Why Your Hair Is Falling Out and How To Fix It

Today, we’re talking about a pretty sensitive subject: hair lossI know how detrimental losing your hair can be, for both men and women, but especially for women.

As a licensed cosmetologist I often get people asking me what to do about their hair thinning or falling out. And the very first thing to understand, just as I tell all my clients who ask about this: hair loss is a complicated subject, without a single solution.

I don’t want to get your hopes up, nor do I want you to feel hopeless. The truth is that there are many things that you can try that have proven to be effective. And it’s usually through a combination of actions that you can (in many cases) reverse your hair loss.Remember, knowledge is power. So you do have to start with learning things so that you’ll know which steps are right for you.

So that’s what we’re going to go through together, right now in this post.

Let’s lay some basic understanding of hair loss and of course, I am going to list out actionable steps for you to try out (I sure do love me a good list. Who’s with me on that? lol)

As always, I want to keep this post as simple as possible to understand. So while I am going to be providing a lot of detail here, I’m going to avoid going into too much medical lingo and diving in too deep. Even if you are a total fact-finder, this post will be a good jumping off point for your own research on potential treatment options.

Please note: I am not a doctor. The information on this blog is for educational & informational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advise. You should consult your healthcare provider if you are seeking medical advise, diagnosis, or treatment. I will not be held liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising therefrom.

What the Heck Is Hair Anyway?

Before we can get into why you might be losing your hair and how to help resolve it, it’s essential to understand a little bit about your hair.When you understand what your hair is made of and how it functions, you’ll have an easier time getting to the root of the why & how for your hair loss.

​So first of all, hair is probably way more complex than you’d imagine. But I only want to focus on mainly two parts: the hair bulb & the hair shaft.

The hair bulb contains living cells which divide and grow, in order to build the hair follicle (which holds the hair in place) and the hair shaft (which is what you see). Your blood vessels nourish the cells in the hair bulb, and deliver the hormones that your hair needs to grow.

The hair shaft is mostly made up of a protein called Keratin. It also contains some amino acids. There’s a bit more to the structure of the hair, but for our purposes today, that’s the important bit.

The second thing to understand is that your hair follicles go through a cycle of growing, shedding, resting, and then repeating. Typically, 80-90% are in a growth phase, while 10-20% is in the rest phase. 

This is why it is totally normal to loose about 50-150 hairs a day — they have moved to the shedding and resting phase together (BFFs-for-life status. lol).

When you have more hair than that shedding at the same time, that’s when you’ll notice your hair feeling and maybe even looking thinner (particularly on your scalp).

The Most Common Types of Hair Loss

There are many many different kinds of hair loss. And it is a very complex subject. Which is why seeing a good dermatologist can be the most effective thing to do.However, let’s talk about the two most common types of hair loss so that you can educate yourself. You can have one or both of these:

1. Male & Female Pattern Hair Loss aka androgenic alopecia (AGA). This type of hair loss is due to hormones (aka DHT) and results in hair follicle miniaturization ​(aka the density of the hair shaft is decreasing).

​This type of hair loss typically occurs after/during puberty. Tends to be chronic & progressive. It is also is the leading type of hair loss.

The pattern of hair loss is different for men (use Norwood Scale) vs. women (use Ludwig Classification). It is genetic or a result of a condition that affects your androgens (like PCOS).

2. Telogen Effluvium (TE) – This is basically hair shedding/falling out more than what is normal. Can be temporary or chronic. Affected by nutrition, stress, medications, systemic inflammation, and underlying health conditions.   

This can happen at any age, and typically comes on quickly for acute TE (within months), and/or slowly for chronic TE.

The thing about TE is that you may have excessive shedding 5-6 months after your “incident”. There is nothing that can be done about the hair that is already going to fall out. However, the new growth can be impacted if you address/correct the root cause.

Why Am I Experiencing Hair Loss?

Now that you’ve got a very general overview of what your hair needs to be healthy, and the two common types of hair loss, you can move onto the next step: determining the root cause of your hair loss.Not all hair loss happens because of the same reason, and thusly, the treatment is going to vary. Further, there can be multiple reasons/causes for hair loss.

So, you may have to take action on more than one thing for more than one type of hair loss.

Sometimes you may be able to figure out the root cause on your own, but if you are having extensive hair loss please get help from a doctor (look for a good dermatologist who really understands hair loss. You may also find an endocrinologist if you suspect nutritional issues or systemic conditions like thyroid, PCOS, Lupus, etc).

If we keep in mind the three things your hair needs (nutrition, blood flow, & hormones), we can start to look at what things impact those.

Keeping in mind the two common hair loss types let’s narrow things down by examining external factors & internal factors.

External Factors

Yes, technically all hair loss happens because of the “inner workings” of our bodies.But sometimes it might be happening due to something “outside of your body” that’s causing the internal disruption.

So let’s look at a few common external reasons that result in telogen effluvium:

  • Stress –  Stress causes your hair to move into that resting stage earlier than normal (aka the telogen stage). This is usually a temporary shedding of hair.
  • Diet – Remember how we talked about protein, amino acids, and hormones? If you aren’t getting the right vitamins, eating healthy whole-foods, and getting enough protein you may experience hair loss. Poor diet choices contribute to telogen effluvium. However, in general, nutrient deficiencies are a bit rare in the USA (unless you have a condition that is causing absorption issues). It’s the crash diets, eating disorders, or weight loss that can cause an issue.
  • Medications – Many medications can cause hair loss as they have the tendency to impact your hormones and your bodies systems. Sometimes you can be on something for years, and for whatever reason, your body is no longer ok with it. So talk with your doctor about what you’ve been experiencing, and see if there’s potential alternatives. High cholesterol & HBP drugs, as well as oral contraceptives, are known culprits.
  • Physical Trauma – If you bumped your head, pull out your hair, do tight pony tails/ braids (aka traction alopecia), or anything like that, it’s possible that the hair follicle or bulb got damaged. Usually, it will only be a bald spot or hairline issues, vs. your hair overall getting thin. In this case, it’s really a 50/50 chance. If there’s damage to the bulb, the hair most likely will not grow back.
  • Heavy metal toxicitiesHeavy metals (lead, cadmium, thallium, mercury, arsenic, aluminum, and copper) both by way of consumption and build-up externally on the hair could lead to hair loss. Typically, not common for developed countries however.
  • Shampoo & Conditioner – Ok, this one usually does not cause hair loss (although certain chemicals can very well do that, like DMD hydantoin), but there’s a couple of things it may cause for certain individuals & dependent on the specific product. It may strip your natural oils, causing extra oil to be produced, and then contributing to increased inflammation & hair thinning. It may also disrupt your endocrine system due to ingredients like parabens, phthalates, & sulfates. So yea, shampoos may cause TE for some people; jury still seems to be out. But what’s more likely, shampoo/conditioner can cause the appearance of hair loss if you are using a poor quality product because it causes breakage. Thus, making your hair look thinner (usually not at the scalp, just overall).
  • Heat – Much like the bullet point above, heat does not cause hair loss (unless you burned your scalp really badly), but it can dry out your hair and cause breakage.

Now, I want you to be the detective for your life. What things from this list do you do/have? Has anything changed lately, within the last 6 months or so? Have you been particularly stressed out? What about self-care? You working out & eating healthy? Do you use professional-grade shampoo & conditioner?

​Take stock of the things going on and see if there’s any red flags for you.

Internal Factors

These get a bit tricker. Sometimes there’s things that you can do, and sometimes there’s not in terms of “correcting” the root cause. In a very general sense, most of these internal factors have to do with hormones or systemic inflammation — and that’s why it gets complicated.Further, they are often intertwined. Meaning, for example, that a systemic condition could create a scalp/skin condition.

However, there is a lot you can do to keep issues from progressing​.

So again, you need to be the detective for your own personal circumstances.

Let’s dive into the most common internal factors that can cause hair loss:

  • Genetics – Some people are predisposed to hair loss. This is one that you can’t control. It simply is what it is. You may be able to utilize some of the options I’m going to cover in a little bit and it may help, or at the very least slow down the hair loss. But your genes contribute to the predisposition of male or female pattern baldness (aka androgenic alopecia). Scientists think there’s a gene that may affect how sensitive your hair follicles are to a hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which makes the hair follicles shrink.
  • Systemic Conditions – If you have something like a thyroid disorder, celiac disease, lupus, diabetes, anemia, PCOS or even a STI you could be experiencing hair loss because of it. May result in either AGA and/or TE just depends on your condition.
  • Poor Digestion – (Usually a result of either stress, medication, or a systemic condition) This can cause poor absorption of the nutrients your hair needs and/or maybe even an overgrowth of bacteria (eg SIBO).
  • Hair/Scalp Conditions – There are many different conditions that specifically affect your hair. These conditions would be things like: yeast/fungi overgrowth, scalp psoriasis, scalp fibrosis, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, etc. luckily most can be treated or managed.
  • Pregnancy – Obviously, there is a lot of new hormones being introduced when you’re pregnant. Some women may experience hair loss or even hair growth while pregnant, then after having the baby they experience excessive shedding. Either way, it is usually temporary.

In addition to all of these things there’s of course things like surgery, illness, cancer treatments, etc. that put the body’s “internal workings” into shock or out-of-balance, and it goes without saying that that can affect your hair — even events that were 6 months ago!

Again, ask yourself questions to discover what potential causes there are for you. Or go see a good dermatologist who will do the assessments and even lab tests, to discover what is going on specifically for you.

How To Improve Hair Loss

I’m sure it goes without saying that there is no single fool-proof method to cure hair loss. What works for one individual may not work for another because their “source” is different from yours.As I’ve already stated the very first step to helping your hair loss is to uncover the source(s), and correct it preferably with a good dermatologist.

Once you’ve narrowed down some potential reasons as to WHY you might be experiencing hair loss, you may be able to correct things based on your specifics — like changing your medication with your doctor.

Or perhaps you learn that your thyroid is out of wack so you take the appropriate steps to bring back the hormonal balance. Maybe you’ve been incredibly stressed lately and so you can start to implement breathing & system regulation techniques.

Point being: do what you can to attack the hair loss source head on.

So go back to the external and internal causes, and be the detective for your hair loss source. If you do things that don’t address your source, then it’s likely that you’ll just be wasting time and money.

For example: if you have AGA but you only do topical minoxidil, it might not do much because you aren’t blocking DHT (which is what is needed since DHT is killing your hair follicles; minoxidil would, however be a good adjunctive treatment to promote hair growth).

The sooner that you can implement these things the better! If the bulb dies, there’s no bringing it back (aside from with hair transplants, if you’re even a candidate). So taking action as soon as possible is imperative. Do not wait.

Having said that, let’s dive into the potential treatments for the two types of hair loss.

Hair Loss Due to DHT (Androgenetic Alopecia)

Androgenetic alopecia is typically because of your genes (or a condition like PCOS). If you have thinning hair in your family there’s a good chance you’ll get it too (although you may be the first to get it as well).The bottom line with this type of hair loss is DHT. Only by addressing DHT can you slow, stop, & potentially reverse your hair loss.

Yes, you may have more than one reason you are losing your hair, but if it’s AGA and you’re trying “vitamins” that’s not going to do a thing for your hair loss (more on that in a bit).

Since men & women have different hormones let’s break the treatment options into gender.

(Note: I am not a doctor and thus, I do not feel comfortable talking about transsexual needs. Please discuss options with your doctor that will work specifically for your body).

Hair Loss Treatments for Women with AGA

Sometimes it might feel like we’ve gotten the short end of the stick, because there’s not really a whole lot of research on women’s hair loss.Perhaps, women’s bodies are more complex when it comes to hair loss. Because even though a group of women may be experiencing female pattern baldness, the reasons for each person will be different (which is not the case for men).

Further women can have “normal” hormone levels and still experience hair loss.

So if you’re experiencing enough hair loss that you’re truly concerned about, please go see a dermatologist who specializes in female hair loss.

​Of course, you can sometimes figure out what’s going on with your endocrinologist or doctor, I just find dermatologist or specialists to be more knowledgeable when it comes to things like hair loss.

Having said all of that, there are a few things to try (under doctor recommendation & supervision):

  • Estrogen & Progesterone – Again, if your hormones are not in the proper balance, simply taking them to help your body may do the trick.
  • Finasteride – This is an oral medication that blocks DHT. It does also come in a topical form. Women typically need a higher oral dosage than men. Your doctor will know best if it’s for you. Women who are pregnant, or trying, or breast feeding, or have a history of breast cancer CANNOT take this medication.
  • Androgen Receptor Inhibitors – We have to remember it’s risky business messing with our ENTIRE BODY’s system, but there are some drugs that are said to help with hair loss through different mechanisms such as spironolactone, cimetidine, and cyproterone acetate.
  • Low Androgen Birth Control Pills – These may help regulate the production of ovarian androgens in some people. There is another contraceptive that is cyproterone acetate with ethinyloestradiol, mostly used in Europe to treat female hair loss. However, once you stop the medication the hair loss will return.

I think it’s worth mentioning that drugs/pills may sometimes be like a bandaid on a bigger issue. Which means, that we need to put as much emphasis as we can on getting/keeping our bodies healthy. Whether that be with our mental health, or our nutrition & systemic health.

Hair Loss Treatments for Men with AGA

The major contributing factor for hair loss in men is DHT. It’s thought to cause hair follicles to miniaturize — thus, contributing to male pattern hair loss.Just as I mentioned to the women reading this, taking medication that affects your ENTIRE SYSTEM is risky business. So please do not go to the black market to get medications (yea, I know how guys are). Instead, partner with a knowledgable doctor who understands hair loss and can prescribe medication under their supervision.

Having said that, there are medications that have proven to be effective for men:

  • Finasteride – Works by decreasing the amount of DHT. This drug is the gold standard for AGA. This is more about stopping hair loss, not necessarily growing more hair (although it can happen). There are plenty of studies that back up this drug’s effectiveness. While it does come with quite the laundry list of side-effects (like low libidio, ED, and in severe cases, gynecomastia), these are rare. This treatment is also FDA approved. This requires you to use it for at least 9 months and you will have an initial shed.
  • Dutasteride (Brand Name: Avodart)– Works just like finasteride, BUT its a bit stronger. There’s debate about it being better than Finasteride as it blocks other things (that may or may not contribute to hair loss). But if you’re not getting results from Finasteride then it might be time for you to try Dutasteride. This requires you to use it for at least 9 months and you will have an initial shed.
  • Topical Spironolactone – Is an androgen receptor inhibitor, and although typically prescribed orally for women, it can be used TOPICALLY for men. The ONLY reason to go this route would be if you have some sort of contra indication to the treatments above as this is not nearly as effective.

Why Your Hair Is Falling Out and How To Stop It | Makeup & Hair by Kendra

photo credit: Vegamour.com

Hair Loss Topical Treatments for AGA

These topicals can work for both men or women. But here’s the thing: they are adjunct treatments.In other words, it seems quite unlikely that these alone will improve your AGA hair loss (*these alone might work for SOME women), but can work really well with the the treatments we already went over.

  • Minoxidil 5% – A very effective treatment for many people, backed by research & FDA approved, and it works by moving the hair from the resting phase to the growth phase. It’s important to know that you must use this for a minimum of 6 months. Women can now use 5% once a day, where men are typically advised to use it 2x a day. If you are not seeing results, it could be because you’re not actually converting it into it’s active form. Which means, you likely need to combine minoxidil with tretinoin or derma rolling because the minoxidil needs better penetration due to the lack of conversion.
  • Tretinoin 0.01% – Helps minoxidil become more effective for “non-responders”. It may also provide some benefits for hair growth on it’s own.
  • Dermarolling (Dermapen or Microneedling) – A study on men found significant improvement for men who derma rolled & used the topical minoxidil. I do also think that this would be effective for women as well since dermarolling results are not gender specific. HOWEVER, tretinoin is just as effective (if not more so), so if you can’t get your hands on tret then dermarolling is the next best option to improve your minoxidil results.
  • Fluridil (Brand: Eucapil) – (Hard to find & expensive) It is an anti androgen topical. A study on men found that hair growth percentage  after 6 months from 76% to 85%. 

Telogen Effulvium Treatments

We’ve already discussed how eliminating stress, changing medication, or getting a condition under control is really what is going to help with TE.Additionally, the topicals we discussed just a moment ago can also help with TE (meaning they are being used as adjunct treatments with whatever protocol you are implementing for TE or they can be used alone if you’ve already addressed the TE source).

​The last bit that can help with TE is nutrition.

​There may be a deficiency by either you not consuming the proper amount of nutrients your hair needs, or you could have something getting in your body’s way of properly using that nutrient aka absorption (that’s where you’re going to need to talk with your doctor).

However, let’s look at the list of things, in general, that you can give your body for healthy hair:

  • Whole foods – Believe it or not, heavily processed foods can affect your hormones. Seems kind of crazy I know, but if you can start to eat foods that haven’t been processed your hair will definitely thank you for it. It’s going to take time before you start to see results (like 6 months).
  • Protein – If you aren’t getting enough of the one thing your hair is mostly made of, there’s obviously problems to be expected. Your body is constantly making new hair and it can only grow from the nutrients available in your body. Protein rich foods, like fish, also have other essential ingredients for hair health like omega-3s fatty acids, or even L-lysine in meat.
  • Iron, Zinc, Niacin, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Collagen, & L-lysine – All of these vitamins & minerals are important for various reasons but we know they’ve been shown to help with hair health and growth. Again, blood work with an endocrinologist would be good to identify if you have a deficiency. **​Note that some of these can actually be dangerous to supplement.
  • Biotin – Biotin deficiencies are rare among non-pregnant people, and there’s not a lot of scientific evidence for biotin promoting hair growth any ways. However, there is anecdotal evidence that biotin may work for some people. It essentially helps the body metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and protein. And it may also assist some people glycemic control when diabetes is involved — this would be important due to vascular impairment with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, if you have a condition like dysbacteriosis of the gastrointestinal tract, or are on a medication that is interfering with your body’s ability to produce/use biotin (like isotretinoin) these could make you deficient. Medical examination & blood work with your doctor would be good to identify if you have a biotin deficiencyIf you aren’t deficient, taking biotin will not help your hair loss.

​In addition to these more well-known items (and in some cases better studied), that I just went through, there’s also some other potential things to look into and try.

What I’m about to list doesn’t have a lot of evidence backing them, but they seemed worth mentioning from my research. I’ll let you be the judge for your own situation if these are something that you’d want to introduce into your diet and/or supplements:

  • Selenium – A mineral that may help with hair growth, but you’ve got to be careful because too much of it can end up causing brittle hair. It may also be dangerous for men.
  • Ashwagandha – There is some promising research that the ashwagandha supplement may also help with stress-induced hair loss (aka TE) for WOMEN (without an auto immune disease or being pregnant). But, just FYI, all the available research seems to be done by the companies that sell this supplement, and there isn’t much info on long-term effects.
  • Saw Palmetto – This is for MEN because it has to do with the prostate. There has been some limited studies showing mostly that it may slow hair loss, and could potentially help with hair growth when combined with other topical treatments (like minoxidil). One study did show somewhat of an increase in hair growth when taken alone.

There are of course many other “holistic” supplements/treatments that people are touting as effective treatments for hair loss, but until I see more research and evidence backing them, I don’t want to list them here as possible contenders. There’s nothing worse, IMO, than searching for answers to something serious only to find endless lists of nonsense. (Am I right? or am I right?!)

Additional & Alternative Treatments for Hair Loss

You might be wondering why this list isn’t mentioning some things you may find when you really start digging into alternative hair loss treatments, like rosemary oil or  Nutrafol.The things is:  Yes, there’s a lot more things claiming to be effective for hair loss but I just can’t find enough evidence to really support any of it.

And again, I’d rather not waste your time. I’m only covering everything that I believe to be the most effective treatments for hair loss that also are backed by quality research/data.

HOWEVER, having said that, if you’re the person who wants a few more things to look into/try, then here are some (pretty big) “MAYBES/MIGHT WORK”:

  • 2% Ketoconazole Shampoo (Prescription Typically Needed) – The brand name for the 1% formulation is Nizoral (might help with TE), but what you need is 2% per studies for AGA & TE. Ketoconazole kills off pathogenic yeast/fungi which can be a contributing factor for TE. Additionally, it might help reduce inflammation for men with AGA & reduce DHT. Will it work for women? Potentially. It’s just not studied with women, and pregnant/breast feeding women should avoid using it. HOWEVER, while it may have scalp benefits, there’s a good chance it will trash your hair shaft. So again, not sure that this is a great choice.
  • Oral Minoxidil – We already know that topical minoxidil is effective, but what about oral? The thing is: systemically oral minoxidil has some pretty dangerous side effects like cardiovascular issues. There’s only one study on efficacy, that has some issues IMO (the results not being statistically significant due to the low amount of participants), but is claiming that participants did get results. So IMO the results don’t seem significant enough to outweigh the potential risks, which is why it’s a maybe.
  • PRP Therapy – PRP therapy began by dermatologists after researchers found that high concentrations of platelets in plasma cells help prolong the growing phase of the hair cycle. It’s been shown to be promising for both men & women
  • Caffeine Topical – There are studies done (not on actual humans) that are showing the effectiveness of caffeine and AGA hair loss. But when you look for studies on actual people, one of the biggest studies done has some major issues with it — no control group to ensure “randomness” can be ruled out, it was done by the people who own company who sells caffeine products (aka Alpecin). So yea, it get’s a maybe.​​
  • Low-Level Light/Laser Therapy – There are a variety of lights, red light therapy being one, but the efficacy of these still remain to be determined as more studies are needed. There are some FDA cleared hair growth devices (usually meaning that it’s safe to use). But studies are limited, typically low-quality, as well as the issue that the “proper protocol” is unclear. So, again, we have another big fat maybe. But I don’t think that this is worth the investment as you will get much better results with things like finasteride and minoxidil for AGA. And if you have a different type of hair loss, addressing the source with your doctor is how you will see much better results.

Treatments Often Touted as Effective but…

When it comes to hair loss, time is of the essence. If you waste time on treatments that do not work, then that could result in permanent irreversible hair loss (meaning hair transplants are the only option if even an option at all).Which is why it’s all the more important to use treatments that are already proven to be effective in the fight against hair loss.

Even in light of the already approved & effective treatments for hair loss, people still waste their time with other “alternative treatments”.

It’s typically because of two reasons:

  1. They are afraid of the drug’s side effects – The truth is that side effects are rare in most cases, but you can (& should) discuss this with your doctor to know what is going to be best for you.
  2. They want a “natural” treatment – You can, of course, always do what you want. But the truth is that many of the “natural” treatments can also come with side effects, are not nearly as effective, and can make you waste precious time.

The hair loss industry preys on people’s desperation, and I don’t want you to fall victim to the litany of scams out there. So, here’s a short list of a few hair loss treatments that aren’t chalked up to be what people are claiming.

  • Scalp massage & Blood flow – At a very surface level understanding “blood flow” seems like it would make sense because we know that blood is what supplies the hair bulbs with the things it needs. HOWEVER, if you actually learn the anatomy of the skull, the blood vessels, etc. you’ll see why this concept can’t actually hold up. Blood supply is important but even if you tie off main arteries, the other arteries will make up for it — meaning you don’t have to worry about not getting enough blood flow, your body will protect your head/brain. The vessels are also ABOVE the muscles, so muscle tension has nothing to do with blood flow. Further, poor scalp blood circulation was debunked in 1916 by Dorothy Osborne who showed that hair loss is hereditary. For scalp massage, research is incredibly limited, but at quick glance results seemed promising. A good scalp massage was said to stretch the cells of hair follicles — stimulating the follicles to produce thicker strands, and also help dilate blood vessels beneath the skin, thereby encouraging hair growth. However, ​the study only studied 9 people which is not a large enough sample size, and the men did not have AGA. There was also, another study that was done & showed promising results but it also has some major issues with the quality of it (such as the fact that some of the participants were already using proven hair loss treatments like finasteride & minoxidil). Bottom line: there’s not a lot of studies, and the studies that do exist are low-quality. You can massage your scalp for the heck of it (I mean, it does feel good), but there’s nothing establishing this as an effective hair loss treatment.
  • Hair Supplements – We already talked about how biotin won’t help hair loss for most people, but there’s a lot (and I mean A LOT) of other supplements claiming to help with hair loss and hair growth. And like biotin, unless you have some sort of deficiency it’s likely not going to help you. You’re better off just taking a good multi-vitamin vs. expensive “hair growth” supplements. Bottom line: don’t waste your money on supplements that most likely aren’t going to do a thing. Instead, use that money to go see a good dermatologist who can actually help you.
  • Rosemary Oil Topical – There was one study done with low percentage of minoxidil (2%)  being compared with a specifically formulated rosemary oil (not the essential oil which could cause contact dermatitis). The objective results showed a 6% increase in hair count, but when you compare this to the results from an independent minoxidil study for 2% (it had a 20-28% increase) or even the 5% (it had a 26-32% increase). Bottom line: sure this special formula of rosemary oil may not make your scalp as itchy as minoxidil, but the hair growth is going to be marginal when compared to minoxidil. And more studies are needed.
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil Oral – Similar to rosemary, a study was done to see if the oil would improve androgenic alopecia, but the conclusion was a bit misleading —particularly because they didn’t even use pumpkin seed oil! So not only is there not very many studies, the one’s that exist are full of issues.
  • Botox for your scalp – ​There are a few studies on botox BUT all the studies have some major issues when it comes to quality (Explained quite well here) But essentially, it may help with hair growth through botox inhibiting TGF Beta 1 as we see it was injected into the skin (not muscles) in this study. If it’s long-term a safe and viable option, is TBD with better quality studies. Bottom line: more studies are needed to know if it’s SAFE and effective.

There are, of course, many more things that people are claiming to “work” for hair loss / hair growth. The ones I’ve just listed are what I’ve seen a majority of the time circulating around the internet.

It’s really disheartening that people have to sift through so much snake-oil. And that so many companies prey on people’s fear and depression with hair loss. That’s not what I want for you!

Which is why I cannot stress it enough to work with a good dermatologist who is knowledgable about hair loss.

To Sum It All Up

Hair loss is a complicated issue. It takes a good dermatologist and a little patience to systematically figure out what is going to work for you. As well as an understanding that all treatments take time to work.Remember, there is no one-size-fits all solution to hair loss.

The steps are:

  1. Look at the external & internal reasons and work to mitigate the ones that apply (eg changing your medication, reducing stress, treating a thyroid disorder, etc.) – you may need to get blood work done to check for conditions, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, gut dysbiosis, etc.
  2.  Figure out if you have AGA and/or TE (or a different type of hair loss) with a good dermatologist.
  3. Treat AGA and/or TE through different approved treatments for those types of hair loss specifically (eg finasteride, minoxidil, tretinoin, etc.)

To make things easier for you, I’ve rounded up some products that I mentioned above that are available for purchase over-the-counter.

*Disclaimer: some, or all, of the products in this are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission. Again, I am not a doctor and you should always consult your doctor when looking for treatment, diagnosis, or medical advise.

OTC Product List For Improving Hair Loss

​I know that hair loss can be scary and anxiety invoking, which is why I can’t let you go without once again mentioning how important mental health is. Please take care of yourself, and don’t let yourself stress out over your hair loss.Now, I’d love to hear from you! Do you have any questions? Ask me in the comments below!

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