Do You Have Significant Hair Thinning/loss?

Updated on September 20, 2012
M.L. asks from Cottage Grove, MN
11 answers

I am losing my hair. It is thinning so much in some areas that you can see my scalp and there are some patches with barely any hair. I have to comb my hair over those areas to cover them but I think it is getting worse and I am afraid that soon I won't have much left. I am 38 years old.

I went to my family doctor and he refered me to a Dermatologist. I have autoimmune issues and a B12 deficiency. Personally I think theses issues are causing the hair loss. So I don't know what a dermatologist will be able to do about it.

Have any of you experienced this much hair loss? Have you found any treatment that was/is helpful? Please help.

Edited to add: There is not any family history of hair loss in my mother's family (they all have very thick full hair). On my Father's side only my Grandfather lost some of his hair.

I had my thyroid checked by my family doctor and it came back normal.

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answers from Eugene on

Yup, I do. I have autoimmune issues including my thyroid. My hair loss goes in cycles, falling out by the handfuls for a few weeks then growing back, but still thin compared to before. I use minoxidil and it helps some.

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answers from Minneapolis on

did your mom have thinning or baldness? any of your aunts? It would have to be your mom's side. If they dont, then you can breath a little. If they do, then it looks like Maternal balding pattern, and its not reversible.
If she doesn't or your female members dont, then there are a few things. Sometimes it can be hormonal. If you are producing low estrogen you may have this issue. Vitamin deficiency is another. Scalp sensitivity, and allergies yet another cause. So dont give up on the dermatologist yet.
I found out that I have hormonal, and Vit. Deficiency. Once I got that under control the hair falling lessened, and now I use Nioxin as a treatment to help bring back healthier hair. It doesnt grow it back, but helps support what you have, until new hair can start coming in. I like it, it smells more minty than chemical, its not harsh, and it did make my hair appear fuller, stopped my scalp from hurting all the time, and took the dry shine away from my scalp skin so my thinning was no to noticeable. I thought I was going to get my mothers balding issue and that was it for me. My dermatologist determined that is not what I have, and that my hair loss is fixable. However, my sister inherited the gene, and she is almost totally bald on top, she wears a wig now :(

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answers from Las Vegas on

I am 48 now, but when I first entered my late 30s, I did begin to see more hair loss. You couldn't see my scalp, but whenever I would shower, quite a bit more hair than I was used to would fall out. Additionally, from my late 30s to early 40s... My pillow would have more hair on it too.. I was alarmed at first and then as I read more about it.. In my case, I attributed it to hormones.. I was beginning to see a subtle drop in Estrogen during that time and then when I reached my 40s, with my Estrogen levels dropping even further and my now entering Perimenopause.. BAM..... However, it has since tapered off and I think has grown back for the most part.. Granted, the texture of the hair does change...However, all and all... I'd say, the falling out of hair is over..

Have you had your hormones checked?



answers from Chicago on

Mine seems to be falling out in handfuls lately! I got Nizoral shampoo and I've been taking a vitamin B complex every day to help.

Good luck!


answers from Boston on

Yes, it can be related to the auto immune issue. I also had it though not as badly as you have it. I work with a lot of people with auto immune issues (MS, lupus, etc.) and I have reversed my hair loss. My hairdresser is thrilled with me. There is help nutritionally - PM me and we can chat. I just helped another woman with MS and her hair loss stopped within a week. Don't just treat the B12 deficiency as taking individual nutrients is rarely successful and generally expensive (especially since it doesn't work). Deficiencies are part of a bigger picture.



answers from Kansas City on

Mine is doing the same thing, and I'm wondering if my thyroid is out of balance. I know thyroid issues can cause hair thinning/loss. I'm almost 38 years old.


answers from Jacksonville on

I lose a lot every shower. But not what it sounds like you are experiencing.
My first thought was: thyroid. Have you had your thyroid checked? It is the regulator of all things hormone related, and hair loss is often a sign that there is something awry with the thyroid.


answers from Norfolk on

Big changes in your thyroid function can cause some pretty dramatic hair loss.
I'm hypothyroid and when my medication had a shortage a few years ago my hair thinned like you would not believe.
When the thyroid stabilizes (either on it's own or by taking medication like Synthroid or Armour Thyroid), the hair grows back.
I think an Endocrinologist might be a good doctor to see.
To help your hair grow faster, try taking
a Biotin supplement (for B vitamins),
1 tablespoon of black strap molasses (for sulfur) and
1 horsetail supplement (for silica) (or 1 teaspoon of FOOD GRADE diatomacious earth (in juice or water))
once a day.
While doing this I can grow an inch of hair a month (instead of 1/2 inch) BUT the hair grows quickly everywhere (under arms, on legs, etc) and your nails will grow quickly, too.



answers from Syracuse on

Mine was thinning out a lot after having kids, which I know is normal but it continued beyond a normal period. During that time, I wasn't eating a ton or exercising and was stressed. Now I exercise and eat a ton of good healthy food, and it's come back to wear I have thick healthy hair again.



answers from San Francisco on

If it keeps up, and you still have enough hair in back, hair transplants are really good these days, though expensive. I know people who've had them. Also you could try Rogaine.

Yes, probably autoimmune.



answers from Charlotte on

I don't have autoimmune issues, ML, but I lost a lot of hair during a space of time when I was chronically ill and throwing up a lot. (I didn't have bald spots, but it got really thin around the front.) I ended up having surgery, and gradually, some of my hair has grown back. Though I think that it would have stopped falling out as I got my health back, I think that the reason some of it has grown back is because I started taking vitamin and protein shakes in my quest to become more healthy.

I use both Herbalife and Spirutein, whichever one I can get. They are not cheap, but one shake a day gives really good nutrients that are "eaten", not in a pill being swallowed.

I don't know if this would help you, but it has helped me. I will tell you that my doctor told me that taking a pregnancy vitamin and a separate one for hair and skin would also help.

I feel for you - I really do. It was a scary time for me.


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