Embarrassed By That Growing Bald Spot?
By Agostino Rossi
What can you do about hair loss? The vast majority of hair loss is caused by genetic factors that cannot be changed, but that doesn't mean you cannot do anything about your thinning hair. Common hair loss, also called "male pattern baldness", "female pattern baldness", or just simply "common baldness" usually starts as a receding hair line in men and as general thinning of hair in women. The earlier the age of onset, and in some people hair loss can start in the late teens, the more extensive the baldness.
In addition to the most common type of hair loss, other factors can cause hair to thin. These include underlying diseases, such as diabetes, and some medicines, such as blood thinners, antidepressants, birth control pills, and cancer medications. Thyroid problems can cause hair loss, and other changes in hormone levels, such as during pregancy, can cause thinning of the hair.
Perhaps the easiest cause of hair loss to do something about is improper care of the hair. Wearing pigtails or cornrows too tightly or using tight hair rollers can cause hair loss. This type of hair loss is called "traction alopecia." If the stress on the scalp is stopped before scarring develops, the hair will grow back.
Doctors can sometimes treat hair loss by changing prescribed medication (NEVER stop taking a prescribed medication without first consulting your health care provider). Modifications to diet can also help. In addition, you doctor might recommend medicine to help induce your hair to grow back. One such medicine is called minoxidil, or Rogaine, and can be purchased over the counter. Another medicine, available by prescription only, is called finasterice, or Propecia. You must be patient with both of these medicines because it may take several months to notice an improvement in your baldness.
There are alternatives to paying doctors and buying medicine to treat normal thinning of hair if it is not caused by an underlying disease and is not occuring as a side effect of medicine taken for some other purpose. Many people claim to have had success using natural herbal remedies to stop hair thinning. Modern hairpieces and wigs are much better than they were in the "old days," so be sure to check out that option if you are not comfortable just looking natural. However, if you have "common baldness," remember that many people these days think that bald is beautiful, so think twice about using expensive medicine to "treat" a condition that is not really a disease.
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