What can cause a mild receding hairline in a healthy, young (26) year old woman?
September 18, 2010 4:25 PM   Subscribe

What can cause a mild receding hairline in a young (26) year old woman,who had normal hormone and vitamin testing? Anyone experiencing this? (more inside)

I am 26, female, pretty healthy, healthy weight. I was feeling really run-down and had some lab testing because I was always tired and have a spot about the size of a nickel right in the middle of my forehead where my hair is receding. Two hair stylists have also told me I was losing lots of hair overall. Labs came back with normal hormone/testosterone levels, slightly high cholesterol, and low vitamin d. I have started taking vitamins and am feeling better, but my hairline is very slowly getting worse. The spot looks like a man's bald head, where the scalp is gone and it's just shiny skin. I do always wear my hair in a ponytail, so I thought it could just be breakage, but it's getting worse. I did start a high-stress job about 2 years ago, and I am not on the pill and never have been. Is this just part of getting older? I know hormones continue to change, but I don't want to watch my hairline recede, even though now it is barely noticeable. I have been depressed in the past, but was never on medication (and am not on any prescriptions now). I would appreciate hearing from someone with a similar experience and any advice. Thanks.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I do always wear my hair in a ponytail, so I thought it could just be breakage, but it's getting worse.

Traction alopecia, maybe? What has your doctor said (since you're having all these tests done)?
posted by Gator at 4:36 PM on September 18, 2010

Have you been to an endocrinologist? Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) doesn't always show up in hormone tests. Take a look at lists of symptoms online and see if anything seems familiar.
posted by sugarfish at 4:58 PM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

When I was under a great deal of stress several years ago, my hair fell out like crazy. When I would shower and wash my hair, it came out by the handfulls. So, stress could be a major factor. Also, genetics could be playing a part. Both of my parents had thinning hair in their later years. My only advice is to try and find a way to be less stressed, especially since you say your hormone levels are normal. Ask your doctor for advice. Good luck. And by the way, once my stress was alleviated, the hair loss eased off quite a bit.
posted by wv kay in ga at 5:06 PM on September 18, 2010

There is such a thing as "female pattern baldness". It is rare, but it can happen. Treatment options are pretty much the same as for men: minoxidil, follicle transplants, wigs, or learning to live with it.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:33 PM on September 18, 2010

A few years ago, my female cousin (then 25), lost all of her hair (except a few patches). No doctors or specialists could figure out any reasons why. After a couple of bald months, it all started to slowly grow back, and now she has a normal head of hair again. Interesting data point.
posted by whalebreath at 6:05 PM on September 18, 2010

Did you get your thyroid tested? Have you been undergoing a lot of stress?
posted by Ideefixe at 6:42 PM on September 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

This happened to me. It was stress, and it all grew back once I started taking better care of myself.
posted by embrangled at 6:53 PM on September 18, 2010

I know two people this has happened to. One had it happen after she took some steroids for an allergy problem. The other said it happened while she was pregnant. Any chance either of those could apply to you?
posted by lollusc at 8:33 PM on September 18, 2010

Could it be alopecia areata? This is a disorder where your immune system takes offence to and attacks a patch of hair, so you get a bald spot (or in extreme adds, total hair loss). I have some mild form of it, which tends to flare up during periods of stress, where I'll find weird, small bald spots. My dermatologist gives me cortisone shots directly onto the spot pretty much to make me feel better, but it's still unclear whether this has any real benefit. Whether a result of the cortisone or not, my hair tends to grow back within a couple of weeks.
posted by superquail at 12:04 AM on September 19, 2010

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