British Skin Foundation - Hair Loss/Alopecia

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Lots of hair coming out when combed

Postby scratchalot on Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:49 pm

I am 69 years old and a white female.

My hair has always been fine and thin (I am fair-skinned and blonde), but about 18 months ago it started coming out a lot when I washed or combed my hair, far more than the '100 hairs a day' standard. It has receded at the front sides somewhat and now my fringe area is itchy and thinning too. The worst when it started was that I lost a whole row at the top of my neck which was very noticeable if I tied my hair back and I had bald spots at the back of my head too. The doctor thought it must be alopaecia areata, but the blood test came back negative. The hair treatment suggested was not suitable as it is supposed to be for typical female pattern baldness on the top of the head and for no-one over 65 years old and with a family history of female baldness, none of which applies to me. The hair at the top of my neck has grown but after a year it is still just a light fuzz, and the top of my head is thinning more and I am still losing so much hair when I comb it that I am terrified of becoming bald. Partings anywhere on my head are wide and very noticeable. I am Vegetarian, eat a balanced diet as well as I can and take liquid mineral and vitamin supplements. I also only wash my hair with gentle herbal shampoos and conditioners and lukewarm water not commercial stuff. I never use rollers, curlers or hair dryers. What else can I do to get it to grow more thickly and stop it coming out so much? I am finding it very embarassing and stressful. Thank you.
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Re: Lots of hair coming out when combed

Postby Dr Kapil Bhargava on Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:43 pm

Hi Scratchalot,

Thank you for your question.

The key in improving the hair loss would be to get an accurate diagnosis. From what you have posted it does sound like you have alopecia areata, given the where the loss has occurred and the regrowth. The excess shedding may occur if the condition is active.

However given you are vegetarian, it would be prudent to have blood tests, via your GP or a specialist, to ensure you have adequate levels of the the vitamins and minerals needed for optimum hair growth. Furthermore adequate amounts of protein in your diet are also important. If any of these are sub-optimal you maybe shedding excessively because of a telogen effluvium.

Lastly, widening of the parting is often seen in female pattern hair loss. Again review by a specialist would determine if this was the case.

It is not uncommon to have more than one cause for hair loss. The treatments for each of these three conditions is different and you may require all of them to be addressed before you achieve an improvement.
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Dr Kapil Bhargava
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