loss can occur, but if you’re able to pinpoint the exact cause, it can be the first step to treating the issue.
Hair loss in men can occur for several reasons, with medical conditions, diet, stress, hormones, and genes being the most common factors. If you’ve recently started losing hair, think about the occurrences in your life lately. Have you changed your diet or gone through a traumatic experience recently? It may also be time to see a healthcare professional to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions you need to be aware of.
If none of the above is the case, the cause may lie in your genes. Over 95% of male hair loss is due to male pattern baldness, which is genetic. Unfortunately this type of hair loss is impossible to prevent, but there are men’s hair growth treatments, that when used early enough in the hair loss process, can help counteract the genetic trait.
Now that we’ve covered men’s hair loss, it’s time to talk about the causes and reasons behind women’s hair loss…
Women’s Hair Loss
Although many think hair loss is a strictly male disease, women actually make up 40% of hair loss sufferers.
Whether it’s sudden hair loss in women or gradual, most women suffer in silence, too upset or embarrassed to admit what they’re going through or to seek help. That’s why it’s important for women to realize that they’re not alone, and to understand the why and how of hair loss and thinning hair in women.
Types of Hair Loss
Androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern baldness, is the most common form of hair loss in women. Genes play a large role in this disease, and it can be passed on from either the mother or the father, and can start as early as the late teens. Unlike males, who will lose hair in the crown of their hair or on the top of the scalp, female pattern baldness is characterized by widespread thinning on the scalp. The first sign of hair loss is often widening of the part or the ponytail becoming smaller.
When hair follicles in the anagen (growing) phase or catagen (resting) phase abnormally transition to the shedding (telogen) phase, it is known as telogen effluvium, and can cause sudden hair loss in women. It is usually brought on by a stressful event, and can incite handfuls of hair to fall out at a time. The good news is that recovery is almost always possible with this type of hair loss.
This condition is caused by tight hairstyles that pull at hair over time and cause damage to the hair follicles. If the condition is detected early enough, the hair will grow back successfully. Braiding, cornrows, tight ponytails, extensions and weaves are the most common hairstyles that can contribute to traction alopecia.
Women also suffer from alopecia areata, the autoimmune skin disease that results in hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. At this time there is not a known cure for the disease, as doctors are not sure what causes the immune system to mistakenly attack hair follicles. Hair regrowth for women is possible though, it is just unpredictable as to when and where the hair regrowth will begin.
Hair Loss Causes
Just like for men, once you can understand the reason thinning hair and hair loss is occurring, you can begin to treat it.
Thinning hair in women usually occurs because of hormones, stress, or diet, with hormones the likely suspect behind most hair loss issues. This is because androgenetic alopecia is generally tied to the actions of hormones, which can include ovarian cysts, the taking of high androgen index birth control pills, pregnancy, and menopause. For some of these issues, once the hormones stabilize, the hair will grow back. When it doesn’t, this is when it can begin to take an emotional, and not just physical toll.
We understand how hair loss can affect both men and women, so we’ve compiled some of our favorite support groups and online websites below. We’ll also show you great hair loss solutions to help you get through this traumatic time.
Emotional Toll of Dealing with Hair Loss
Our hair is an important part of who we are, and losing it can feel like we are losing a small part of ourselves.
Hair loss is not just a visible concern; it affects us on a much deeper level. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female; the stressful experience of losing hair affects us all in the same way.
Most of the time, thinning hair or hair loss comes up unexpectedly, without rhyme or reason, and we’re left having to cope with the aftermath.
No matter how it happens, there will always be initial feelings of anger, hatred, and despair. Hopefully over time these feelings will begin to change. This powerful video shows women who have lost their hair, but subsequently discovered what really makes them beautiful, and what makes others unique. We hope this video will show you that hair loss does not have to be what defines you or negatively impacts your self-esteem.
Whether you’re having a moment where you feel alone, or you decide you want to help others overcome the same feelings you once felt, there are many resources you can turn to for help, advice, and support.
Some of our favorite online communities are Bald Girls Do Lunch, Women’s Hair Loss Project, and Hair Loss Talk, which are helpful websites that provide outlets where you can talk with others who are going through something similar, or find ways to help and meet others who might live near you.
We also have tremendous respect and appreciation for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, which is an organization that helps those affected by alopecia areata. We are glad to support NAAF by donating 10% of every sale from those who mention the code NAAF when purchasing through our Customer Service by calling 1-800-THICKEN (844-2534).
While the emotional struggle of dealing with thinning hair and hair loss is half the battle, there is an upside: concealing, treating, and re-growing hair is possible. We’ll show you the different options available to you next…
There is Hope
Depending on the amount of hair loss and the treatment options you feel comfortable with, there are different ways to approach your thinning hair. Rest assured there is something for everyone!
If you are only trying to hide or cover up thinning hair, concealing hair products may be the right solution for your hair needs. There are two main options available. The first is a hair fibers product that clings to your existing hair and helps fill in thin or thinning areas. At Toppik, we make our hair fibers from a wool source, so that it looks and feels like your natural hair. This product stays in until you wash your hair, so you get a full head of hair for as long as you want.
The next product that we offer is a colored spray solution designed to cover wider areas of thin or thinning hair. This spray is available in five colors that blend in subtly with different hair colors. The easy-to-use spray goes on light and will also stay in until hair is washed with shampoo.
If actual hair regrowth is the outcome you are looking for, there are products that help with this process.
A way to regrow hair is with an at-home laser hair treatment device. At Toppik, we offer Theradome, which is the only FDA-cleared at-home laser hair device designed to grow new, healthy hair while also slowing down and minimizing hair loss. This wearable, clinical strength laser treatment device is perfect for anyone looking for a hair loss solution that can be conveniently used from the comfort of his or her own home.
We hope you learned something new this month, but we’d love to hear from you if there is anything else you want to know about hair loss or thinning hair. Leave us your question in the comments section below and we’ll make sure to answer it for you!
Stay In the Know
It’s important for everyone to know the facts about hair loss, and we’re glad to help support National Hair Loss Awareness Month. Next week we’ll be talking about what hair tools men should be using.