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Bernstein Medical - Center for Hair Restoration
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Bernstein Medical In The News

Dr. Bernstein Notes Increasing Trend of Women Seeking Hair Loss Treatments in New York Post Article

New York PostAs the taboo of women’s hair loss gradually dissipates, more women than ever are seeking treatment for hair loss caused by stress, pregnancy, genetics, and a variety of other medical conditions and behavioral causes. Dr. Bernstein is quoted in an article in the New York Post identifying the upward trend of women seeking hair loss treatments.

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Hair Restoration Research

Viviscal May Boost Hair Regrowth

A study published in the December 2015 issue of the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology suggests that Viviscal, an oral supplement designed for women with thinning hair, may promote hair growth. The researchers noted a 79 percent increase in healthy, terminal hairs and an almost 12 percent increase in hair diameter in female patients who took the supplement for six months. The evidence suggests that Viviscal may be a useful supplement to current hair restoration treatments, or an alternative treatment in patients not indicated for hair transplant surgery or medical treatment with finasteride.

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Hair Restoration Research

Viviscal Research Suggests the Treatment Increases Hair Volume, Thickness

A review of research on the efficacy of Viviscal, published in the September 2015 issue of the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, suggests that the oral supplement may increase hair volume as well as the thickness of healthy, terminal hairs. The article presented more than two decades of research on the hair regrowth product and also included a discussion with a roundtable of dermatology and plastic surgery experts. Both the research review and roundtable discussion point to the benefits of Viviscal, however the article’s conclusions can be questioned due to the appearance of a conflict of interest between the researchers and Lifes2good, Inc., the company that produces Viviscal. Additional independent research needs to determine if Viviscal is a viable and effective hair loss treatment.

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Bernstein Medical In The News

Dr. Bernstein Speaks About Hair Extensions and Traction Alopecia in NYC Website for Women

NYCityWoman.com

Dr. Bernstein was quoted in an article on NYCityWoman.com, where he spoke about the risks associated with popular hair extensions, such as weaves, wefts, and similar clip-in or add-on pieces. Extensions are a stylistic choice that allow women to dramatically change their appearance. However, their frequent use can contribute to a type of hair loss in women called traction alopecia – hair loss around the frontal hairline and temples caused by tight hairstyles pulling on the follicles.

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Hair Restoration Research

Androgen Treatment May Boost Hair Regrowth in Women

A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology suggests that subcutaneous placement of testosterone pellets may boost hair regrowth in some women.

This retrospective analysis examined patients who had androgen deficiency. Of the 285 patients studied, seventy-six had some degree of hair loss prior to beginning treatment. At one year on testosterone replacement 63% reported an increase in hair regrowth on the scalp.

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Bernstein Medical In The News

Bernstein Medical Patient Writes About Female Hair Loss in Cosmopolitan Magazine

Thinning Hair Nightmare - Cosmopolitan Magazine - January 2014A patient who visited Dr. Bernstein to learn about her hair loss authored an article on her experiences which appeared in the January 2014 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine. In an article titled, “Thinning Hair Nightmare,” the patient wrote about her struggle in coping with thinning hair, the taboo of talking about women’s hair loss, and ways in which she attempted to overcome these physical and emotional difficulties.

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Hair Restoration Answers

What is the Incidence of Hair Loss in Adults?

Q: How common is hair loss in adult men and women? — N.F., Bronxville, NY

A: The incidence of androgenetic alopecia (common baldness) is quite high for both men and women. By age 50, 50% of men and 30% of women are affected. By age 70, that increases to 80% of men and 60% of women. Fortunately, in spite of significant thinning, women often preserve their hairline and have a diffuse pattern, so there hair loss can be camouflaged for many years.

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Hair Restoration Answers

What is Female Androgenetic Alopecia?

Q: What is female androgenetic alopecia?

A: Female androgenetic alopecia, also called female pattern hair loss, is caused by the shrinking of susceptible hair follicles in response to normal levels of hormones (androgens). It is the most common type of hair loss in women, affecting perhaps 1/3 of the adult female population. It is seen as a general thinning over the entire scalp, but can also present in a more localized pattern i.e. just limited to the front and top. The condition is characterized by a gradual thinning and shortening (miniaturization) of individual hair follicles, rather than their complete loss and, although the condition tends to be progressive, it rarely leads to complete baldness.

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Hair Restoration Answers

What is Lichen planopilaris?

Q: What is Lichen planopilaris? — G.S., Pleasantville, NY

A: Lichen planopilaris (LPP) is a distinct variant of cicatricial (scarring) alopecia, a group of uncommon disorders which destroy the hair follicles and replace them with scar tissue. LPP is considered to have an autoimmune cause. In this condition, the body’s immune system attacks the hair follicles causing scarring and permanent hair loss. Clinically, LPP is characterized by the increased spacing of full thickness terminal hairs (due to follicular destruction) with associated redness around the follicles, scaling and areas of scarred scalp. Read more ».

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Bernstein Medical In The News

British Vogue Interviews Dr. Bernstein on Women’s Hair Loss and Female Hair Transplants

British Vogue Interviews Dr. Bernstein on Women's Hair Loss and Female Hair TransplantsHair transplantation for women is in vogue. In more ways than one. Dr. Bernstein was featured in an article in the ‘Beauty’ section of the October 2012 issue of British Vogue.

After describing a visit to Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration in New York City and giving readers a primer on hair transplant surgery, the article turns to Dr. Bernstein to describe the surge in popularity of the treatment of hair loss in women.

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Hair Restoration Research

Hair Cloning Study Shows RepliCel’s Efficacy In Increasing Hair Density

RepliCel Life Sciences; a company out of Vancouver, Canada; is studying the use of hair cloning techniques to treat male pattern baldness and hair loss in women.

The study is in progress, but analysis of the 6-month interim results of the first phases have been published. As indicated in the graphic above, the preliminary results at 6 months show that vellus hair density has increased 24.9%, terminal hair density has increased 14.5%, overall hair density increased by 19.2%, and cumulative thickness per area increased by 15.4%.

Also, almost two-thirds of subjects (10 subjects out of 16, or 63%) received a greater than 5% increase in hair density at the injection site. Of that group of 10 subjects, 7 of them saw hair density improve by more than 10%, with the biggest improvement in hair density being an increase of 19.6% in one subject.

Lortkipanidze N, et al. 2012

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Bernstein Medical In The News

Dr. Bernstein Featured Hair Transplant Pioneer In Departures Magazine

Departures - The State of Plastic Surgery 2012The January/February issue of Departures Magazine contains a feature called “The State of Plastic Surgery 2012″. The magazine covers topics such as how to find the best plastic surgeon, the use of stem cells in plastic surgery and the best hair loss therapies.

The section on hair loss offers a timeline of the major advances in the treatment of hair loss since its inception over 75 years ago.

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Hair Restoration Research

Prostaglandin Discovery May Lead To Hair Loss Treatment For Men And Women

Miniaturized human hair follicle shows concentration of Prostaglandin D2 (in green). Credit: Garza and Cotsarelis/Penn Medicine)Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, who were investigating the biological causes of androgenetic alopecia or common genetic hair loss, have discovered that levels of a certain inhibitor protein, called Prostaglandin D2 (PD2), are elevated in bald areas on the scalp. This discovery could be an important breakthrough in developing a medical hair loss treatment that regulates the production of the protein, or one that blocks it from attaching to its receptor protein.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Does Sebum Cause Hair Loss By Blocking Pores On Scalp?

Q: I have been on finasteride for about 7 months. After my latest haircut I can see that my scalp is shiny. I read that is from sebum buildup and it can cause a layer that clogs the growth of hair. I was wondering if this is true and, if so, how can it be treated? — T.C., Philadelphia, PA

A: It is not true. Hair loss is caused by the miniaturizing effects of DHT on the hair follicle, not by blocked pores.

For more on this topic, view our pages on the causes of hair loss in men or the causes of hair loss in women.

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Bernstein Medical In The News

A Breakthrough in Hair Cloning

ACell, Inc. - Regenerative Medicine TechnologyNew developments in regenerative medicine, presented at the 18th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society for Hair Restoration (ISHRS) this past week, may have opened the possibility that a patient’s hair can be multiplied in his own scalp.

ACell, Inc., a company based in Columbia, Maryland, has developed and refined an Extracellular Matrix (ECM), a natural biological material that can be implanted at the site of an injury or damaged tissue in order to stimulate a unique healing response. The ECM stimulates the body’s own cells to form new tissue specific to that site (a process referred to as “Auto-cloning”).

The ACell MatriStem devices have had some preliminary success in allowing plucked hairs that were placed into recipient sites on the patient’s scalp to grow. Although this is a major breakthrough, significant work remains in order for hair multiplication to become a practical treatment for hair loss in men and women.

It is also anticipated that the regenerative properties of Extracellular Matrix will facilitate the healing of the incision in the donor area after a hair transplant. We are currently offering ACell to all patients undergoing follicular unit transplant procedures at no additional charge.

We are currently studying the use of ACell for scalp hair multiplication as well as the facilitation of wound healing in follicular unit transplantation procedures. We are also treating select patients outside the studies. If you are interested in participating, please give us a call.

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Bernstein Medical In The News

O, The Oprah Magazine Discusses Hair Loss In Women, Female Hair Transplants With Dr. Bernstein

O, The Oprah Magazine - March 2010O, The Oprah Magazine has a feature on hair loss in women in their March 2010 issue. Dr. Bernstein was consulted for the article and discussed female hair transplantation.

“Since female hair loss is often diffuse, only about 20 percent of female patients with thinning hair are candidates, says Robert Bernstein, MD, a New York City dermatologist who specializes in these surgeries.”

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Hair Restoration Answers

Why Is Hair Loss In Women Harder To Treat With A Hair Transplant Than Hair Loss In Men?

Q: Why is hair loss in women harder to treat with hair transplants than hair loss in men?

A: The majority of women present with diffuse hair loss (i.e. thinning all over) rather than the patterned hair loss seen in men (where the hair loss is localized to the front and top of the scalp).

Diffuse thinning presents two problems for a potential hair transplant candidate.

The first is that there is no permanent area where the hair can be taken from. If hair is taken from an area that is thinning, the transplanted hair will continue to thin after the procedure, since moving it doesn’t make it more permanent.

The second problem is that since the areas to be transplanted are thin, rather than completely bald, the existing hair in the area of the hair transplant is at some risk to shedding as a result of the procedure.

When women have a more defined pattern (i.e. more localized thinning on the front part of the scalp with a stable back and sides), they can make excellent candidates for surgery. This pattern occurs in about 20% of women. A small percentage of men have diffuse thinning and are, therefore, poor candidates for a hair restoration surgery as well.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Does Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) Affect Hair Loss in Men and Women Differently?

Q: Have there been any studies showing the difference between men and women in their response to laser treatments for hair loss?

A: In the International Journal of Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetic Dermatology (Vol. 5, Number 2; 2003), a study on low level laser therapy (LLLT) was conducted which indicated that there was a 55% increase of growth (hair count) in the temporal area as well as 64% in the vertex of the female subjects who were treated with LLLT for hair loss. The study also indicated a 74% increase in the hair counts of the male subjects in the temporal area and 120% in the vertex region. These results would initially indicate that LLLT works better in men than in women, but there were four times as many men in this study so the results might be different in a larger test group.

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Bernstein Medical In The News

Dr. Schweiger Discusses LaserComb for Hair Loss in Women in Wall Street Journal

Wall Street JournalDr. Eric S. Schweiger, an Associate at Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration, was interviewed recently for an article in the Wall Street Journal.

The article — Can Lasers Stimulate a Hair-Growth Spurt? — discusses the efficacy of the HairMax LaserComb and low level laser therapy (LLLT) and also touches on Dr. Schweiger’s main area of expertise, the diagnosis and treatment of hair loss in women.

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Hair Restoration Answers

What are the Most Common Causes of Hair Loss in Women?

Q: What are the most common causes of hair loss in women other than genes?

A: The most common causes for localized hair loss in women are traction (due to tight braiding) and alopecia areata (an autoimmune disease that produces smooth round patches of hair loss).

Other than genetic (hereditary) thinning; generalized hair loss is most commonly caused by medications, anemia, and thyroid disease.

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Hair Restoration Answers

How Do You Treat General Thinning in Women ?

Q: I’ve been losing my hair just around the front of my scalp for years, but now it’s bad enough that I need to wear a wig to hide the top and back. Do you transplant women?

A: If you have thinning in such a broad area, most likely your donor area is also thin and you would not be a good candidate for surgery.

An examination can determine this and also determine if there is some other cause of your hair loss other than genetics.

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Bernstein Medical In The News

Drs. Bernstein, Rassman, Schweiger Release ‘Hair Loss & Replacement For Dummies’

Hair Loss & Replacement for DummiesHair Loss & Replacement for Dummies is filled with important information for men and women of virtually all ages anxious to preserve their full head of hair, put the brakes on balding, or explore the safest and most reliable hair replacement techniques currently available. The book offers readers not only the full gamut of modern-day hair-care options but crucial tips on how to avoid unscrupulous hair transplant doctors and potentially harmful products as well.

Purchase Book on Amazon.com

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Hair Restoration Answers

Can a Woman be a Candidate for a Hair Transplant?

Q: I am female and thinning can I be a candidate for a Follicular Unit Hair Transplant?

A: If it turns out that you have female pattern hair loss, you may be a candidate a hair transplant, but would need to be evaluated by a doctor who specializes in surgical hair restoration.

In the evaluation, you should have your degree of hair loss assessed and donor supply measured, using an instrument called a densitometer, to be certain that you have enough permanent donor hair to meet your desired goals. For more information about hair loss in women, please see the Diagnosis of Hair Loss in Women page of the Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration website.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Why is there a Different Consultation Fee for Diffuse Thinning versus Patterned Hair Loss?

Q: Why is the consult fee more for diffuse thinning than for a regular visit? — B.F., Altherton, CA

A: Diffuse hair loss, more common in women, can be the result of a number of underlying medical conditions and therefore it usually requires an extended medical evaluation.

If you are a male or female with obvious diffuse thinning from androgenetic alopecia (common baldness), or if you have patterned hair loss where the diagnosis is straightforward, the fee is less because an extensive evaluation is not required.

Please visit our Hair Transplant Costs & Consultation Fees page for more information.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Can Stress Cause Hair Loss or is that a Myth?

Q: I’ve been dealing with daily mental stress for the past few months. I’ve noticed that during that time, I’ve experienced a lot of frontal hair loss and thinning. I thought stress was a myth for causing hair loss. — R.P., Upper East Side, Manhattan

A: Stress may cause temporary shedding, but it generally does not affect the long-term course of genetic hair loss.

It seems that women’s hair is affected by stress more commonly than men’s hair, but the reason is not clear.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Are Women Less Likely to be Candidates for a Hair Transplant?

Q: I heard that a smaller per cent of women are candidates for hair transplants compared to men. Is this true?

A: Yes, that is true. Women more commonly have diffuse hair loss where the thinning is all over the scalp. This means that the donor area (the back and sides of the scalp) are thinning as well.

If the donor area is not stable, then there is no point in doing a hair transplant, since the transplanted hair will continue to fall out. Remember, the transplanted hair is no better than the area where is comes from.

On the other hand, women with stable donor areas can be great candidates for surgical hair restoration. The stability of the donor area can be assessed using a procedure called densitometry and should be part of the hair loss evaluation when you see your physician.

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Hair Restoration Answers

What are Pros and Cons of Laser Therapy at Home vs. Doctor’s Office?

Q: I heard that you can buy a laser for hair loss and use it at home. What are the advantages or disadvantages of doing this?

A: The advantages of home use are convenience and that it is generally less expensive than going to a doctor’s office for treatment.

The main disadvantage of using laser treatments without a doctor’s supervision is that a more effective treatment for hair loss may be available and you may not know about it. By spending time using the laser, the window for a more effective treatment may be missed. A good example is the 20 year old male who has extensive hair loss in his family and is just starting to thin. It is very important for this person to start Propecia (finasteride) as soon as possible, since the long-term benefits of using this medication are well established.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Can Hair Transplant Treat Hair Loss from Traction Alopecia?

Q: I am a Caucasian female that has experienced hair loss on the sides of my head from the height of the eyebrow to the ear due to traction. The hair loss has been present since my teen years. My job requires me to wear my hair up most of the time. Although I don’t wear it nearly as tight, I seem to continue to lose my hair in the front and on the top of my head. My hair also used to be very thick as a child and is now quite thin. I’m not sure if this is normal or something else is going on, but I am definitely interested in a hair transplant. — M.H., Larchmont, NY

A: It sounds like you are experiencing continued traction alopecia. Unless the underlying cause is corrected (the traction), you can expect to continue to lose your hair. People that have traction alopecia can have thinning even from mild pulling that might not be a problem for others. Once you stop the pulling, it can take up to two years for the hair to return, although there may be permanent hair loss.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Can Hair Loss in Women be Caused by Pregnancy, Prozac, or Hyperactive Thyroid?

Q: I had a baby 12 weeks ago and have recently been diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid, although only slightly. I was also taking Prozac for 7-10 days. I am 27 and have been experiencing a significant amount of hair loss from all over my scalp. What are the chances that this would be permanent?

A: Based upon your history, you have three possible reasons for having a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium; thyroid disease, medication induced (Prozac) and pregnancy.

Telogen effluvium is diagnosed by a hair pull test and observing club hairs under the microscope. It is generally a reversible condition, regardless of the cause. Telogen effluvium most often occurs 2-3 months after the inducing event, so your pregnancy is the most likely cause. Prozac would less likely be the problem since you have only been on it for a short time. Besides causing Telogen effluvium, thyroid disease can also alter your hair characteristics, which can make your hair appear thinner.

Other causes of hair loss, such as genetic female pattern hair alopecia, must be ruled out. Please see the Hair Loss in Women page on the Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration website for more information.

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Hair Restoration Answers

What are Styling Tips for Thinning Hair?

Q: I am a 45 year old women and I am beginning to thin on the top of my scalp. I don’t want to use medications and I don’t think that I am quite ready for surgery. Is there anything else I can do? — E.H., Rye, NY

A: There are a number of things that you can do that can make you hair look more full and help disguise the thinning. Lightening ones hair will allow the hair to reflect more light and appear thicker. In lighter-skinned races it will have the additional advantage of decreasing the contrast between the hair and skin and thus the skin will essentially act as a filler between the strands of hair.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Why Should Hair Transplant Doctor Measure Miniaturization in Donor Area Before Transplant?

Q: Why should a doctor measure miniaturization in the donor area before recommending a hair transplant? — E.B., Key West, F.L.

A: Normally, the donor area contains hairs of very uniform diameter (called terminal hairs). In androgenetic hair loss, the action of DHT causes some of these terminal hairs to decrease in diameter and in length until they eventually disappear (a process referred to as “miniaturization”). These changes are seen initially as thinning and eventually lead to complete baldness in the involved areas.

These changes affect the areas that normally bald in genetic hair loss, namely the front and top of the scalp and the crown. However, miniaturization can also affect the donor or permanent regions of the scalp (where the hair is taken from during a hair transplant). If the donor area shows thinning, particularly when a person is young, then a hair transplant will not be successful because the transplanted hair would continue to thin in the new area and eventually disappear. It is important to realize that just because hair is transplanted to another area, that doesn’t make it permanent – it must have been permanent in the area of the scalp it initially came from.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Can Hair Transplant Treat Diffuse Hair Loss in Women?

Q: My hair loss resembles the grade I female hair loss scale, but none of the male hair loss patterns. It has been relatively stable for the past five years and only recently has it begun to progress further. I began both Propecia and regain two months ago, but the hair loss still continues at the same pace. I’m really worried. Does a hair transplant work in such a diffuse hair loss? — D.D., Park Slope, Brooklyn

A: If your hair loss is diffuse only on top, then a hair transplant will be effective. This condition is called Diffuse Patterned Alopecia or DPA.

If the diffuse pattern of hair loss affects the back and sides as well, then surgical hair restoration should be avoided. In this case (called Diffuse Unpatterned Alopecia or DUPA) the donor area is not permanent and the transplanted hair will continue to thin over time.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Can Hair Transplant Treat Chronic Telogen Effluvium?

Q: I am a 36 year old female who has been diagnosed with Chronic Telogen Effluvium. Although I do not have any bald spots yet my hair is much thinner on both of my temples as well as in the back of my head. Is a hair transplant an option for me or am I just going to shed the new hair as I am shedding my current hair? — R.K., Providence, R.I.

A: Since Chronic Telogen Effluvium is a generalized condition, it is not amenable to correction by a hair transplant. The reason is that there is no stable area to take donor hair from. Chronic TE is generally self-limited, so try to be patient.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Can a Hair Transplant Restore Frontal Hair Loss in Women?

Q: Although I read that women are supposedly protected from hair loss in the frontal hairline by the enzyme aromatase that is exactly where I am losing hair. My hairline has receded and I have developed a widow’s peak. What can be causing this, and how can I fix it? It seems to have been happening gradually for a few years.

A: Less than 10% of female hair loss is in a frontal pattern that is similar to the pattern of genetic hair loss seen in men.

Women with this pattern can often be good candidates for hair transplant surgery, particularly if the donor area is stable. View our Women’s Hair Transplant Gallery for some examples of the kind of results we can achieve for women at Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Can Hair Loss in Women Come from Hair Dye?

Q: I am a 48 year old woman. Since I have used a new hair dye, I seem to be going bald. Is this possible?

A: Dying hair is a very common practice and hair loss in women who are 48 years old is also very common. The fact that the two have occurred together does not necessarily imply that there is a cause and effect relationship.

Women who are already losing hair often go to a great deal of effort to disguise this fact with dying, bleaching, and perming. These procedures, particularly if too aggressive, or done too frequently, can cause weakening and increased fragility of the hair shaft and increased hair breakage may result. This is more common if the hair is already fine in texture. This breakage is frequently interpreted as “hair loss” and it certainly does result in a significant loss of hair bulk, although the follicle itself is not damaged.

When there is a relationship between hair dye and hair loss in women, it is usually an inflammatory/allergic or irritant reaction. If severe, there may be an actual burn. In these cases, there would be a history of redness and swelling. An inflammatory reaction could cause hair loss but it would be unusual to damage follicles enough to produce scarring – although this occasionally does occur. A scalp biopsy is often helpful to sort out these cases.

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Hair Restoration Answers

What Causes Patch of Hair Loss in Women?

Q: I am a 34 year woman with a patch of hair loss by my temple. I went to the salon to have my hair done and to my surprise my hairdresser told me that I have Alopecia? First time I’d heard of it, my G.P is not very concerned about it but having read so much about it on this site I am becoming a bit concerned. The rest of my hair is healthy any suggestions and diagnosis? — M.V., Williamsburg, Brooklyn

A: “Alopecia” is just a generic term for any kind of hair loss.

It sounds like you have a specific condition called alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that presents with the sudden appearance of well localized bald spot(s) on the scalp or other parts of the body. The underlying skin is always normal.

The treatment is injections with cortisone. Hair transplant surgery is not indicated for this condition.

You should see a dermatologist to confirm the diagnosis and treat.

Other diagnoses to consider are triangular alopecia (which would have been present since childhood) and traction alopecia (that is cased by constant tugging on the hair).

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Hair Restoration Answers

How is Rogaine for Women Different from Men’s Formula?

Q: What is the difference between Rogaine for men and Rogaine for women? — G.K., Hawthorne, N.Y.

A: Rogaine for men is 5% minoxidil and Rogaine for women is 2%. Another difference is that the 5% solution has propylene glycol in it whereas the 2% is alcohol based. The propylene glycol helps the minoxidil penetrate the skin better and makes the medication more effective. Although both the alcohol and propylene glycol based preparations can irritate the scalp, propylene glycol can cause actual allergic reactions in those who are sensitive.

Propylene glycol is greasier to have on the scalp than the alcohol based formulation. For patients who complain of the greasiness, we advise Minoxidil 5% at bedtime and 2% in the AM.

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Hair Restoration Answers

Can Women Use Propecia to Treat Hair Loss and Does Their Age Matter?

Q: I have early thinning on the top of my scalp and I was told to use Propecia, but I heard that is was only for men. What do you think? — T.G., Staten Island, NY

A: Women can’t take Propecia during the child-bearing years because, if ingested, it can cause birth defects in male offspring.

In post-menopausal women, where we see the greatest frequency of hair loss, it doesn’t seem to be effective.

In pre-menopausal women who do not plan to become pregnant or who already have children, we are still cautious about using the medication, since there effectiveness has not been proven and its long-term safety in this population has not been tested.

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