Information About Fashion Design Drawing

Fashion design is the talent of applying design to body shapes in order to come up with fashionable clothing. For you to succeed in the world of fashion and design you must be able to do sketches and drawings. These are the ones which give you a rough idea about how the end product will look like. If you need to learn how to do fashion design drawing, you may need to start at the lowest level in order to build your skill from there. Starting from the lowest level will give you the confidence required for you to make it in this industry. In fact, you can come up with your own ideas and put them down as drawings or sketches

Most of the people, who consider themselves poor drawers, end up being the best in fashion design. If you are interested in fashion design, you can join a college or institution which offers fashion design as a course and pick it from there. Drawing is important when it comes to this industry; however even with basic knowledge on drawing you can make it. The following are some of the tips to use if you want to succeed in fashion design.

• Learn how to draw.

Drawing is important in fashion design because it is the only medium you have to express the ideas you have in your mind. Without it, you will have problems explaining to people what you want to make for them. Where there are no sketches, it will be hard for you to make your client understand what you intend to do. The good thing is that, you do not need to be a good artist; taking basic lessons on how to do sketches is all that you need.

• Get yourself a good sewing machine.

After getting knowledge on how to sketch, you will need to buy a sewing machine to help you stitch your clothes. You may need to go for a refresher course in order to sharpen your sewing skills. That will also bring you up to speed with the various sewing patterns which are prevalent in the fashion world. Getting a refresher course will also create an opportunity for you to remind yourself how to do hand sewing. Remember that you will need all these skills during your fashion career.

• Consider the purpose of the clothes you design.

It is important to note that when designing a gown for instance, you must have in mind its purpose. For instance, you cannot design an evening wear the same way you would design clothes to be worn in a funeral. Since the two have different purposes, they will have to be designed differently. It is also important for you to think about how much a particular dress will cost you to make. You must put into consideration the price of the material to be used and how much of it will be required. That will give you a rough idea of how much the overall cost will be.

Fashion Design Skills 101 – Skills That Fashion Schools Don’t Cover Nearly Enough

In fashion school, most of your time was spent learning to create fashion illustrations, draping, sewing, and flat patternmaking. While these are good skills to have, they aren’t very practical when you’re trying to land your first job in the fashion industry. In the real world you’ll be expected to know how to create computerized flat sketches, develop garment specs, CADs, and presentation boards. And I know some of you are thinking “But I learned those things in school too!” To which I reply: You think you know, but you have no idea! Take it from experience: fashion schools don’t focus on those skills nearly enough to fully prepare you for your first design position. In this article I will discuss each skill and its importance in the fashion industry.

Draping and Patternmaking – Low Importance
While patternmaking and draping are valuable skills, they usually only come in handy when you deal with a lot of fits. However, fittings are usually conducted by technical design teams so if you got into fashion for creative reasons, you’ll most likely be miserable in this type of position. On the creative side of design, all you need is a basic understanding of what creates a good fit, and how to fix a bad one. In the majority of design positions, hands-on patternmaking skills are not necessary, unless you plan to enter Project Runway!

Sewing – Low Importance
On the creative side of design, sewing isn’t that relevant. Yes, it’s good to understand the general concepts of garment construction, but you don’t need to be a great seamstress. On the job, if you need to know how a certain garment is constructed, there are tons of references available: from clothes at the stores, to “how to” books and online articles. The point I’m trying to make is: if you’re sewing skills leave something to be desired, don’t stress over it.

Illustration – Almost Unnecessary
Sadly, fashion illustrations are a dying art in the industry – they are scarcely used by designers in the real world. The fashion illustration has been replaced with computer drawn stylized technical sketches (floats) or more accurate technical flats, which are faster to sketch and much more practical. Not only do they present a clear representation of design concept, but they are a must have for production. Flats can be turned into CADs and can be used in mood/presentation boards. Fashion schools have not followed this shift and still focus more heavily on illustrations, and not enough on flat sketching.

Computer Programs – Must Know
I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing popular computer applications for creating floats, flats and CADs. Most companies expect proficiency in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Excel since they are relatively affordable in comparison to more industry specific software. Unfortunately, the coverage of Illustrator and Photoshop provided by fashion schools does not meet the actual demands of the fashion industry. Many companies are also requesting knowledge of WebPDM, so if your college offers a course in this program, it would be to your benefit to take it. If your school does not teach this program, find a school or venue that does offer this program and take it!

Flat Sketching – Must Know
While interviewing candidates for design positions, we’ve seen applicants’ portfolios filled with beautiful illustrations and then say “That’s nice, but can you flat sketch?” If flats are included in their portfolios, they are usually basic, lack important details, and are not visually appealing. If the candidates sketches are halfway decent; my next question is “do you know Illustrator and Photoshop? ” Almost everyone says yes, but it’s usually far from the truth.

A lot of fashion school grads seriously believe that they know these programs well, but what you learned in school isn’t enough – fashion schools don’t teach these skills well enough for entry level designers to be competent within the fashion industry. Schools just cover basics, which are usually forgotten without practice. Take the extra effort to practice and become comfortable with Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and other programs beyond what schools teach: read books and take additional courses (offered in either classroom or online settings).

Creating Specs in a Copycat Industry – Must Know
Knowing how to spec (measure and detail) a garment to create garment specifications, or “specs” is a fundamental skill. Many companies create their spec sheets using Excel. Although garment sizes and measurements vary from company to company, depending on different market segments and categories, if you know the principles, you’ll be able to quickly adapt to the standards of any company. You don’t even need to know how to develop specs from scratch!

As a head designer, to set spec standards for a company, I usually went to different stores, found garments with a good fit and copied the basic measurements. This is quite common – the fashion industry is a copycat industry- most fashions hanging in the stores are knock-offs of another company. Once, during a shopping trip in London, a store salesperson noticed I was a fashion designer collecting style ideas. He mentioned that his store received a constant flow of American design companies such as Calvin Klein, whose designers come to knockoff their merchandise. That’s right – even top designer brands use knockoffs for their ready-to-wear collections. There are even official terms: a “knockoff” is when a style is copied and a “rub-off” is when patterns are copied.

Educate Yourself!
Many fashion schools such as FIT in New York (Fashion Institute of Technology) offer important classes like “flats and specs for the fashion industry”, but believe it or not, these courses are not required by the curriculum! Another handy course that should be taken is “creative fashion presentation.” Salespeople use presentations a lot as visual aids. In addition they create a good impression and convey creativity level. If you can make outstanding presentations you’ll be assigned to do them often, and believe me it’s more fun to make boards than do fits or send faxes and organize showrooms.

To sum up: in order to get a job before the rest of the entry level fashion design candidates, you need to focus on refining skills that are highly demanded in the industry. Become proficient with flat sketching, include flats in your portfolio, and be extremely comfortable and knowledgeable in Illustrator and Photoshop. Not only will you be ready with the skills you need to succeed in fashion, but discussing how you went the extra mile to keep up with industry standards will definitely impress any prospective employer!

For your reference and use, we have posted lots of industry standard flat sketches and CADs in JPEG and vector (Illustrator) formats on DesignersNexus.com. If you can improve your skills to reach the quality of those shown, you’ll be in a very good shape

© 2008 Designers Nexus Inc. All rights reserved. Originally published at DesignersNexus.com. This article may be reproduced unedited, unaltered and in its entirety. This copyright, author bio(s) and all active links must be preserved and included when reproducing this article. Contact us for approval if you wish to publish it contrary to these guidelines.

As a NYC fashion designer, Natalie has traveled to Europe and Asia for shopping, researching trends and production. In a 14 year career, she has gained a lot of insights in the industry, and has trained designers with her knowledge of global trend market. Due to popular demand in response to her advice and training, she created a free fashion resource center at DesignersNexus.com to share her experiences with a larger audience, helping aspiring designers learn from her mistakes and successes creating their own successful careers.

5 Most Common Causes of Female Hair Loss and the Solutions to Maintain a Beautiful Head of Hair

Being a young women suffering from hair loss is one of the worst thing in life. A woman’s hair is the essence of her beauty, and the affects of hair loss are a crippling blow to a women’s confidence. However statistics show that only 27% of women deal with hair loss before the age of 50, that being said most women under the age of 50 will never have to go through the emotional trauma of hair loss. Unfortunately for me, I was had to deal with hair loss under the age of 50. It was very humiliating experience but some how I found a way to over come this.

Through my diligent research on the subject, now I have a head of beautiful and long hair once again. I found that the best way to fight hair loss as women is to first know the reasons for why it happened and how to deal with it. The reason for this is because we are all unique in every way and to just research on one way it can happen is not smart and it can be counter productive.

The misconception many women have when it comes to dealing with hair loss is that it has to be hereditary but this is very far from the truth. The truth is “female pattern baldness” has been linked to many other things that also can cause it, yes of course most cases are firmly linked to family history. There are so many more variables that are also linked to hair loss and in my opinion the best way for a women to combat hair loss is to look at every possibility because you’ll be surprised how easy some of the problem can be resolved without paying for ultra expensive hair transplant surgery or hair loss treatments.

The reason I am emphasizing this is because there are many hair loss treatments out there and many of these companies that produces these so called “miracle treatment” for the most part are all a bunch of swindlers in disguised. So before you go out and buy another hair loss treatment check out the 5 most common cause of female pattern baldness.

1) Stress:

Stress is one of top culprits of hair loss within women. Hair loss usually occurs 3 months after a stressful event has occurred in your life and it may take 3 months after the stress period has ended for the hair growth to resume. In most cases it is temporary if the person does not have a family history of baldness. But stress may trigger the onset of genetic hair loss or may worsen existing genetic hair loss. The solution for stress is the obvious method, it is to relax. When you feel the tension start to mount up take a breather. A very good website I recommend visiting when comes to reduction of stress is http://www.tranquilityisyours.com.

2) Diets

Female hair loss may also occur due to dieting. Franchised diet programs, which are designed or administered under the direction of a dietician with prescribed meals, dietary supplements and vitamin ingestion, have become popular. A lot of times these diet restrict many vital vitamins, minerals and solubles intake necessary for healthy hair. One of the biggest faults many of these diets have is the dramatic reduction of a vital soluble called “fat”. Statistics have shown that insufficient consumption of fat can increase the rate of hair loss by as much as 68%.

3) Pregnancy:

Hair loss that is connected to pregnancy usually occurs after delivery. During pregnancy, an increased number of hairs go into the resting phase, which is part of the normal hair loss cycle. Post-pregnancy hair loss is a condition that can cause bald spots and even some permanent hair loss. In most cases the condition should diminish within 3-4 months after delivery. But if you feel that you are experiencing an unusual hair loss while you are pregnant, this may be due to a vitamin or mineral deficiency. The best way to deal with this is to visit you’re physician.

4) Hair beautification products:

Women often use a wide variety of different hair products on their hair. These products include hair sprays, mousse, gels, hair dyes, leave-in conditioners and a variety of hair enhancers. While each of these products advertise their numerous benefits for healthy hair, they fail to mention the consequences of over use. Many hair products can cause serious damage to the hair strands, which in turn will cause hair loss. The effect can be devastating and many times permanent. The best advice I can give you in repairing the damage that may have been done to your hair by any type of hair product is to immediately stop the use of the product. Then, the next step is to try to concentrate on hair repair. Consulting with a professional hair stylist is often the best solution, as they can examine your hair and give you the best tips on ways to strengthen hair, promote new hair growth and reduce future hair loss.

5) Hormones:

Hormonal problems is one the most common causes of female pattern baldness. An out of balance level of the female hormones such as androgen and estrogen are most commonly linked causes of hair loss within women. Another hormone is Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is considered a male hormone but women also have a small amount that runs through their blood, some higher than others. When a female inherits hair follicles that are supersensitive to DHT, they may start to lose hair just like men do. The best way to combat this problem is to start doing more aerobic exercises. Doing aerobics is a natural and healthy way for lowering DHT production. Another way is trying a legitimate hair loss treatment but this can a very expensive proposition because I can personally testify that 90% of the hair loss product absolutely don’t work!!!!

In my experience doing as much research as possible often gives the best results. And in my opinion the best thing you can do is diagnose the problem and find a the best possible solution with your physician because in the long run it can save you more money. But if you’re situation is desperate and you know your hair loss derives from just plain genetics then go ahead and buy a good hair loss treatment that will give you the fastest and safest results. Over the years I have become some what of an expert in hair loss solutions for women and men also healthy related issues in general, in the past I have created numerous blogs informing women not just on hair related issues but a multitude of issues. So if you want to find out the best hair loss products visit a site a friend of mine has put up called [http://www.besthairlossreview.com] and for more article just like this visit [http://www.justforhealthyliving.com] – Thank you for reading my article.

Hair Loss Remedy – Vitamins, Minerals and Natural Supplements For Hair Loss – Nurse’s Report

Hair loss is also known as alopaecia, alopecia and baldness that happens in men, women and children. Hair loss refers to the loss of hair due to an increase in the rate of hair falling out and its not being replaced by new hair growth. Seeking natural treatment is the best remedy and vitamins, minerals and other supplements may or may not be taken safely as a hair loss solution. Many of the hair loss drugs on the market today require a daily dose for a lifetime. Besides being expensive, they all come with side effects and the benefits may not outweigh the risks.

It’s important to get diagnosed and know what is causing your hair loss. If you’re an older man, chances are it may be male pattern baldness. You can also have your testosterone levels checked to see if they may be implicated. Decreasing them may not be possible though or advisable.

If the hair follicles are still alive and functioning then it may be worth a try to take some supplements that you may be missing in your diet to help stop losing your hair. Two things to remember though – a natural healthy diet of living foods (raw foods – fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds) and lots of them is the best approach; wherein you have plenty of vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients naturally available to help you grow your hair back and return yourself to your optimum state – it’s the best hair loss diet.

Secondly, it’s not known if vitamins, minerals and other supplements work if they’re not working in conjunction with nature’s natural chemicals – those that are a part of the living foods that the vitamins and minerals are also a part of. And the quality of the supplements is important also.

Cheap supplements may not be of the best quality and may not do you any good and may do you more harm as your body needs to get rid of them.

Keeping this all in mind I’m going to list the vitamins and minerals that are reported to be the best for enhancing or stimulating hair growth, again if the hair follicles are still alive. Make sure to get advice from your hair loss doctor or naturopathic doctor before you start taking any supplements. Some supplements can be harmful if you’re taking certain drugs or medications for example.

Take the following information with a grain of salt. New studies and research come out often and any new study or report can refute what has been reported in the past.

First of all the amino acids, arginine, cysteine, lysine and tyrosine, are used in hair loss treatment.

Arginine deficiency has been reported as one reason for hair loss.

Cysteine at dosages of 1,000 mg. to 2,000 mg. per day has been reported to spur hair growth and help stop hair loss. It’s supposed to help prevent free radical damage to the hair follicles. Some reports show that cysteine causes a noticeable improvement in hair growth. Eight percent of human hair is made up of cysteine. Many people who have thin or slow growing hair have reported they’ve noticed considerable improvement in their hair growth when they used 3,000 mg. to 5,000 mg. of cysteine per day.

Lysine deficiency can result in hair loss. Lysine is often used for herpes-related infections or prevention.

Tyrosine – when hair loss is caused by a low thyroid condition, called hypothyroid, tyrosine has been known to alleviate it.

Other supplements –

Enzymes in the form of superoxide dismutase (SOD) are supposed to decrease hair loss by inhibiting superoxide free radicals on nitric oxide.

A linoleic acid deficiency may result in hair loss, research suggests.

Minerals –

The important minerals to consider are copper, iron, silicon and zinc. Minerals need to be in balance with each other. Too much of one mineral in some cases can cause an imbalance in another. Make sure to get help from an informed health professional.

Copper can help stimulate hair growth if a copper deficiency is present and is involved in the prevention and possibly treatment of hair loss. Too much copper can actually cause hair loss. I have wondered whether the copper bracelets that used to be in vogue and may still be, for arthritis, would be worth a try.

Recently there have been good studies on iron deficiency as a possible cause of hair loss. Taking iron supplements is not a good idea though. Getting iron naturally in food would be a better choice. Too much iron can cause some serious health problems.

Potassium deficiency can be a cause of hair loss it’s thought.

Silicon is supposed to be able to stimulate hair growth. Silicon is present in cucumbers among other foods.

Early or premature hair loss may be a result of zinc deficiency so says some research. Again zinc can cause hair loss.

The sulfuric compound methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) may help hair growth due to its sulfur content.

Vitamins –

Many vitamins may be involved in hair loss. Research suggests that hair loss or hair growth may be a result of deficiencies of these vitamins – biotin, folic acid, inositol and PABA (para aminobenzoic acid) and PABA may help to prevent hair loss due to its antioxidant properties.

The nicotinic acid form of vitamin B3, which is applied to the scalp, may help to improve blood circulation to the scalp (and may help stop the loss of hair) – you must have live hair follicles present. The suggested dose has been about 35 mg. of nicotinic acid daily.

Vitamin B5 deficiency causes hair loss in animals but hasn’t been proven in humans.

Vitamin C may help hair growth by improving the circulation of blood to the scalp.

Taking too much vitamin A can cause temporary and reversible hair loss it’s reported.

These are the vitamins and minerals and other supplements that have been researched, reviewed, studied or reported on in various medical journals. Before starting any hair loss treatment or remedy to help stimulate your living hair follicles and/or to prevent further loss, make sure you see your doctor first. If your hair follicles are not alive than it is unknown today what will help them short of hair transplant. Some cases of hair loss are reversed once the cause is known. Some cannot be reversed with what we know today. And be patient for whatever method you may decide to use.

5 Career Options for Fashion Design Degree Holders

Society and parents in general tend to be wary towards encouraging people to work in Fashion for good reason. Firstly, they are right about the industry’s highly selective employment. They’re also right when they say that Fashion is “not what it seems” even though they probably have no idea what they really talking about. But before you decide to throw in the towel and take up accounting courses, or look for a no-brainer 9-5 job, here are a few fashion design careers to consider!

The Popular Path

A fashion designer’s job seems to be surrounded by the glitz and glamour of having your works appearing on glossy magazines and the season’s hottest celebrities. It’s a no-brainer that people want to be fashion designers just like how some covet to be millionaires. To take this career path, you need a strong design portfolio. Prior work experience in fashion will be an advantage. So this is where being an intern during your holidays pay off.

There are two kinds of Fashion Designers:

The In-house Designer:

You will work with a fashion company and design clothes according to their guidelines. The company will own the rights to your designs while you draw a monthly salary from them. Depending on the scale of the company, you may work alone or with a team. Be an in-house designer if you have plans to join the big wigs like Fendi, Gucci, Prada or Louis Vuitton.

The Freelancer:

Freelancers work for themselves and sell their designs to fashion houses, directly to shops or to manufacturers. After building a good name, you’ll probably start getting people commissioning you for design work. Freelance Designers have the flexibility of work hours and tend to command higher wages, but keep in mind that financial stability is at high risk. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to work as an in-house designer for some experience first before attempting a freelance career.

Other Possible Paths

Most people don’t study fashion design specifically to join these ranks, but if you found that designing isn’t your cup of tea somewhere through your course; these are jobs in the industry that you can consider:

Fashion Buyer:

You will be responsible for travelling around and buying suitable fashions for shops or departmental stores. Your knowledge in Fashion Design will help you to predict trends or identify quality, giving you an edge for this job.

Fashion Journalist:

You will write articles about fashion and source for newsworthy stories in your field. With in-depth fashion know-how and garment composition, you’ll make a perfect critic and can dish out fantastic fashion advice.

Wedding photography:

You will plan locations and carry out photoshoots with newly weds or bridal studios. By knowing the ins and outs of a fashion shoot, you can make a couple look awesome in their matrimony garb.

Verdict

If you find yourself jobless long after you’ve graduated with your fashion design degree, all is not lost. It just means that your portfolio needs a revamp. Read up fashion magazines for inspiration and start sketching for a variety of genres. Employers judge designers by their portfolio because it’s the most accurate representation of the owner that no résumé, job experience or testimonial can replace. It portrays your education, experience and personal style. With the right attitude, the possibilities are endless! If the world is not providing you with any shortcuts, the best solution is to make one yourself.

Donald, International Admissions Director of Raffles Education Corporation, a leading education provider in Asia Pacific operating 33 fashion design colleges across 30 cities in 13 countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Bangladesh, India, China, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Sri Lanka & Indonesia). Certifications such as Advanced Diploma, Bachelor and Master Degrees are also offered for various design disciplines such as visual communication, animation, multimedia, interior design, product design, jewellery design, biomedical, infocomm security and early childhood.

What to Choose an In-Class Fashion Design College Degree Or an Online One

Most of you would know that in order to get into the fashion design industry, you would require a degree or a diploma certificate from a fashion design college, at least in the initial stages to tell the clients about you knowledge. But there are times and cases when one is not able to find time to attend a school or a college because of other commitments and financial pressures at times. In most technical fields, online schools have already become a hot favorite among working professionals who do not have time to attend regular classes at the conventional brick and mortar schools. The fashion industry is also fast catching up with this trend and a number of online fashion design colleges have come up in recent times which provide high quality education and good in house training and even offer internship opportunities in collaboration with some of the leading fashion design studios and labels. These colleges offer similar courses to those being offered at actual fashion design colleges, so the aspirants do not have much problem with the learning aspect at these online fashion design colleges.

Numerous degrees on offer.

As most of you know, there are many diverse fields within the field of fashion designing itself, and it is always beneficial if you get a specialized degree in any one of these streams from a reputed fashion design college. This fact can go a long way in landing you to the fashion design studio of your choice. Marketing, costume designing, merchandising, logistics, accessories and shoes are some of the broader fields that are encompassed within the world of fashion designing. It is always beneficial if you have a specialized degree in one or more of these fields from a reputed fashion design college. Most upcoming fashion designers would have anywhere between 2 to 3 such specialized degrees. This increases your profileýýýs horizons, especially, if the degree is backed by a good fashion design college. A perfect example on making the best use of two or more specializations would be someone who can club merchandising and marketing together and work at a retail store.

Comparison between online and in class fashion design colleges.

To choose between an online or an in class fashion design college, you would need to consider your requirements and the kind of expertise you need. Although it is quite true that most of the physical establishments of repute fashion design institutes in either on the west coast, California region, or the East coast, NYC region, yet it is not true. Some of the fashion design colleges have started establishing their physical campuses elsewhere in the country as well. If you want to get the degree, and be where the classes are in order to be able to get a valuable internship and then later work under a banner or in a boutique, you might well consider attending the classes at the physical location of the fashion design institute. If you do not have time to attend classes but still want that degree, and you know you can land up with the job with just a degree, then you might well go for online learning centers of these fashion design institutes.

Treatment For Thinning Hair (Minoxidil 5% And Aminexil Sp94 Retinol) Hair Loss Male And Female

Contains 5% Minoxidil and Aminexil SP94

1. Uses tiny micro spheres called nanosomes that are used to encapsulate the active ingredients in a lotion compound
2. Works faster and better than medications containing only Minoxidil with similar tolerability and side effects
3. Allows patients to re-grow normally thick and healthy hair
4. May work for patients who previously did not respond to Minoxidil treatment
5. Intended for both the crown of the scalp and frontal baldness (receding hairline)

What is MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL?

MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL is the world’s most effective topical hair loss treatment designed for androgenic alopecia and other types of hair loss in men. Clinically proven to help re-grow hair, it is also significantly more effective then Rogaine® or any other topical hair loss treatment currently available.

Through extensive research and testing, dermatologists found that coupling retinol (a vitamin-A derived substance) with Minoxidil produced dramatically better results than just using Minoxidil alone. Retinol helps control the proper functioning of the sebaceous glands. The sebaceous glands produce sebum on the scalp. Sebum contains DHT (DHT which is produced from testosterone is the androgen thought to be most responsible for male pattern baldness), which is then reabsorbed into the hair follicles to do further damage. Proper moderation of the sebaceous glands and their production of sebum can help control skin scalp DHT levels and when combined with Minoxidil further helps prevent androgen related hair loss.

The Vitamin Complex is rich in Biotin and Mineral Salts and provides energy and accelerates the metabolism of the hair follicle. Physical and emotional stresses contribute to hair loss by causing hormonal disturbances as well as a lack of vitamins and mineral salts. In this state, the entire metabolism speeds up, activating the production of hormones, which stimulate the sebaceous glands, causing a build up of grease on the scalp, which “suffocates” the roots, weakening the hair and causing it to fall out. These factors can be the cause of hair loss and can significantly accelerate hereditary hair loss. MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL targets this problem with a unique vitamin complex from the finest raw ingredients. Ivy, Hops and Capsicum Herbal Extracts penetrate deep into the scalp next to the roots, speeding up the circulation and the nutrition of the affected tissues, recovering the weakened hair strands.

This formula promotes better circulation to the scalp, addresses damaging free radicals with potent antioxidants, helps to block DHT and fights harmful bacteria. This dramatically boosts the effectiveness of Minoxidil and Aminexil SP94 and promotes hair that is healthy and strong. DS Laboratories proprietary nanosomes act as the carrier enhancement agent. These nanosomes are about 10 times smaller then cells and penetrate deep into the epidermis and continuously release the active herbal extracts over a 12-hour period. This allows penetration deeper into the hair follicle then other carrier agent including Tretinoin or Azelaic Acid and further enhances the performance of all the ingredients in MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL.

What does MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL do ?

Like any other topical hair loss treatment such as Rogaine or Aminexil, MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL will be most effective in early stages of hair loss. However, many users who did not respond to the Rogaine or Aminexil treatment may see results with MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL including users with advanced stages of hair loss. You can also expect more pronounced and faster results (thicker fuller hair with result after just 3 months of use) then with either Rogaine or Aminexil alone.

If your hair loss is caused by hereditary factors then continued use will be required to maintain new hair growth. If you discontinue use of MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL then hair that grew under the treatment will begin to fall out over a period of 2 – 3 months. There is no “cure” for hair loss; MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL simply allows you to control hair loss.

If the cause of hair loss is related to other factors such as diet, emotional or physical stress, and hormonal changes then it is possible to completely discontinue the use of MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL and retain the newly grown hair.

What are the Active Ingredients in MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL ?

Minoxidil 5%: Clinically proven to help re-grow hair; approved by the FDA in treating male-pattern hair loss for more then 15 years.

Aminexil SP94: Clinically proven to help re-grow hair; Aminexil is a patented molecule that is the result of over 10 years of research at L’Oreal laboratories. Research has indicated that hair loss is linked to the stiffening of the hair roots and Aminexil has been specifically developed to prevent the stiffening and premature aging of the roots.)

Retinol: Has been shown to improve the absorption and effectiveness of Minoxidil; Minoxidil and Retinol is often prescribed together by dermatologists

Vitamin Complex: Accelerates the metabolism of the hair follicle.

Herbal Extracts: Provides circulation and nutrition to the affected tissues).

Nanosomes: Microscopic capsules deliver active ingredients deeper into the tissue.

Adenosinez: Powerful hair regrowth agent, similar action to Minoxidil with no side effects.

Procyanidin B-2 and C-1: Hair regrowth agent with no side effects, exceptional results when combined with minoxidil.

The addition of Adenosince and Procyanidin B-2 and C-1 is a recent innovation that further boosts the performance of MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL. Both compounds are encapsulated in our proprietary nanosomes. MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL is the only formulation in the world that delivers Adenosine and Procyanidin B-2 and C-1 in a nanosomal carrier agent. MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL works by combining the effectiveness of each of the active ingredients and simultaneously combating various causes of hair loss. This formula also enhances the action of each ingredient to grow normally strong and healthy hair which is not possible to achieve with any of the active ingredients alone. MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL produces more rapid results then Rogaine and produces effective results in users who previously did not respond to the Rogaine treatment. MINOXIDIL 5% and AMINEXIL SP94 / RETINOL can also treat hair loss on the entire scalp including the frontal areas, while Rogaine® (pure Minoxidil) has only been shown effective on the crown of the scalp.

Minoxidil has been tested in hundreds of clinical studies on thousands of volunteers and has been shown effective in the treatment of hair loss particularly on the vertex of the head. Minoxidil has been approved for use in treating male-pattern hair loss for more than 15 years. Clinical studies of the effects of 5% Minoxidil in treating male-pattern hair loss report that a majority of patients found: Very effective to effective results in promoting new hair growth over the period of treatment. Decreased hair loss. Minimal side effects. Results of the studies were evaluated by both patients and physicians; in one of the studies, physicians with male-pattern hair loss were included in the study population.

Aminexil is the only other clinically proven medication that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of hair loss. Research at L’Oreal laboratories has discovered that hair loss in men and women is linked to the accelerated ageing of the roots characterized by the stiffening of hair roots. This causes the roots to become rigid and compresses the blood vessels that nourish and stimulate them. The roots weaken, and the hair falls out prematurely (alopecia). In men, the stiffening of roots gradually spreads; the roots produce hair that is increasingly fine and has an ever shorter life span. Aminexil is a genuine anti-hair loss innovation and fights against the stiffening of hair roots, closely linked to their premature ageing. Thus, Aminexil preserves the vital functions of the roots and helps to reduce hair loss. Aminexil is protected by an international patent and guarantees effectiveness verified by dermatologists.

Product Ingredients:

Minoxidil 5% (Meets Ep And Usp Specifications), Aminexil Sp94, Retinol, Nanosomes, Copper Peptides, Vitamin & Mineral Complex.

Why not call 0207 976 6868 and speak to one of our Westminster Trichologists who will be happy to help and advise you.

YOUR CONSULTATION AND ASSESSMENT IS FREE

THIS WILL CONFIRM WHAT IS THE VERY BEST OPTION FOR YOU

So why not take advantage of our expertise and get the facts so that you can make an informed decision on what is best for the future of your hair today.

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR HAIR LOSS TODAY

SO THAT IT DOES NOT TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE

However, not all cases are treatable. But with early diagnosis and treatment you will give yourself and us the best possible chance to help you.

Check out our website: http://www.thewestminsterpractice.com – Our HAIR LOSS BLOG, receives over 900 new visitors every day.

Gary Heron is one of Europe’s leading trichologists for the past 20 years dealing directly with every type of hair loss and scalp disorder for both men and women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. Gary has had over twenty years’ experience in dealing with every type of hair or scalp problem. For example, he helps people suffering with scalp disorders such as psoriasis, seborrhoeic dermatitis, folliculitis or from hair loss and thinning caused by genetic baldness, alopecia or through chemical or physical damage. http://www.thewestminsterpractice.com

Gary says,” Everybody will experience some degree of trouble with his or her hair or scalp at some time. However, if you are experiencing hair loss or an irritating scalp problem you do not need to just tolerate it. You can take an active step today and seek help from The Hair Centre”. All treatments products supplied are formulated especially for The Hair Centre by leading trichologists and chemists. They have undergone exhaustive clinical trials and testing to ensure we can target disorders of the hair and scalp effectively.

PCOS and Hair Loss – Natural Therapies Can Restore Scalp Hair

Excessive scalp hair loss is a severe challenge to a woman’s self image and her standing in business and society. Although we usually think of balding as a man’s problem, women actually make up forty percent of the people in North America experiencing the distress of excessive hair loss. Many women losing significant scalp hair have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Safe, effective, natural therapies that treat the hormone imbalances related to PCOS will also restore your hair to optimal health. I am delighted to offer you these indispensable tools to help you restore your hair and your health.

Women experiencing hair loss lose ground fast in today’s world. At work and in her personal life a woman’s appearance has much to do with her financial and social success. Men may also prefer not to go bald. But since balding is known to be caused by high levels of testosterone, a bald man may be credited with extra virility. There is no such happy story for balding women. The appearance of thinning scalp hair translates to a significant loss of personal power for women.

The medical community in general treats women’s hair loss as a minor health issue. Most physicians have little inclination to address the emotional distress you feel. In many cases physicians treat balding as if it were “only” a vanity issue; they may not recognize hair loss as a red flag pointing to serious metabolic conditions, including PCOS.

The psychological pain of hair loss and its effect on our sense of empowerment is as devastating as any disfiguring disease. If you are a balding woman, your hair loss is a life altering condition with profound consequences for your health. Getting your hands on the wheel and driving yourself toward a solution for hair loss is the first step toward reviving your sense of personal strength and power. If hair loss is part of PCOS, the effort you make to restore your physical health will also renew scalp hair growth.

You need expert help to properly diagnose the cause of your hair loss. Hair loss that could have been merely temporary may become permanent if you have a delayed or incorrect diagnosis. Misdiagnoses is perhaps the most frustrating aspect of hair loss for women. The information I present here will help you identify the cause of your hair loss and ideally lead you and your doctors to proper treatments for your kind of hair loss, sooner rather than later.

Alopecia is the medical term for excessive or abnormal hair loss. There are different kinds of alopecia. What all hair loss has in common, whether it’s in men or women, is that it is always a symptom of something else that’s gone wrong. Your hair will remain on your head where it belongs if hormone imbalance, disease, or some other condition is not occurring. That condition may be as simple as having a gene that makes you susceptible to male or female pattern baldness. Or it may be as complex as a whole host of diseases. Hair loss may be a symptom of a short-term event such as stress, pregnancy, or a side effect of certain medications. In these situations, hair grows back when the event has passed. Substances including hormones and medication can cause a change in the hair growth patterns. When this happens, growth and shedding occur at the same time. Once the cause is dealt with, hairs go back to their random pattern of growth and shedding, and balding stops.

Alopecia: A Common Problem

Today more women than ever are experiencing hair loss — and the causes are typically quite different that what causes balding in men. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, some 30 million women in the United States are experiencing some degree of distressing scalp hair loss. The most common causes of scalp hair loss in women can include:

Mineral or vitamin deficiency – zinc, manganese, iron, vitamin B6, biotin

Essential fatty acid deficiency from a low calorie diet or eating disorders

Protein deficiency, as is common with vegetarian diets

Anemia from a low iron diet, poor digestion or any excess blood loss

Eating disorders, like anorexia, bulimia, even ‘yo-yo’ dieting; also compulsive or excessive physical exercise

Drug toxicity, for instance anesthesia with surgery or chemotherapy for cancer

Many prescription medications have hair loss as a potential ‘side’ effect, including bromocriptine, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, amphetamines, anti-cholesterol agents

Severe infections, either viral or bacterial

Severe stress, either a sudden extreme event or persistent, long term challenges

Any hypothalamic or pituitary disorder

Any liver, thyroid gland, adrenal gland or ovarian disorder, including PCOS

Any sex steroid imbalance such as low progesterone, estrogen dominance, excess testosterone or insulin

Starting or stopping any hormone therapy, including birth control pills, menopausal hormone replacement treatment or thyroid hormone replacement

Any natural event that causes big hormone changes, like child birth, breastfeeding and weaning or menopause

Perms, hair color, bleach, improper brushing/combing, pulling on the hair

Autoimmune disease such as lupus or multiple sclerosis

Allergies to foods, medicines, environmental chemicals or topical drugs

Recent hepatitis B shot. If you had a Hep B vaccine since this hair loss started, there may be a connection. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (278:117-8, 1997) links the Hep B vaccine to increased incidence of alopecia in women.

How does an individual woman figure out why she is losing too much of her hair? To understand that, it’s important to understand how hair grows.

Hair Grows in Cycles

Scalp hair grows about one-half inch per month. An individual strand of hair will grow for two to six years. Eventually each hair “rests” for a while, and then falls out. Soon after, that follicle will start growing a new strand. A healthy scalp will let about 100 of these cycling hairs fall out every day.

In folks with a genetic predisposition to hair loss, and for women with PCOS, hormones called androgens drive this process. Androgen hormones include testosterone, androsteinedione, and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Men make and use relatively large amounts of androgens. Appropriate, smaller amounts of androgens are essential to women’s health as well.

In those who are genetically susceptible, testosterone activates enzymes produced in the hair cell, which then cause it to be converted into the more potent androgen DHT. DHT then binds with receptors deep within the hair follicle. Eventually, so much DHT builds up that the follicle begins shrinking. It can’t produce new hair reliably. Some of the follicles permanently stop producing new hairs. The end result is significant hair loss. The medical term for this condition is androgenic alopecia. Testosterone converts to DHT with the aid of the enzyme Type II 5-alpha reductase, which is held in a hair follicle’s oil glands. Actually, it’s not the amount of circulating testosterone that is the problem but the amount of DHT clogging up and shrinking scalp follicles, making it impossible for healthy hair to survive.

The process of testosterone converting to DHT, which then harms hair follicles, happens in both men and women. Usually women have a tiny fraction of the amount of testosterone that men make. It seems that for women with hair loss, the actual level of testosterone is not as crucial as are changes in the amount of testosterone she has. A shift in hormone levels triggered by lifestyle or other factors, will cause DHT- triggered hair loss in women. Even when hormone blood levels remain within what doctors consider “normal”, they can become high enough to cause a problem for an individual woman. The levels may not rise at all and still be a problem if you are very sensitive to even normal levels of chemicals, including hormones.

Because our hormones operate through a delicately balanced feedback system, with signals sent via the blood between the brain and body tissue, androgens do not need to be raised to trigger a problem. If the so-called female hormones, (which also are essential to men’s health) are for any reason shifting in relation to androgens, the resulting imbalance can also cause problems, including hair loss.

Hormones are always changing. Testosterone levels in men drop by as much as 10 percent each decade after age thirty. Women’s hormone levels shift with each menstrual cycle, or due to a lack of regular menses, in pregnancies and menopause. Eating disorders, excessive exercise, drugs and environmental toxins can also impact hormone levels.

Keys To Successful Treatment

Treatment of thinning scalp hair must be grounded in changing the habits you may have that support elevated androgens. Diet and exercise are key to maintaining optimal hormone balance. In fact, for women with PCOS, research is clear- there is no drug therapy more effective than proper diet and regular exercise. First, you get your foundational health habits in order; then, specific targeted therapies have the best chance of being effective for you.

Women with PCOS may also have excess coarse dark hair on their face and body. The only way to address the dark, coarse hair that grows out of follicles that have already been altered by excess androgens, is to destroy the follicle with laser or similar therapy. Once a follicle has changed the type of hair it produces, it will not change back. It is crucial to tame the excess androgens and prevent conversion of additional follicles, before investing in a therapy to permanently destroy facial or body hair follicles.

What Causes Women to Lose Too Much Scalp Hair?

For a long time doctors believed that androgenic alopecia was the main cause of balding in both men and women. Now we know that the process that leads to excessive hair loss in women is different. It is called female pattern hair loss.

An important difference between male and female balding is the pattern in which the hair loss occurs. Female pattern hair loss tends to happen as an overall thinning across all areas of the scalp, including the sides and back. Men lose hair from specific spots, like the temple, the crown, that bald spot in the back of the head. Male and female hormone and enzyme receptor sites are also in different areas of the scalp, causing the different gender related loss patterns of hair loss.

A second major difference is that balding in men is usually caused by a man’s genetics and his age, but for women, balding can happen at any age.

Lifestyle Choices, Illness and Medical Treatments Cause Hair Loss

Most women with hair loss have multiple features of their lifestyle, diet and health-related events that contribute. Sex hormone fluctuations are responsible for most female hair loss, including those who have PCOS, a recent pregnancy, menopause, hormone replacement therapy or birth control drug side effects. Chemotherapy for cancer, anti-coagulant drugs, iron- deficiency anemia, autoimmune disease can cause hair loss. Any disease involving hormone producing glands, including the thyroid, the adrenal and pituitary glands can trigger balding in women. It is essential for all women to learn the true cause of their hair loss before engaging any particular treatment.

The complex hormonal changes that accompany polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) often result in scalp hair loss. Sometimes hair loss is the first sign that a woman is suffering the metabolic disorder that also causes problems with acne, facial and body hair growth, irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. PCOS is associated with increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

Thyroid disorders, anemia, chronic illness or the use of certain medications, particularly any form of hormone replacement therapy or contraceptive prescriptions- should be considered a possible cause of hair loss in women. Autoimmune disorders will result in somewhat different, often less dramatic hair loss known as alopecia areata — an inflammatory condition in which hair comes out in clumps or patches.

Any drop in estrogen levels, as happens after pregnancy, with menopause, or when changing your hormone therapy including birth control pill use, will cause what is called estrogenic alopecia. In contrast to testosterone, estrogen helps scalp hair grow faster and stay on the head longer, resulting in thicker hair. This is the reason women’s hair gets fuller during pregnancy when estrogen levels are quite high, then sheds several weeks after the baby is born.

For women who do not have fertility-related hormone changes, estrogen-deficiency scalp hair loss generally starts around menopause. This form of female hair loss can be the first sign of approaching menopause. Sometimes the alopecia won’t begin until a few months or even years after menstruation has ended. Not all women get noticeable alopecia after menopause but most have a little thinning.

It’s not uncommon to have multiple factors involved in female hair loss. Many women with PCOS have thyroid problems, usually hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). Not only does hypothyroidism contribute to weight problems, it can also contribute to hair thinning. Some women with PCOS have both an excessively high level of testosterone and an under active thyroid.

If your hair is thinning, you may have heavy metals like lead, mercury or cadmium in your tissues. These poisonous residues saturate our environment. If you have lived near what is, or ever was an industrial or mining site, or lived with someone who works in a polluting industry, you may be contaminated. If you have ever smoked tobacco, you have a lot of cadmium in your body.

The majority of women with androgenic alopecia have diffuse thinning on all areas of the scalp. Some women may have a combination of two pattern types. Androgenic alopecia is caused by a variety of factors tied to the actions of hormones including PCOS, using contraceptives, pregnancy, and menopause. Any blood sugar and insulin hormone imbalance will lead to excess androgens. Women with insulin resistance, from chronic over-eating of refined carbohydrate food, will see more impact from androgens. Insulin resistance is associated with PCOS as well as Type 2 diabetes. Chronic stress that depletes adrenal glands can change the levels of androgens a woman produces as well. This is often the source of problems like infertility, acne and hair thinning in lean, athletic women with PCOS. Heredity may play a role in androgenic alopecia.

Any big event like childbirth or breastfeeding, malnutrition from an alteration in your diet, a severe infection, major surgery, or any extreme stress, can suddenly shift much of the 90 percent or so of your hairs that are in the growing phase or resting phase into the shedding phase. You will see this shift in the rate of hair loss 6 weeks to three month after the stressful event. This is called telogen effluvium. It is possible to lose great bunches of hair daily with full-blown telogen effluvium. Usually this type of hair loss is reversible, if major stressors are avoided. For some women however, telogen effluvium is a mysterious chronic disorder and can persist for months or years, without ever completely identifying all of the triggering factors.

Anagen effluvium happens when the hair follicle cells are so damaged they can not recover or reproduce. This is usually due to toxicity of chemotherapy for cancer. Chemotherapy is meant to destroy rapidly dividing cancer cells. Hair follicles in the growing (anagen) phase, are therefore vulnerable. Anagen effluvium means the hair shaft narrows as a result of damage to the follicle. The shaft breaks off at the narrowing and causes the loss of hair.

Traction alopecia is damage from hairstyles that pull at hair over time (braiding, cornrows, ponytails, extensions). If the condition is detected early enough, you can change your styling practice to be gentler on the follicles, and your hair will regrow.

Hormone contraceptives are a leading cause of distressing hair loss and other symptoms in women. Since the birth control pill first began being used in 1960, oral contraceptives, injections, implants, skin patches and vaginal rings have become the most commonly prescribed forms of birth control.

Unfortunately, many young women are given contraceptive hormones even when they are not sexually active, as a ‘treatment’ for irregular menses or acne. This is a mistake. This is not a treatment that addresses the underlying cause of problem periods or pimples. Contraceptive hormones will severely complicate a woman’s hormone balance and can lead to many health problems, including significant hair loss and worsening acne.

All contraceptive drugs use synthetic hormones to suppress ovulation. These drugs cause your ovaries to stop working; they are in a kind of ‘sleep’ state. Instead of having your natural cycles result from a dance of signals between your body and your brain, your tissues are subject to synthetic hormones in amounts much larger than your body normally makes. There are many long and short -term consequences to ovarian suppression. Most women experience side effects using contraceptive drugs, including hair loss either during or several weeks or months after stopping the drug.

An article appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (278:117-8, 1997) linking the Hepatitis B vaccine to increased incidence of balding in women.

Diagnostic Testing

In order to successfully treat hair loss, it is essential to understand why your hair follicles are not healthy. There are diagnostic tests that may help identify the underlying biochemistry that is contributing to your excess hair loss. However, many women with significant chemical imbalances related to their hair loss will find that these test results are within the “normal” range. That’s because in many cases hair loss represents a stage of ill-health that is an early phase of a disease that will eventually fully develop. The lifestyle and dietary habits that eventually cause Type 2 diabetes and heart disease will also cause scalp hair thinning and facial hair coarsening in young women. It is usually many years before these same women have diagnostic tests that reveal they are diabetic or have coronary artery disease. Many of these women have undiagnosed PCOS.

Selective Sensitivity is the underlying problem

Another reason why diagnostic tests may be confusing is because of something called ‘selective sensitivity’ or ‘selective resistance’. It turns out that some body cells are more sensitive than others to the same amounts of hormone. A major complicating factor for some women is that while her muscle and fat may be insulin resistant, other types of organ cells are not. The pituitary, ovaries, and adrenal glands of an insulin resistant woman are stimulated by higher levels of insulin than is desirable, which causes for instance elevated testosterone. The high levels of androgens in turn increase risk for heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Despite these possible difficulties, it is important to do our best to determine what is and isn’t the cause of a major symptom like persistent excessive hair loss. Diagnostic tests that can help identify the source of your metabolic imbalance are:

The hair pull test is a simple diagnostic test in which the physician lightly pulls a small amount of hair (approx. 100 simultaneously) in order to determine if there is excessive loss. Normal range is zero to three hairs per pull.

Hormone levels: Dehydroepiandrosterone, testosterone, androstenedione, prolactin, sex hormone binding globulin, follicular stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone. It is ideal to sample for FSH and LH on day 19 to 21 of your menstrual cycle, if those days can be identified.

Fasting blood glucose and insulin levels as well as cholesterol and triglyceride levels

A complete blood count plus serum iron, ferritin and total iron binding capacity

Thyroid stimulating hormone plus a thyroid function panel including T3, T4, and T3 % uptake

VDRL to screen for syphilis

A scalp biopsy should be done before choosing surgical transplant

Densitometry, a magnification device, used check for shrinking of the hair shaft.

Conventional Medical Treatments For Hair Loss

You may be very interested in drug therapies of surgery to address the profound distress of excessive hair loss. It is simply human nature to hope for a simple pill or procedure that will permanently free us from our problems. Unfortunately drugs never actually provide a simple solution. Once you swallow a chemical, it is delivered all over your body; it affects your whole body. We cannot control drugs so they have only the effects we want- there are always side effects that are more or less problematic. Using drug therapy means trading one problem for some others. Sometimes this is exactly the right thing to do. Other times it is a personal disaster. Most drugs will act on all your tissues there is a danger of side effects that further damage your health. Topical treatments applied directly to the scalp use the lowest doses, and are the least harmful drug choices.

You will enjoy the best results when you begin any treatment as soon as possible after hair loss begins. Stopping the adverse effects of androgens means you can prevent further hair loss. And you can support regrowth from the follicles that were dormant still healthy. Depending on how the agent you choose works, stopping treatment will result in the hair loss resuming, unless you have also made other changes in your lifestyle that keep androgens at a level that is healthy and not harmful to you.

Below you will find a list of treatments currently being used to treat hair loss in women. Some of these drugs have not been approved by the FDA for this particular application, however they have all been approved for other applications and are used “off label” to treat hair loss. Currently 2% topical Minoxidil is the only FDA approved treatment specifically for female pattern hair loss.

The effectiveness of these agents and methods will vary from woman to woman, but many women have found that using these treatments has made a positive difference in the character of their hair and their positive self-esteem. As always, treatments have the best chance of being effective if they are geared to the cause of the hair loss as well as to triggering hair growth.

Estrogen and progesterone as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), typically prescribed for women undergoing menopause for any reason, is probably the most common systemic form of treatment for androgenic alopecia in women.

Oral contraceptives will decrease the production of ovarian androgens, and thus can be used to treat women’s androgenic alopecia. There are substantial reasons to avoid the use of either synthetic or bio-identical hormone treatments for your hair loss. Some birth control pills actually contribute to hair loss by triggering it or increasing it once it’s been triggered by something else. Any individual woman may have a selective sensitivity to any hormone combination- what is a low androgen effect formula for one woman may be a high androgen effect for another.

I am no longer able to recommend the use of birth control pills or other hormone-based contraception to young women. Decades of evidence suggest there are plenty of known, and possibly as yet unknown health risks associated with the use of ANY from of reproductive hormones, either prescription or over-the-counter forms. It is clear that the benefits of hormonal contraceptives are accompanied by significant risks, including making it much more likely that a woman will experience hormone imbalances that lead to a long list of negative effects. Hormone replacement puts you are risk for:

Depression or other mood disorders; decreased libido

Migraines and headaches

Breast lumps, tenderness and enlargement

Vaginal bleeding between periods

High blood pressure (hypertension)

High cholesterol

Blood clot in the leg, felt as: pain in the calf; leg cramps; leg or foot swelling

Blood clot in the lung, felt as: shortness of breath; sharp chest pain; coughing up blood

Heart attack, felt as: chest pain or heaviness

Sudden loss of vision or vision changes, which can be a sign of a blood clot in the eye

Cerebral vascular accident (a stroke): impaired vision or speech; weakness or numbness in a limb; severe headache

Liver damage, seen as: yellow eyes or skin; dark urine; abdominal pain

Allergic reaction: rash; hives; itching; swelling; difficulty breathing or swallowing

Acne

Bloating, nausea and vomiting

Changes in your eyes that make it more difficult to wear contact lenses

If you chose a hormone prescription for any reason, you should be sure to use only low-androgen content methods. If you have a strong predisposition for genetic hair loss, insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease or any female organ cancer in your family I strongly recommend the use of another non-hormonal form of birth control.

Below is a list of birth control pills ranging from lowest androgen index to highest:

Desogen, Ortho-Cept, Ortho-Cyclen, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Micronor, Nor-Q D, Ovcon-35, Brevicon/Modicon, Ortho Norvum 7/7/7, Ortho Novum 10-11, Tri-Norinyl, Norinyl and Ortho 1/35, Demulen 1/35, Triphasil/Tri-Levien, Nordette, Lo/Ovral, Ovrette, Ovral, Loestrin1/20, Loestrin 1.5/30.

The following hormonal contraceptives have a significant potential of causing hair loss or making it worse:

Progestin implants, such as Norplant, are small rods surgically implanted under your skin. The rods release a continuous dose of progestin to prevent ovarian function.

Progestin injections, such as Depo-Provera, are given into the muscles of the upper arm or buttocks.

The skin patch (Ortho Evra) is pasted onto your shoulder, buttocks, or other location. It releases progestin and estrogen continuously to prevent your ovaries from producing normal cycles.

The vaginal ring (NuvaRing) is a flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina. This method releases the lowest amounts of progestin and estrogen.

Minoxidil 2% Topical Treatment – Minoxidil seems to be more effective for women than men, for increasing scalp hair growth. The manufacturers of minoxidil recommend women use 2% minoxidil. There is a 5% solution available that has been tested and found safe enough for men. Because the makers of minoxidil have not invested in the expense of gaining FDA approval for promoting 5% minoxidil for use by women, it must be prescribed and used under a physician’s supervision. Small clinical trials on 5% minoxidil for women show that the 5% solution is in fact more effective in both retaining and regrowing hair than the 2 % solution.

Spironolactone (Aldactone) is a potassium-sparing diuretic used to treat high blood pressure and swelling. Spironolactone slows the production of androgens in the adrenal glands and ovaries. It prevents DHT from binding to receptor sites in the hair follicles.

Cimetidine (Tagamet) is a histamine blocker, approved to treat digestive tract ulcers. It prevents the stomach from producing digestive enzymes. Cimetidine also has been shown to block DHT from binding to hair follicle receptor sites.

Cyproterone acetate is used to reduce sexual aggression in men. Cyproterone acetate blocks DHT at hair follicle receptors. It has significant toxicity and long term side effects and is not available in the US.

Ketoconazole is a prescription topical treatment. It is primarily used as an antimicrobial for treating skin fungus. It suppresses production of androgens by adrenal glands, testicles and ovaries. Nizoral shampoo contains 2% ketoconazole. There is an over-the-counter version available. It has 1% active ingredient and is not as effective as prescription strength.

Finasteride is a drug that inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that deactivates DHT. It is sold as Proscar to treat prostate enlargement in men. Sold as Propecia it is approved by the FDA for male balding. Women should not take it if they are pregnant or might become pregnant because of the risk of feminization effects on a male fetus.

Surgical Implants

Since hair restoration surgery is an option for the vast majority of the balding men, women may want to consider it. However, the type of hair loss most women suffer from makes hair transplants a bad idea.

Few women have the type of hair loss that make them good candidates for a surgical solution. Most men lose hair in well-defined areas, for instance the receding forehead or the classic round spot on the top of the skull. Little clumps or plugs of hair are removed from areas where healthy follicles are stable and plentiful, and these are transplanted to other areas of the head. Women more often experience an overall thinning across their whole scalp, including the sides and back. Most women have few reliably stable donor sites. Offering to transplant hair from unstable donor sites is medically unethical and women must not allow their distress about balding to get in the way of a cool- eyed look at the rationale behind treatment options offered.

Are any women good candidates for hair transplant? Yes, some. A small percentage, 2% to 5% of women will have the type of hair loss that will benefit from this type of procedure. They are:

Women who have suffered hair loss due to non-hormonal causes, like traction alopecia.

Women who have scalp scars from some kind of wound or cosmetic surgery and want to repair hair loss around the incision or injury sites.

Women who have healthy and stable donor sites along with balding in a distinct pattern, like a receding hairline or thinning on the very top of the head.

Natural Remedies for Women’s Hair Loss

Safe, effective natural therapies are available to help you restore scalp health and increase hair growth. Like all natural therapies, in order to be maximally effective, it is essential to work with you as an individual. Some remedies will be more useful to you than others, depending on your unique, personal physical, mental and emotional health status. It is always important to spend your health care dollars well. I offer a consultation service to help you choose and make best use of the available options for treatment. Please visit your local ND to find out how to benefit from a personal consultation. You will receive recommendations for specific natural therapies, designed for your unique health status, to help you restore your health, and your scalp hair to it’s fullest and most enjoyable beauty.