A: The first thing that needs to be done is to determine the cause of the thinning hair. To do this, you need to see your physician. He will
probably ask about your family history and whether there are other women in your family who have had thinning hair. He may ask about diet,
recent illnesses, medications that you may be taking, stress factors at home or work, and possible contact you may have had with chemicals.
There are many factors that can result in thinning of the hair among women.
Some women experience a period of thinning hair after pregnancy, when they have hormone deficiencies, or
have long periods of stress in their lives. You may be suffering from androgenic alopecia, in which case you have a genetic predisposition to
thinning hair that is triggered by hormones and the aging process.
Once the cause of the thinning hair is determined, your doctor can prescribe a course of treatment for the
cause of the hair loss and in many cases your hair loss will be reversed, or at least halted (so the sooner you see him/her the better off
you'll be). This may mean treatment of an underlying illness, hormone therapy, dietary corrections or supplements, or a prescription for
minoxidil (or recommendation of the over-the-counter brands).
It's important that you realize that only your physician is qualified to diagnose the cause of your
problem. As a licensed cosmetologist, I (and any other stylist) am qualified to help you work with your thin hair to provide the most
flattering style. We are not, however, in any way qualified to advise you on the cause of, or treatment for your hair loss.
Some stylists get into the habit of recommending products and herbal supplements that are supposed to stop
hair loss. Aside from those over-the-counter medications that are approved by government agencies and assured to be effective for specific
types of hair loss, most of these herbs and hair products are just today's answer to snake oil. They're useful for separating you from your
money, and little else.
If you're really concerned about your hair loss, see your doctor.