Thinning hair can be a stressful and even traumatic condition that affects our self-image and sense of well-being. It can often lead to depression and anxiety—and possibly even more hair loss.1-2 Both men and women in all ethnic and racial groups suffer from hair thinning (permanent, temporary, and hormone-related common male balding or female patterned hair loss ).3 And when hair loss happens as a result of illness or treatment for that illness, (such as cancer and chemotherapy), the impact may be even more devastating.4
If you feel guilty about the anxiety you are feeling about your thinning hair because it seems vain or superficial, you shouldn’t. Even if temporary in nature, losing your hair is often such a stressful situation that it can have serious health consequences that the medical community now recognizes. Educate yourself about the different types of hair loss and the many treatment options out there—you may be surprised at what you learn and better yet, find one that works for you.4
Can Anything Stop or Reverse Thinning Hair?
Understanding the causes of alopecia and learning about what treatments are available is the first step towards trying to stop or reverse hair loss. Human beings have known about and suffered from various types of hair loss for centuries. In a few cases, the cause and treatment can be fairly simple, such as a nutritional deficiency that can be reversed with supplements. More often the underlying causes are quite complex, which explains why there has been no one definitive cure or treatment that works in all instances of hair loss.
The good news is that there are many natural herbal (including Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine options), nutritional, pharmacological, (both topical and systemic), phototherapy, and surgical treatments available that have successfully helped many people with hair loss and may very well work for you. And of course there are cosmetic options to help manage or disguise any hair loss you have, such as wigs, toupees, camouflage sprays, and hair styles for thinning hair (for both men and women).
Combining traditional and modern medical knowledge with the vast technological tools now available, research scientists have made and continue to make great strides in understanding the structure of hair, how it grows, diagnosing the different types of hair loss, and the actual mechanisms of how different remedies work at the microscopic, cellular level. These breakthroughs have led to some innovative treatments for even some hair loss that was previously considered unavoidable, such as cooling caps to help avoid chemotherapy-induced hair loss in cancer patients.
There are many preventative measures you can take to improve the health of your hair and avoid hair loss or the worsening of it. With so many hair care products, grooming advice, diet tips, herbal and dietary supplements, and other treatments out there claiming to prevent or help with hair loss, it’s crucial to look for options that suit your particular type of hair loss, with evidence of benefit from reputable sources. Often ignored, but equally important, there’s help for managing the stress of dealing with thinning hair—including stress-relieving herbs and calming aromatherapy.
Medical term for hair loss.
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