Hair Loss (Alopecia)

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Ricki Lake (Actress/Singer/Talk Show Host) recently revealed a huge secret. For most of her adult life she has been dealing with hair loss (alopecia). She spoke with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America about her struggle.

As we can all imagine the feelings associated with this condition. She carried this secret for so long.

This season on Dancing with the Stars she explained the start of her hair loss. It began with Hairspray. Her character Tracy Turnblad had big hair. To achieve the 1962 look Ricki’s hair was teased and processed every 2 weeks. Her hair never recovered.

(Support groups)

appeared on Masked Singer last season as
the Raven.
One of her clues was she suffered a tragic loss, the death of
her husband. It was an emotional departure.

She also contributed other factors for her hair loss such as her career, hormones, diets and family history. She has written on Face Book about this.

The loss or absence of hair (alopecia) especially on the scalp for a female can be devastating. We are so often judged on our appearance. This can lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and loss of self-confidence. Many women in the public eye are coming forward to make a statement about what was once a huge silent secret.

Other celebrities who have struggled with hair loss

  • Kristin
    Davis (Actress)
  • Tyra
    Banks (Model)
  • Keira
    Knightley (Actress/Model)
  • Viola
    Davis (Actress)
  • Selma
    Blair (Actress)
  • Neve
    Campbell (Actress)
  • Naomi
    Campbell (Model)
  • Rosie
    O’Donnell (Actress)

This condition touches so many.

Possible Causes

As for women, most experience a slight loss of
hair. Some may experience thinning about 3 months postpartum. This is fairly
common and due to the changes in hormones. But within a few months the hair
growth comes back.

Hair loss can be temporary or permanent (baldness).
It can occur gradually as with age. In our 40s the hair follicle begins to age
and hair replacement is not as quick as they shed.

Hair loss can be linked to a health condition such as thyroid disease, iron deficiency anemia, syphilis or autoimmune diseases. Treatments for cancer such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and others types of medication. Some forms of dermatitis (7 Subtypes of Eczema) may also cause alopecia.

The hair often grows back once the treatment has

Or hair can suddenly fall out in patches (alopecia
areota). This can be due to stress.

Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is the loss of hair occurring in
oval patches with no inflammation. This is more common on the scalp. But it can
also be seen on the areas of the eyebrows, arms or legs. It can last weeks to
months then suddenly regrow.

Alopecia areata has been treated with very strong
topical steroids or intra-lesional injection of triamcinolone.

There is a rare and more severe form of alopecia
where the hair loss is permanent and includes the whole body including the
eyebrows and eyelashes.


A visual exam is done. Blood test and thyroid to
rule out anemia and thyroid disease. The appearance of scarring may require
punch biopsy.

Treating alopecia varies depending on what may have
caused it. Addressing any underlying illness usually returns hair growth back
to normal.

Common treatments for women are corticosteroids,
given as an injection or applied topically. Immunotherapies and topical
retinoids. The medical field looks at this condition as cosmetic so there is no
insurance coverage.

Corticosteroids treat alopecia areata. Hair may return as soon as 4 weeks.
Treatment can be done every 4-weeks. There are side effects from injections:

Skin atrophy and a thinning of the skin on the
scalp. Topical are available but aren’t really as effective.

Topical anathralin treats alopecia areata. It is considered safe and
effective. Can use at home once a day. Beginning with 5 minutes working up to
an hour. After applying rinse scalp with cool water and clean with soap. New
hair may appear 2-3 months.

Ketoconazole shampoo (also called Nizoral) treats androgeneic alopecia. A prescription is needed for this. An antifungal agent to reduce testosterone production, strength 2% (this is the recommended method) instead of 1%. No known side effects.

There are some products on the market available at
your pharmacy. These are mostly vitamins or supplements such as Viviscal Hair
Growth Program (tablets).

Banyan Botanicals website sells Bhringaraj oil and
Healthy Hair tablets. The oil has gotten some mixed reviews but the tablets
have gotten some pretty good results according to the reviews.

Keranique products seemed to have good reviews on
the site.

Disclaimer: No endorsements for pay or otherwise are included in this blog.

This website is for informational purposes and not to diagnosis.

If you have a health condition or concern, please consult your doctor.

Help support by donating hair to make wigs.

References: accessed 01/26/2020 accessed 01/26/2020 accessed 01/26/2020 accessed 01/26/2020 accessed 01/26/2020   Hair Replacement Spa in Greenfield, WI accessed 01/26/2020 Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment Pewaukee, WI 01/26/2020

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