Can I reverse my hair loss?
July 7, 2009 9:00 AM   Subscribe

My hair is getting crazy-thin around my face from frequently pulling my hair back. Will anything make it grow back?

I am a 20-something female, and my hair is thinning in the upper corners of my face. I often put my hair in a ponytail because of its thickness and general lack of discipline, and I believe the thinning is occurring because of that (although i don't really pull it back that tightly). Any tips for bringing my hair back- BESIDES "stop putting your hair in ponytails," that is a given- maybe supplements or other OTC drugs I could take?

(I would feel kind of silly going to buy rogaine, especially if it's not going to work.)
posted by GarotaDaCidade to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
"Male-pattern baldness" isn't just for guys; it happens to women, too, although in much lower numbers. Rogaine is one solution. Talk to your doc, if you have one.

It may also be environmental - have you changed your living arrangements or location?
posted by notsnot at 9:03 AM on July 7, 2009

I'm also given to understand that Rogaine won't fix the receding hairline pattern of baldness, only the kind where a patch of hair starts thinning at the back of the head and spreads outward.

Also, I've noticed a huge difference in how much hair comes out from the temple region if I set the ponytail down low, so that it lies on the back of my neck instead of bobbing around int he back. A good clasp -- not the cheap, terrible kinds that come for three for a dollar at the drugstore, but one of the kinds that go for three or four dollars at a hair supply store and holds even my horsehair pretty well -- works pretty well for this, too.
posted by joyceanmachine at 9:15 AM on July 7, 2009

I like to repeat words, apparently. Facepalm, apparently. But the advice stands.
posted by joyceanmachine at 9:16 AM on July 7, 2009

That's called traction alopecia. I don't have any suggestions, but the phrase might help you google.

Biotin supplements are supposed to be good for hair loss.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:18 AM on July 7, 2009

Are you completely sure that it's because you pull your hair back? I started noticing hair loss when I was your age but I blew it off. Now that I'm older I wish I had gotten it checked out a lot earlier because my hair in front is very, very thin. I have a hormonal condition that causes the hair loss and I could have made a difference if I had caught it sooner.

I use the Nioxin hair system and have noticed some regrowth but I know my hair won't ever recover to what it was before. Now I'm just trying not to get a bald spot. It sucks.
posted by sugarfish at 9:37 AM on July 7, 2009

I've only known one person this happened to, and she was a dancer who had to have her hair pulled back VERY tightly into buns on a regular basis. This is something you hear about with ballerinas and the like- women who have to have that hair yanked back way tighter than most of us bother with.

Seconding the suggestion that it may be unrelated to the ponytails, and to get it checked out.
posted by Kellydamnit at 12:50 PM on July 7, 2009

Get your thyroid levels checked. Hypothyroidism can cause hair loss among many other symptoms. It is not uncommon and treatment is straightforward and usually successful.
posted by hellboundforcheddar at 8:26 PM on July 7, 2009

You should really see a doctor and, get blood work done to check for hypo/hyper thyroidism, diabetes, anaemia, PCOS and a few other things. Plus, poor diet, insufficient protein or iron, psychological stress, medications, the pill ... hmmm anything that puts a stress on your system can cause it. There are a lot of diseases that can cause hair loss in women, you should really rule out the physical causes first.

Start washing your hair with a shampoo that has 1% Zinc Pyrithione, some say it helps. Nizoral is another. But mostly make sure you're eating well and, getting enough iron, protien and omega 3's.

It sucks.

Tell me about it! *sigh*
posted by squeak at 9:04 AM on July 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

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