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What can help a woman with thinning hair?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
If your hair is thinning, the problem might be hereditary. Your doctor or dermatologist can help determine if this is the case. If it is, you might be a candidate for over-the-counter minoxidil (the 2% solution), which can stimulate hair regrowth in some women with hereditary hair loss. Other medication your doctor might prescribe could also help.

Hair loss can also be caused by an underlying medical condition such as thyroid disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and  lupus, so it's important to see your doctor to determine the cause. Getting treated for the underlying condition could allow your hair to regrow.

Another possible cause of thinning hair is stress -- and if that's the issue, then practicing stress-reduction techniques should, in theory, help.

In rare cases, thinning hair, often with loss of hair color, may be the result of a deficiency of biotin, one of the B complex vitamins. If your doctor determines you might be deficient, he may recommend that you take a biotin supplement.

Hair transplants are an option if you are seriously bothered by your thinning hair and other approaches don't work.
Dealing with thinning hair can be a challenge (not to mention an emotional letdown), but thankfully there are some tricks to make the most of what you’ve got.
  • Try an over-the-counter topical solution of 2.5 percent minoxidil, which is both the generic and chemical name for Rogaine. If you don’t see results after using it twice daily for six months, give it up, and ask your physician about other options available by prescription. Remember, hair loss can have an underlying medical cause. Your doctor can test to see if you are anemic (have low iron) or have an underperforming thyroid. Other medication you may be taking and stress can also partly be to blame.
  • Find a great hairstylist. Be open with him or her about your hair loss (you won’t be the first person to admit it!).
  • Try coloring your hair. Adding highlights can move attention away from your thinning areas. In addition, it can give your hair shaft a boost, plumping it and enriching its volume.
From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.