Posts Tagged ‘Female Hair Loss’

Trace elements content and hormonal profiles in women with androgenetic alopecia

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2010 Dec 15.
Trace elements content and hormonal profiles in women with androgenetic alopecia.
Skalnaya MG, Tkachev VP.

Russian Society of Trace Elements in Medicine, Zemlyanoy Val str., 46, Moscow 105064, Russia; ANO “Centre for Biotic Medicine”, Zemlyanoy Val str., 46, Moscow 105064, Russia.

It is well-known that some trace element imbalances play a significant role in the pathomechanism of many forms of alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia, however, is a specific local sensitivity of hair follicle receptors to androgens.

In a clinical and laboratory study, 153 women with androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and 32 control women were examined. In AGA patients telogen hair and vellus hair (miniaturization, D<30μm) significantly differed in frontal and parietal hair comparison with occipital area (20±0.9% vs. 12±0.5% and 33±0.9% vs. 12±0.6% respectively).

In the AGA group levels of androstenedione and dihydrotestosterone were higher than in the control group. Hair elemental content, analyzed by ICP-MS, demonstrated a lowered Cu and Zn content in the frontal area in comparison to the occipital area. It is important to note, that the AGA patients with elevated levels of androstenedione and dihydrotestosterone presented an increased Cu content and decreased Mn, Se, Zn contents in the occipital area of scalp. The occipital level of Cu positively correlated with the concentration of free testosterone in the serum.

A negative correlation between the Zn content in the occipital area and the dehydroepiandrosterone level in the blood was found.

Unfortunately, a routine treatment course of AGA patients, including topical inhibitor of 5-alpha-reductase and minoxidil, had no effect on the Cu hair content in occipital and frontal areas.

However, there were positive changes in the morphological structure and other trace element contents. These data led us to hypothesize a key role of Cu metabolism disturbances in the AGA onset, development of AGA, and potential pharmaceutical targets for the treatment of AGA.

Causes of Female Pattern Hair Loss and Male Pattern Hair Loss (MPB)

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

This may be the most important question for you to ask. Once you know the cause you can work on a solution. Let’s get started:

It is clear that genetics and inheritance play a role in female and male pattern hair loss in creating a predisposition to hair loss or other related dysfunctions that coexist or cause hair loss. However, genetics are triggered and moderated by many factors, environmental, metabolic, dietary etc.. genetics alone do not offer an answer nor an understanding of why patterned hair loss occurs or how it can be reversed. Thanks to the polygenic nature of so called androgenic alopecia (AGA) we don’t fully understand how AGA happens within the androgen-dependent air loss model.

For now, male pattern baldness (MPB),  female pattern baldness is best defined as by visual means using a system such as the Hamilton-Norwood or Ludwig classification systems. The reality is that hair loss is caused by many factors, it is your body’s canary in a gold mine, alerting you to a larger issue within the body that needs to be addressed.

Most scientific research done regarding androgenic alopecia (AGA) concentrated on androgenic metabolism and androgenic receptors and the genes involved; however, as stated earlier many causes and models exist that may be worth investigating.  Some of these come from research into areas other than hair loss such as cardivascular and cancer research. Since hair loss incidents are linked to some of these diseases, preventing some of these degenerative diseases potentially does reverse hair loss.

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Naturally, the list below is a glimpse at a vast field.. oversimplified.

I have found many causes of hair loss, many of them overlap. Each of these will be explained in more detail individually as I get the time to write more.. The list below is enough to get you excited (I hope) and get you started on your research.

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How is Patterned Baldness Tested for?

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Evaluation for causative disorders should be done based on clinical symptoms. A mainstream physician wont do much if any testing once they’ve determined their patient has male-pattern and female-pattern hair loss. Many readily available blood, urine and saliva tests could be done to understand metabolic, hormonal and nutritional issues in the body. Other articles will discuss these further.

These are hair tests that could be done on the scalp/hair itself:

The pull test: to evaluate diffuse scalp hair loss. Gentle traction is exerted on a group of hair (about 40–60) on three different areas of the scalp. The number of extracted hairs is counted and examined under a microscope. Normally, <3 hairs per area should come out with each pull. If >10 hairs are obtained, the pull test is considered positive.

The pluck test: In this test, the individual pulls hair out “by the roots.” The root of the plucked hair is examined under a microscope to determine the phase of growth and used to diagnose a defect of telogen, anagen, or systemic disease. Telogen hairs are hairs that have tiny bulbs without sheaths at their roots. Telogen effluvium shows an increased percentage of hairs upon examination. Anagen hairs are hairs that have sheaths attached to their roots. Anagen effluvium shows a decrease in telogen-phase hairs and an increased number of broken hairs.

Hair mineral analysis: Tests for minerals and heavy metals.

Scalp biopsy: This test is done when alopecia is present, but the diagnosis is unsure. The biopsy allows for differing between scarring and nonscarring forms. Hair samples are taken from areas of inflammation, usually around the border of the bald patch.

Daily Hair Counts: This is normally done when the pull test is negative. It is done by counting the number of hairs lost. The hair that should be counted are the hairs from the first morning combing or during washing. The hair is collected in a clear plastic bag for 14 days. The strands are recorded. If the hair count is >100/day is considered abnormal except after shampooing, where hair counts will be up 250 and be normal.

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Women’s Ludwig & Other Hair Loss Classification Scales

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

In women, the hair loss progresses as a diffused thinning of hair all over the top areas and crown of the head (i.e. parietal region). [5] [13] In this case, this hair loss is either referred to as male-pattern baldness, or as female-pattern baldness. [13]


Do Women Get Patterned Hair Loss?

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Yes. It could be referred to as female pattern baldness, patterned baldness, diffused baldness, female baldness, or even as male pattern baldness (MPB)

Thirteen percent (13%) of pre-menopausal women are thought to experience some symptoms of patterned baldness, this number climbs up to 75% of women experiencing patterned baldness after the age of 65. [13]   Hair loss is increasing in both men and women, men in their early twenties are now experiencing MPB.

In my personal experience, I see many women, including ones in their twenties and thirties with thin hair and bald spots. In many cases when a metabolic issue exists hair loss is more likely to occur.

In women, the hair loss progresses as a diffused thinning of hair all over the top areas and crown of the head (i.e. parietal region). [5] [13] In this case, this hair loss is either referred to as male-pattern baldness, or as female-pattern baldness. [13]

I have heard of women who were very effected emotionally when their physicians told them they had “male pattern baldness” (because her doctor viewed it is a male-hormone dependent condition).

If this indeed was pure a male hormone issue then why are women experiencing hair loss at younger ages and more often? More importantly, how are some able to stop it using diet and nutrition, lifestyle and topical treatments?

I believe the use of the term male pattern baldness to describe any female hair loss is inappropriate.

Edited: 12/29/2010

Who Gets MPB & How Common is it?

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Both men and women do.

AGA is very common, one study mentioned that AGA affected as many as 40% of adult men and women combined. [22] Another study mentioned that AGA affected up to 50% of white men 50 years of age or older [3] and it “affects up to 80% of males by the age of 80”. [20]

Thirteen percent (13%) of pre-menopausal women are thought to experience some symptoms of AGA, this number climbs up to 75% of women experiencing AGA after the age of 65. [13]   Hair loss is increasing in both men and women, men in their early twenties are now experiencing MPB.

According to wikipedia (as of 1/1/2011) “Incidence of pattern baldness varies from population to population based on genetic background, environmental factors do not seem to affect this type of baldness greatly. One large scale study in Maryborough, Victoria, Australia showed the prevalence of mid-frontal hair loss increases with age and affects 73.5% of men and 57% of woman aged 80 and over. According to Medem Medical Library’s website, male pattern baldness affects roughly 40 million men in the United States. Approximately 25 percent of men begin balding by age 20; two-thirds begin balding by age 60. There is a 4 in 7 chance of getting the baldness gene.”

This type hair loss follows a predictable pattern (in contrast to spots of baldness or alopecia totalis), most noticeably in men, thus it is commonly referred to as male-pattern baldness (MPB). To many, the term male pattern baldness (MPB) is interchangeable with androgenic alopecia (AGA).

According to current understanding, women also experience AGA. [13] [20] [23] [26][28] In women, the hair loss progresses as a diffused thinning of hair all over the top areas and crown of the head (i.e. parietal region). [5] [13] In this case, this hair loss is either referred to as male-pattern baldness, or as female-pattern baldness. [13]

I do not use the term androgenic alopecia (AGA). Find why here: Should the Term “Androgenic Alopecia” Be Used?

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Should the Term “Androgenic Alopecia” Be Used? (Research History)

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

About 60 years ago Hamilton made an important observation when he noticed that castrated men did not have AGA. He concluded that hair growth on the scalp was androgen-dependent.

Despite androgens causing hair loss in many men, androgens are actually crucial as they are responsible for the development of puberty; they also aid in, if not cause, male maturation, growth of muscles and the appearance of other sexual characteristics in young humans. [25]

Androgens, such as testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), have been identified by researchers to be the main regulators of hair growth. Androgens contribute to the changing of vellus (tiny, un-pigmented) hairs into terminal (thicker) hair follicles. [18]

Paradoxically, androgens are also are often thought of as the main culprit behind male pattern baldness.

Androgens in the scalp of adults with androgen-dependent hair follicles seem to have two undesirable effects. The first being that they shorten the anagen phase (long growth phase). [6]

A study published in November 2002 further explained that the follicles experience a “transformation from long growth (anagen) and short rest (telogen) cycles, to long rest and short growth cycles.”  [3]

The second effect always accompanies the first and maybe the manifestation of it. This effect is manifested as the gradual changing of (thick) terminal hair follicles to (thinner) vellus hair (due to the reduction of the cellular hair matrix volume). This change in thickness has been referred to as a “progressive miniaturisation of the follicle.”[3] [5] [18] [23]

In summary, androgens shorten the long growth cycle (anagen phase) and cause follicles to enter into the resting cycle (telogen phase) faster and remain in that phase longer; this results in finer and finer hair. This process  is what we’ve identified as, or termed, AGA.

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