What should I do next for rapid hair loss in a 29 year old female?
I am a 29 year old female suffering from rapid hair loss for years. I used to have very thick hair, but the temples and crown of my hair has become very thin. I do not know any doctors nor understand the treatments available for me, and I hope that you can shed some light. Is it possible that female hair loss is incurable, and who should I go to?
I would like to answer your query in parts:
a) Gradual hair loss, for example, over a number of years, should be differentiated between rapid-sudden hair loss. If you have noticed progressive thinning of your hair, leaving your parting line and temple scalp more visible, it is possible that you are having female-pattern hair loss.
However, if you notice sudden and rapid shedding of large amounts of hair, that could point to a different hair loss condition e.g. telogen effluvium
Do note that these 2 different hair loss conditions can occur together.
b) The first step in managing this problem is to establish a diagnosis of your hair loss condition. This will include a visit to a doctors' clinic for a thorough clinical examination and likely include blood tests to ascertain if there are medical or nutritional causes for your hair loss.
The treatment of your hair loss condition would depend on what your hair loss doctor finds from the examination and blood tests. Any nutritional deficiencies must be addressed either by changing your diet or by taking supplements. Any medications that you might be taking that are accelerating your hair loss might need to be stopped. Medical conditions that may warrant a referral to a specialist would include lupus, thyroid conditions etc.
c) Some treatment possibilities include topical minoxidil spray or foam, oral tablets that control hair loss, nutritional supplements, scalp treatments.
Female pattern hair loss has many contributing causes and in order to manage the hair loss, these causes need to be addressed.
While I would not label any hair loss condition as 'incurable' per se, it can be a prolonged and progressive condition that may lead to significant cosmetic "problems" if left untreated.
I hope this helps.
Dr Joshua Chong
Not so sure what you mean by rapid over years. How many years did you observe the hair loss? How much hair are you lossing a day and over how long? These are questions which you may need to answer over a consult because the answer you give will lead to other questions and a detailed history and examination would be helpful.
At 29 years old where your hair has become very thin over the crown and temples doesnt sound too good because you are pretty young so if the condition is mainly due to female hair loss without the absence of medical or scalp issues, then the prognosis may not be too good.
However at such a young age, it may be useful for you to investigate it further as you may sometimes be able to pick up reversible causes of hair loss like what Dr Chong says.
Although there is available treatment like hair spray, and some hair treatments, it is more important to exclude other cause of hair loss first and then to plan what to do next. Plan of treatments will have to take into account if any other causes can be found, the speed of the hairloss and your own lifestyle and to manage your expectations. Hope that helps.