If you’ve ever experienced hair loss, you’re far from alone: Approximately 30 million women in the United States have reported dealing with hair loss and thinning caused by genetics. And by the time we reach age 50, about half of us will have experienced it. But as common as it is, in many ways hair loss remains a taboo topic.
So in an effort to help open up the dialogue, we at Allure‘s The Science of Beauty podcast devoted our latest episode to hair loss and thinning. With help from dermatologist Nazanin Saedi, M.D., hosts Jenny Bailly, executive beauty director, and Dianna Mazzone, senior beauty editor (and yours truly), investigate the different causes of hair loss and review the many treatment options available — while getting real about the costs.
As you’ll learn during our episode, hair loss is highly personal; there’s no universal cause or one-size-fits-all solution. So give the episode a listen, and take away what resonates with you — and in the meantime, you can check out some of our most fascinating findings below.
There’s a link between stress and hair loss.
According to Dr. Saedi, stressful life events — like, say, a pandemic — can prompt hairs to move from the anagen (or growth) phase to the telogen phase, resulting in shedding. Since it takes hairs several months to move through this cycle, you’re likely to notice hair loss not during a stressful event but 12 to 16 weeks later.
Minoxidil remains one of the most promising topical treatments for hair loss.
When taken orally, the ingredient lowers your blood pressure, says Dr. Saedi. When applied to the scalp directly, it dilates blood vessels, increasing blood supply. This allows hairs to receive more nutrients, which in turn stimulates growth.
Hair transplants aren’t a one-and-done fix.
Dr. Saedi says many people are surprised to learn that the procedure — during which follicles are removed from one area of the scalp and carefully placed in another — can target only one section of hair at a time. Most people who appear to have had “successful” transplants have undergone at least two, she says.
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