Tag Archive for: hair loss

Diet and Hair Loss: Is There a Relationship?


When you’re losing your hair, you’ll try just about anything to make it stop.  Shampoos, conditioners, essential oils, vitamins… they’re all fair game.  The easier and less invasive, the better.  So, it’s only natural that diet is a hot topic.  Diet is a manageable lifestyle change that could make a difference.  

But, if you’re like most people, you probably have more questions than answers when it comes to how diet and nutrition affect your hair.  According to a 2017 study conducted by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), there’s a lot of conflicting information, causing confusion about what to eat.  Determining whether specific foods will help or hurt your hair loss condition is even more challenging.  We hear it all the time from patients.  “Can alopecia be reversed by changing my diet?”  “Which diet will best reduce the inflammation on my scalp?”  “Do I have to go gluten, dairy, and sugar-free?”  

Before you resort to radical measures, keep reading.  We’ll help you separate truth from fiction and share firsthand information from our own Dr. Ben Behnam, board-certified dermatologist and co-owner of Happy Head hair loss solutions.  

Can Improving Your Diet Prevent Further Hair Loss and Stimulate Growth?

Does what you eat affect your hair?  That’s the question that most people want to be answered.  After all, why bother changing your diet if it won’t make a difference?  The answer is yes; nutrition may indeed affect your hair.  One study found that nutritional deficiencies can cause telogen effluvium, androgenetic alopecia, or alopecia areata. It also found that over-supplementation can lead to hair loss as well.  

The Wrong Diet Really Can Cause Scalp Inflammation

Nutritional deficiencies aren’t the only problem.  Scalp inflammation caused by an unhealthy diet is another issue.  A high fat, high-cholesterol diet has been found to stimulate the inflammatory process on the scalp.  A study conducted in 2018 found that mice who were fed a traditional western diet experienced skin discoloration, inflammation, and hair loss.  The mice’s hair turned black, gray, then white before falling out.  The diet, which induced inflammation, mimicked the aging process in humans and aged the mice’s hair by 36 weeks.  The hypothesis is that when what you eat generates an inflammatory response, it causes your hair to age prematurely.  

Which Diet Should You Choose to Prevent Hair Loss?

Now that we’ve established that the wrong diet is a recipe for disaster when it comes to your hair, which diet should you consider?  Keto, Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), Mediterranean… the list of possibilities seems endless.   The truth is that further research is needed on the use of diet in alopecia treatment.  One study indicates that the Mediterranean diet, which contains foods with anti-inflammatory properties, may stimulate hair growth and health among people with androgenetic alopecia.  Figuring out the differences between each diet gets tricky, though. In many cases, overlap exists in the philosophies behind the diets.  

A Protein-rich Diet Helps Build Keratin

Regardless of which diet you choose, it’s important to select a protein-rich diet filled with fresh, unprocessed foods.  Hair is primarily composed of keratin, a mixture of filament-forming proteins.  To make keratin, your body needs protein.  All protein is not created equal, though, according to Dr. Behnam.  “Select pasture-raised chickens, raised on a farm and not in a cage,” says Behnam.  “When chickens are trapped in a cage, their testosterone levels increase from the stress of being in the cage.  When you eat caged chicken, you get extra testosterone that can potentially convert to DHT leading to more hair loss.”

Vegetarians Often Lack Enough Protein in Their Diets

Dr. Behnam finds that his patients who are vegetarians tend to lack the protein and vitamins necessary for adequate hair growth.  We’ll talk a little more about vitamins later, so let’s focus on protein for now.  Some excellent sources of plant protein can compensate for animal protein.  Those sources include nuts and nut butter, lentils, beans, peas, leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and brussel sprouts.  

Dr. Behnam is a big advocate of protein powder, not only for vegetarians, but for all of his patients.  It’s important to use the right type, though.  According to Behnam, “Two types of protein powder are on the market.  One is whey protein isolate. Whey protein isolate powder is easily found in retail stores in muscle milk, and other types of sports shakes.  It’s less expensive.  The only problem is that whey protein isolate increases the concentration of amino acids such as valine and isoleucine, which lead to higher testosterone production.  That extra testosterone has the potential to convert to DHT and cause hair loss.  The solution is to use whey protein concentrate.  Whey protein concentrate is harder to find, but it will boost your protein without increasing your testosterone or DHT levels.”  

Do You Have to Give Up Caffeine?

If you can’t seem to get moving in the morning without a cup of coffee, don’t despair.  “Caffeine doesn’t affect testosterone levels,” says Dr. Behnam.  “You can enjoy it without worrying.  I recommend that you stay away from energy drinks, soy milk, and anything high in MSG, though.”  

Nutritional Supplements

Vitamins and supplements aren’t a big deal to most people.  You don’t need a prescription to get them, so they’re safe, right?  Not so fast.  Vitamins and supplements aren’t always as innocuous as they seem.  There are a couple of things you need to know:

  1. The FDA does not regulate dietary supplements
  2. Over-supplementation of selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and other vitamins have been associated with hair loss

That said, Dr. Behnam usually tests his patients’ Vitamin D and iron levels because deficiencies are prevalent and are well-documented reasons for hair loss.  Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the hair growth cycle.   While the exact reason why iron deficiency causes hair loss is unknown, reversal of iron deficiency in mice led to a reversal of hair  loss.  

Here’s the inside scoop on other essential vitamins:


There has been a lot of hype about biotin supplements, shampoos, conditioners, and more.  Truth be told, biotin deficiency is rare.  Clinical trials have not shown biotin to be effective in stimulating hair growth without a true deficiency.  


Zinc deficiency can be either acquired or inherited.  It is common among vegetarians since vegetables contain less zinc than meat.   Zinc deficiency causes telogen effluvium and brittle hair.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is the main ingredient in retinoids and retinoic acid.  It has been proven to work in conjunction with Minoxidil and Finasteride to increase absorption of the medications.  Vitamin A deficiency does not cause hair loss, although a connection between over-supplementation and hair loss has been found.  

Vitamin E

It’s not common for people to have vitamin E deficiencies.  More research needs to be conducted, but in one small study with 21 participants, people who received vitamin E supplements had an increase in hair count compared to people in the placebo group.  Too much vitamin E is too much of a good thing.  It can increase the risk of bleeding and decrease thyroid hormone production, resulting in hair loss.   

Balancing Your Diet Is A Process

Learning how to eat for healthy hair takes time.  Sometimes you don’t know if changing your eating habits or adding a particular vitamin will help until you try it.  If you’ve already been diagnosed with male or female pattern hair loss or some other type of alopecia, supplementing your diet with topical medications such as Minoxidil, Finasteride, Spironolactone, or Duasteride may be a good option for you.  Topical medications have been found to be as effective as oral medications without the bothersome side effects.  Even better, like your diet, our formulas can be customized to meet your specific needs.  For more information, contact us to determine whether you are a good candidate for Happy Head or one of our other prescription-grade hair loss solutions. 


(01) https://foodinsight.org/survey-nutrition-information-abounds-but-many-doubt-food-choices/

(02) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/

(03) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6065400/

(04) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7109385/

(05) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/

(06) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/

(07) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/

(08) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5582478/#:~:text=Despite%20its%20popularity%20in%20the,multiple%20factors%2C%20including%20patient%20history.

(09) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/

(10) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/

(11) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5315033/


Signs of Balding and What to Look For

For both men and women, hair changes the older they become. Most adults understand that some hair loss is inevitable with age. But when it begins to occur, spotting the signs of hair loss and balding can still be tricky. Detecting the signs of balding is essential because early intervention is the key to successful hair loss treatment. 

What Are the Early Signs of Hair Loss? 

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, about 50% of men and women will experience hair loss in their lifetime. And although hair loss occurs in more men than women, the emotional impact of hair loss affects both equally. Because emotions can affect how each person faces hair loss, becoming familiar with the signs can help individuals approach the experience objectively and sensibly. 

Here are a few signs to look for if you suspect you’re experiencing hair loss: 

Sunburns on Your Scalp

Like the skin on the rest of the body, scalp tissue is vulnerable to sunburns. Fortunately, a full head of hair offers excellent protection against the sun’s harsh rays. Thick hair typically provides enough sun protection to keep the scalp from sunburning. The more hair thins, however, the less cover there is to protect the scalp. Sunburns on the scalp develop when there isn’t enough hair to sufficiently shield the area from direct sunlight. If your scalp is typically not sensitive to sunlight, but you find that scalp sunburns are occurring more frequently – you may be experiencing balding or profuse hair loss.  (01)

A Receding Hairline

A receding hairline can be tricky to spot if hair loss occurs gradually. The process happens bit by bit, making it hard to determine whether a receding hairline is more about lighting and angles and less about actual hair loss. Before deciding your hairline is receding, become familiar with what kind of hairline you have. 

    • Low hairline. Low hairlines are closer to the brow line, with a smaller forehead space. A receding hairline is more challenging to spot with low hairlines because they are less noticeable. 
    • Middle hairline. Middle hairlines are what most people would consider a “normal” hairline. These hairlines are set toward the upper-middle portion of the forehead. A receding hairline typically appears as an M-shape with a middle hairline, with the hairline receding further up on the sides. 
    • High hairline. High hairlines start at the crown, making the forehead space appear larger. A high hairline may seem as if the hairline is already receding, although it simply is a person’s inherited appearance. 
    • Straight-lined. Straight-lined hairlines don’t follow the natural curvature of the head. Instead, the hairline flows straight across the forehead, with sharp 90-degree angles on either side. Some men may style their hair this way, or it can be an inherited trait. A receding hairline may create a crooked hairline where one was typically straight, making it easier to spot. 
  • Triangular hairline. Triangular hairlines start low at the temples and reach a high point in the center. Receding hairlines may be more apparent on triangular hairlines because of how low the hairline typically begins at the sides.
  • Uneven hairline. Uneven hairlines are common because most hairlines aren’t perfectly shaped or symmetric. Uneven hairlines can also result from excessive hairstyling or tight headwear, making receding hairlines difficult to detect. 

Men, in particular, are prone to a hairline that recedes when they start balding. For example, one of the most common signs of androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness, is a receding hairline. Anyone wanting to check their hairline for signs of balding or hair loss should first familiarize themselves with their typical hairline. Taking periodic photographs can give you a baseline for comparison. 

A Bad Hair Day, Every Day

Are you noticing that your hair won’t fall in the same hairstyle you’ve worn for years? If you see that your hair is tougher to manage or doesn’t look the same way it used to, it may be a sign of hair loss or balding. Keep in mind that the weather, new hair products, or hard water can affect your hairstyle. However, if you’re struggling to shape your hair into its typical “look,” it might be because you’re working with less hair. Hair loss can influence how your hair flows and falls, changing how your hair appears in the morning or when styled. 

A Larger Crown Area

In men with androgenetic alopecia and females with female pattern baldness, balding may start at the crown. Hair follicles become sensitive to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a by-product of the hormone testosterone, resulting in thinning hair, particularly in the crown area. Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA) is another type of hair loss that begins at the top of the head or the crown as an expanding bald area. (02)

Unfortunately, the crown area is probably not something most people see, making it hard to assess for changes. If you’re concerned about balding, it’s a good idea to become familiar with your crown area. Use two mirrors to get a good look at the crown of your head or enlist the help of another person. If you notice more scalp showing through than usual – or there’s an obvious gap that’s visible to others – then you may be experiencing balding or hair loss. 

More Stray Hairs Everywhere

Just like animals, humans shed their hair naturally each day. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA), humans shed about 50 to 100 hairs daily. (03) Keep that number in mind when evaluating the stray hairs you see in the shower drain or on your pillowcase! 

In some instances, however, humans shed more hair than usual. Telogen effluvium, for example, occurs when stress or illness causes the temporary shedding of an excessive amount of hair.  Furthermore, women experiencing female pattern baldness may need to rely on this sign of balding (excessive stray hairs) more than others. 

Unlike men, women don’t typically lose all their hair or become bald in one spot. For women, severe hair loss is generally scattered throughout the head. Their crowns and hairline may remain the same, though the hair cover in these areas may be lighter. Because of this, women may need to rely on spotting hair loss by keeping tabs on the number of stray hairs they find instead. (03

Unreliable Signs of Balding

Often mistaken for definitive signs of balding, the following lead people to believe they are balding but are usually not connected to any actual hair loss. 

  • Hair that appears thin when wet. After a shower or swim, hair can look stringy, and your scalp might appear more exposed. This is typical for wet hair and not a sign of hair loss. 
  • An itchy, flaky scalp. Some people associate an itchy scalp with hair loss. In most cases, however, an itchy scalp is due to something easier to treat — like dandruff or eczema. 

It Looks Like I’m Balding. Now what? 

If you spot signs that you’re losing an excessive amount of hair or going bald, seek advice from a doctor right away. A thorough evaluation, whether in person or online, can determine whether you’re experiencing typical hair shedding or if you’re going bald. An expert can ease your fears by answering your questions and finding effective interventions. Treating hair loss as quickly as possible can keep you from losing more hair in the long run. 

At Happy Head, we schedule customer consultations with a board-certified dermatologist. Our doctors work with you to determine whether you’re a good candidate for our customizable topical hair loss medication. Want more information?  Start a free consultation now.



(01) https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2009/0815/p356.html

(02) https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/types

(03) https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/insider/shedding

Smoking and Hair Loss: The Truth You Need to Know

Are you a smoker? If you're losing your hair, this might be the reason why. Happy Head dermatologists recommend stopping smoking.

If you’re a smoker, you’re probably already well aware of why you should quit. Between your family using every scare tactic in the book and chilling public service announcements featuring people suffering from various types of cancers and lung diseases, you know the risks more than anyone. Beating the addiction is hard, though. In fact, it’s so difficult that 80 percent of people who try to quit smoking on their own start again within a month. (01)

Just in case you need a little more incentive to kick the habit for good, consider this: according to several research studies, nicotine can induce hair loss. Sure, you know how harmful cigarettes and vapes are to your body, but you probably didn’t expect to go bald from them. What else do you need to know about the effects of smoking on your hair? Keep reading, and we’ll fill you in on the latest.  

Nicotine Accelerates Hair Loss

Not only can continual use of nicotine lead to a heart attack, but it is also believed that smoking may be responsible for accelerating hair loss. One study found that 85 percent of men who smoked had a form of androgenic alopecia, male pattern baldness. Among the men in the non-smokers’ group, only 40 percent exhibited signs of male pattern hair loss. The difference in hair loss was significant.  The study used the Hamilton-Norwood Scale, which categorizes hair loss on a scale of one to seven, with one being the least amount of hair loss. In the smoker group, 71 percent had grade III or grade IV hair loss. However, in the non-smoker group, only ten percent of the participants reached grade III or IV. (02)

Smoking Ages Your Scalp 

So the next question is, why do experts believe smoking leads to hair loss? You know how smoking is known for giving people leathery alligator skin? It has the same effect on your hair. The reason why stems from a few different factors.  

  • Smoking reduces the blood flow to your hair follicles.

When you smoke, your blood vessels constrict, limiting how much blood flows to your organs. Over time, the continual constriction stiffens the blood vessels and makes them less elastic. When this happens, your cells don’t get the amount of oxygen and nutrients needed to thrive. When your hair follicles are deprived of oxygen, miniaturization occurs, disrupting your hair’s growth cycle. The hair follicle shrinks and eventually blocks the growth of new hair.   

  • Breathing in smoke can damage your hair’s DNA.

Smoke causes environmental effects that inhibit hair growth. DNA contains genetic material that serves as our hair’s building blocks. When carcinogens from cigarette smoke damage the DNA, keratin, a protein that makes-up 95 percent of your hair, cannot be produced. 

  • Smoking causes inflammation. 

Smoking stimulates follicular inflammation, a key feature in male and female pattern hair loss. In a 2020 research study on androgenic alopecia, approximately 71 percent of biopsy samples of patients with male or female pattern baldness showed signs of inflammation. (03)

  • Smoking decreases estrogen levels.

It is well documented that smoking decreases estrogen levels in women, which can lead to earlier onset of menopause. When estrogen levels drop, hair grows slower and thinner. Lower estrogen levels also lead to an increase in androgens which cause female pattern baldness. (04)

  •  Smoking prematurely turns your hair gray.

In an observational research study, people who smoked were two and a half times more likely to have gray hair before age 30 than non-smokers. (05) The study mentioned that the cause of premature graying is not yet known. One hypothesis is that melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing color, are damaged in people who smoke.  

If You’re Thinking About Getting a Hair Transplant, Stop Smoking

Many reputable dermatologists and hair specialists refuse to perform hair transplants on patients who smoke. The reason why is because oxygen is critical to the survival of transplanted follicles and helping the wounds heal. Smoking causes poor blood circulation, which could result in the death of the skin tissue on the scalp and even post-operative infections. (06) Another reason why is because nicotine in the blood vessels increases bleeding and inhibits clotting during the healing process. 

Vaping Can Cause More Damage Than Traditional Cigarettes 

What about vaping? It’s safer than smoking cigarettes, right? Not exactly. Vaping has skyrocketed in popularity across all ages groups in the past few years due to the sweet taste and lack of stale smell. What many people don’t realize, however, is that JUUL, MarkTen Elite, PAX Era, and most other types of e-cigarettes contain more nicotine than traditional cigarettes.  

Although no studies are available, anecdotally, one can make the connection that nicotine from vape pens is equally harmful, if not worse, for your hair than traditional cigarettes. Regardless of the source, nicotine has been proven to cause oxidative stress, which can impair your hair’s growth and cause hair loss. (07)

The Jury is Out on Marijuana

Recreational marijuana is currently legal in 19 states, Washington D.C., and Guam. (08) Marijuana must not be harmful if it’s legal, right? Well, the jury is out. A study conducted in 2007 by the University of Debrecen indicates that the THC in marijuana can lead to hair loss. (09) 

Marijuana contains cannabinoid compounds. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are the most well-known. THC is the main psychoactive compound. It’s the one that makes people feel high.  CBD is derived from hemp plants and does not cause a high or lead to addiction. When it comes to your hair, THC is the troublemaker. According to the study, the THC in marijuana can attach to receptors in your body, including your hair follicles, which causes hair loss. Not much research has been conducted since to qualify or negate the study.  

We believe that the study is accurate because marijuana and other drugs can be detected in hair samples for up to 90 days prior to the test. (10)  It makes sense that if the THC attaches to the follicles and sticks around for a while, it could cause damage.  

Treatment is Available to Reverse Hair Loss Caused By Smoking

Treatment is available if you’re experiencing hair loss from cigarettes, vapes, or marijuana. The first step is to stop smoking to prevent further damage. The next step is to consult with a dermatologist who is also a hair specialist.  Although many hair loss remedies are available over the counter, the most effective ones are only available by prescription. A variety of medications can be prescribed to stimulate regrowth including:


As mentioned previously, smoking can cause androgenic alopecia in people who are predisposed. When people get male or female pattern hair loss, their hair follicles shrink. Minoxidil enlarges miniaturized hair follicles to allow stronger, healthier hair to go to the surface of your scalp.  


People who smoke and have male or female pattern baldness produce a chemical called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that is converted from Testosterone. DHT attacks the hair follicles and causes the hair to fall out. Finasteride is a DHT blocker that prevents testosterone from converting to DHT.  


Sprionolactone is a DHT blocker.  The medication works similarly to Finasteride but is a bit stronger.  


Retinoids are often used in conjunction with Minoxidil and Finasteride to increase absorption of medications that treat androgenic alopecia.

In many cases, combinations of these medications are most effective in promoting hair growth among former smokers.  For example, Minoxidil combined with Finasteride and Retinol for absorption has been proven more effective than Minoxidil alone.  

Quitting is the Best Way to Preserve Your Hair

If you’re really worried about losing your hair, the best route is to quit smoking. Kicking the habit isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. You’ll look better and your health will improve. 

According to the American Cancer Society, the best strategy is to quit one day at a time. A day turns into a week, a week turns into a month, the months turn into years, and before you know it, you’ll have broken the habit. Sure, it sounds simple, but we realistically know it’s not.  Here are some other helpful tips:  

  • Stay busy and spend time in public places where smoking is prohibited
  • Replace the feeling of holding a cigarette or joint with a paper clip, marble, or coin
  • Chew gum or eat lollipops as a substitute
  • Avoid places, activities, and people that you associate with smoking
  • Exercise
  • Create a support system of family members and friends who you can call when you have a craving

Many good resources and programs are available to help you as well. Here are three that we recommend. All of these organizations provide trusted information and support.

American Cancer Society 

If you’re considering quitting, you don’t have to do it alone. During The Great American Smokeout annual event, thousands of people commit to a smoking cessation program on the third Thursday in November.

American Lung Association

The American Lung Association offers a Lung Helpline & Tobacco Quitline staffed by licensed registered nurses, respiratory therapists, and certified tobacco treatment specialists. The staff is a wealth of knowledge and can help connect you with a support group, find a doctor, and even answer questions about health insurance.

National Cancer Institute

Smokefree.gov, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, offers free tech programs to help you go smokefree. One innovative program is a texting service that gives encouragement, advice, and tips to help you quit. The organization also offers apps that allow you to tag locations and time of day you need support, as well as social media support.

If you are a current or former smoker and your hair is thinning or balding as a result, Happy Head is here to help. Contact us so we can review your history and customize a prescription-grade hair loss solution for you.


(01) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2928221/

(02) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jocd.13727

(03) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7667670/

(04) https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/68894

(05) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673399/

(06) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7484781/

(07) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2758082/

(08) https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/where-is-marijuana-legal-a-guide-to-marijuana-legalization

(09) https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1096/fj.06-7689com

(10) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5396143/

The Invisible Effects of Alopecia on Your Mental Health

Losing your hair can have serious effects on your mental health. This customer is looking at his hair in the mirror and noticing that his hair isn't as thick as it used to be, but now he's using Happy Head custom hair loss treatments to stop hair loss and gain confidence.

Although talking about mental health is more acceptable today than ever before, it’s still not the most comfortable topic of conversation. Add hair loss to the mix, and you have a double whammy. Bald spots and thinning hair may be noticeable, but the grief that many people feel when losing their hair isn’t. You’re probably not going to go up to your co-worker and say, “Hey, see my bald spot? I’m upset about losing my hair, and it’s ruining my life.” So who can you talk to, and how can you get help if you’re feeling depressed or anxious about your alopecia? Read on to learn about the of invisible effects of alopecia on your mental health and what resources are available if you’re struggling.

Understanding How Hair Loss & Mental Health are Connected

Alopecia isn’t physically harmful, but it has been proven to have immense psychological effects. A qualitative research study conducted in 2020 confirms that anxiety and depression related to alopecia are not only real, they can be debilitating for some. (01) One study participant said, “It was devastating when it first started. And when I first lost it all four years ago, I cried a lot. And it took me about two years. I really had to mourn the loss of my hair.” It’s not uncommon for people with alopecia to experience an ongoing bereavement process. (02)

The study also categorized emotions and the triggers that people with alopecia often experience:

  • Sadness and depression due to diagnosis
  • Insecurity, inadequacy, and self-consciousness when hair thins or bald spots appear
  • Helplessness, anxiety, fear and stress are often due to disease progression, recurrences, and failed treatment options

Given that hair is such a big part of our identity, it’s understandable that such strong emotions are evoked. People are often described and defined by the color or style of their hair. Before you were the perky brunette with the curly hair or the blonde dude with the buzz cut, and now you’re “the bald one.”

Why Depression and Anxiety Related to Alopecia Should be Addressed

Some people are so concerned about hiding their hair loss that they don’t want to participate in everyday activities. Work, birthday parties, happy hour, and even going to the gym can be tough.

When asked about how alopecia affects her social life, one respondent said, “Does it affect me physically? No. The ability to move around? No. To be around people? Yeah, it does. It does play a big role.” (03) Another mentioned that he missed his friend’s wedding because he was too embarrassed about the way he looked. “Once the alopecia was at its worst point that I had, I was just like, a homebody, you could say. I wouldn’t want to go out. [ …] I would avoid it. I wouldn’t go to, like, parties where you have to suit up. Yeah, I missed, like, my friend’s wedding.” Nobody chooses alopecia, and certainly nobody chooses to be debilitated by it. What’s the solution? Awareness and support.

How to Identify Whether Your Emotions are Manageable

The first step in getting help for anxiety and depression stemming from hair loss is being aware of your feelings. Everyone gets stressed out from time to time, and it’s only normal to be upset about losing your hair. After all, that’s a pretty significant change. How do you know if the amount of anxiety you’re feeling about your alopecia is appropriate?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Anxiety disorders involve more than a temporary worry or fear. For people with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can worsen over time.” (04)

Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression Caused by Hair Loss

Androgenic alopecia, alopecia areata, or even telogen effluvium can trigger depression, general anxiety, and other mental health disorders in predisposed individuals. Although each of the mental health conditions is different, you can have multiple conditions simultaneously. Here are some general symptoms to look for (05):


Depression causes constant sadness and loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy. People who are depressed may feel:

  • Tearful, empty, or hopeless
  • Angry, irritable, or frustrated
  • Less interested in activities that they used to enjoy
  • Tired
  • Restless
  • Less able to concentrate or make decisions
  • Worthless

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) occurs when people with alopecia worry non-stop about their hair loss. The anxiety doesn’t cease and begins to interfere with everyday life. People with GAD are often:

  • Restless, wound-up, or on-edge
  • Easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Irritable
  • Having headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or unexplained pains
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Having difficulty falling or staying asleep

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) makes people worry that they will be judged negatively by others because they have little or no hair. The embarrassment and shame are so extreme that they avoid socializing. SAD can often cause:

  • Feeling self-conscious or fearing that people will judge you negatively
  • Sweating, trembling, blushing
  • Pounding or racing heart
  • Stomachaches
  • Difficulty making eye contact or being around people you don’t know
  • Having things symmetrical or in a perfect order

How to Deal with the Psychological Effects of Hair Loss

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to psychological treatment for alopecia. The key is to seek treatment if you feel depressed or anxious about your hair loss. Treatment options typically include (06):

  • Psychotherapy (Talk therapy)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Teaches people to think differently)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Uses mindfulness and goal setting to eliminate negative thoughts)
  • Medication (Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, beta-blockers)
  • Support groups
  • Stress management techniques

Your healthcare provider may recommend one or more of these approaches to help you cope with your condition.

Can Stress Cause Alopecia?

We’ve established that having alopecia can inflict emotional problems, but can being stressed or depressed cause alopecia? After all, chronic stress can cause heart disease, high blood pressure and a variety of other medical issues. Is hair loss one of them?

The answer is yes. In a study on mice partially sponsored by the National Institute of Health, researchers discovered a particular stress hormone that inhibits stem cells required to grow hair. (07) During the study, mice were subjected to mild stress for many weeks. The corticosterone levels in the mice increased, and hair follicles stayed in the resting phase longer than normal, reducing growth.

Two hair loss conditions in people that are known to be triggered by stress are telogen effluvium and trichotillomania.

Telogen effluvium

As in the research study with the mice, stress could push your hair follicles into a resting period causing hair loss. The good news is that telogen effluvium due to stress is not permanent and can reverse itself.


Among people predisposed to obsessive-compulsive disorders, stress can trigger a hair-pulling disorder called trichotillomania. Despite trying to stop, people with this mental disorder have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair.

Fortunately, as we mentioned above, you can alleviate stress. The faster you seek treatment, the sooner your hair can return to a healthy growth cycle. To get started on your hair loss journey with a Happy Head dermatologist, click here.

What You Can Do to Prevent and Negotiate a Hair Loss Crisis

The key to dealing with hair loss is getting to a healthy level of acceptance. Sometimes it takes hard work, and sometimes it takes a little inspiration. It doesn’t matter how you get there. There isn’t a clear-cut map because the journey is unique for each person.

In a Tedx talk, Jannica Olin, a Swedish actress living in LA, asks the thought-provoking questions, “If I’m not my body, who am I?” and “When that which defines you is gone, do you know who you are?” Jannica lost the hair on her head, her eyebrows, and her eyelashes to alopecia areata. When you watch the video, you can’t help but notice that Jannica gets a little choked up when she removes her wig. Even as a successful TedX speaker who has redefined herself, Jannica is emotional about her experience. The difference is that Jannica can focus on what she has gained through her alopecia rather than lost.

We hope that you find your new normal and take back your power. We’re proud to be your partner and to support you along the way, take the Happy Head questionnaire to get started on a custom hair loss treatment plan all online.


(01) https://jpro.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s41687-020-00240-7

(02) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1261195/

(03) https://jpro.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s41687-020-00240-7

(04, 05, 06) https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders

(07) https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-stress-causes-hair-loss

The Surprising Connection Between Covid and Hair Loss

You’re in the shower, look down, and notice the drain is filled with hair.  Is that mine, or is it my partner’s?  Did the kids use my shower?  Where is all of that hair coming from?  Then, you notice something even worse.  The hair on the side of your head is so thin that it looks like you’re going bald.  What in the world is happening?  

As if dealing with constant fatigue, brain fog, and other Covid long-term effects isn’t enough, if you had Covid-19, you might be experiencing Covid related hair-loss.  Hair loss due to Covid can begin two to three months after having the virus and typically lasts about six months.  Although the CDC doesn’t talk about hair loss as an adverse effect, observational research conducted by leading dermatologists and hair specialists indicates that post-Covid hair loss is real. (01) Both men and women are affected.  

Covid-induced Hair Loss Can Be Significant

While thankful to be alive and regaining their health, many Covid long haulers are left trying to figure out why they’re shedding and how to stop it.  Dr. Ben Behnam, board-certified dermatologist, and owner of Dermatology and Hair Restoration located in Los Angeles, California, has seen many patients with Covid-induced hair loss in his office.  “I had a female patient in my office a few months ago who was 21 and lost 50 to 60 percent of her hair,” said Behnam.  “It was devastating for her.”  Some who have recovered from Covid report losses of as much as 70-80 percent of their hair. (02)

Covid’s Shocking Effects on Your Hair

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the actual Covid virus doesn’t make your hair fall out.  The culprit is the fever that’s associated with the virus. (03)  A high fever can shock your system causing a condition called Telogen Effluvium.  Childbirth, major surgery, crash diets, and some medications also cause the condition.

Telogen Effluvium, the most common cause of diffuse hair loss, occurs when hair prematurely goes into a resting (telogen) phase.  Your hair sheds faster than normal when this happens, resulting in thinning hair or bald spots.  

Anything that puts stress on your body can cause Telogen Effluvium.  The condition is common after a significant health-related event.    

Losing your hair can be depressing, no matter what the reason.  There’s good news though.  Telogen Effluvium is temporary.  Typically, patients will find that their hair sheds for about six to nine months, then it stops.  While the wait may seem like forever, your hair will grow back.

How to Cope with Covid-induced Telogen Effluvium

It’s not unusual to feel powerless when you don’t have control over your hair loss and don’t feel like yourself. If you are experiencing Covid-related Telogen Effluvium, here are four tips to help you get your mojo back as you wait for your hair to grow:

1. Visit your dermatologist 

If you’re wondering whether you have Telogen Effluvium from Covid or another hair condition, a visit to your dermatologist will give you peace of mind.  Patients who get Telogen Effluvium as a result of Covid don’t typically experience itching, redness, scaling, or other side effects like patients who have other forms of alopecia (04) such as alopecia areata and lichen planopilaris.  If you have any of these symptoms, your dermatologist can give you a firm diagnosis to help you get on the right track and continue to recover.

2.  Try your best to relax

Getting Covid is scary.  Recovering from Covid is tough.  Losing your hair is upsetting and stressful.  You have been through a lot.  Although it’s not easy, do whatever you can to decompress, whether that’s yoga, meditation, listening to the Calm app, or even taking a brisk walk.  

Stress relief is crucial because stress triggers hair loss.  “When your scalp muscles tense, you constrict your blood vessels so that the blood doesn’t flow to your scalp,” said Benham.  So if you’re experiencing Telogen Effluvium from Covid and anxiety simultaneously, hair growth is going to be inhibited even more with both conditions.

3.  Eat for Nutritional Value

The cleaner you eat, the better, shinier… just more gorgeous hair you will have,” Benham explains.  In addition to minimizing processed foods, he recommends increasing the amount of protein in your diet since your hair is made up of protein.  Cashews, nuts, avocado, and organic, grass-fed chicken are all good choices.  He also recommends pure whey protein concentrate.  

You should always ensure that your vitamin levels are where they should be, but doing so is especially important after recovering from Covid.  Iron and vitamin D deficiencies are common contributors to hair loss.  

4.  Experiment with new hairstyles and make-up

Members of Facebook’s Covid-19 Long Hauler Group report feeling more confident after a make-over.  Some have shaved their heads, but others are sporting cute bobs and pixie cuts.  Perhaps it’s time to do some experimenting.  You may even fall in love with your new look.

If you had Covid and are currently experiencing hair loss, don’t despair.  Many Covid long haulers report that their hair grew back thicker and healthier than before (05).  Growth will be gradual, so don’t expect miracles right away.  You may not even realize that your hair is starting to grow.  Meanwhile, stay calm, make sure that you’re living the healthiest lifestyle you can, and do whatever it takes to make yourself feel confident.  Better hair days are right around the corner. 


(01) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34467470/

(02)  Facebook:  Covid-19 The Long Haulers Support Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/373920943948661/

(03) https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/causes/covid-19

(04) https://consultqd.clevelandclinic.org/covid-19-related-hair-loss/

(05) Facebook:  Covid-19 The Long Haulers Support Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/373920943948661/


Stop Hair Loss: Prevent Hair on Pillow & Shower Drain – Effective Solutions

Image of a pillow and all the hair you may find after you've slept. This could be a sign of hair loss.

It starts with a few hairs on your pillow. Then, while you’re in the shower, you notice a few more hairs than usual flowing into the drain. Once these incidents occur more often, you start to ask yourself the difficult question, “Am I going bald?” 

It’s a tough question to come to terms with, but one that many people eventually find themselves wondering. 

You may be going bald. Or you might not. Whatever the case, it’s better to face the question and find the answer now than to wait it out. Because if you are going bald, you need immediate attention to slow—or stop—the process. 

Four Signs of Hair Loss

About 25% of men have experienced hair loss by the age of 21. By age 50, about 50% of all the men have had some level of hair loss. Women are not immune to losing their hair, either, with about 40% of women experiencing hair loss within their lifetime. So, when it comes to going bald, you’re not alone. (01, 02)

Hair loss happens to many people and there are steps you can take to address the issue. But before you seek out treatments for possible balding, however, you should evaluate whether or not you’re losing hair. 

Here are four signs that may be going bald:

1. Gradual Loss of Hair

Sometimes, hair loss occurs suddenly. In rare instances, a physical or emotional trigger can loosen hair and cause large chunks of hair to fall out. Called telogen effluvium, this type of hair loss develops when scalp hair follicles lose their hair due to a shock (stress, illness, medication, or environmental factor). Hair follicles are most susceptible to this type of hair loss while in a resting state called telogen. 

Although the condition can still cause feelings of panic about losing hair, most instances of telogen effluvium are temporary. Gradual hair loss, however, is something to be concerned about as it can be a sign of going bald. According to the Mayo Clinic, hereditary hair loss is the most common cause of baldness, and it happens slowly over time. Unlike telogen effluvium, hereditary hair loss is permanent.  (03)

2. Developing a Receding Hairline

One of the most common types of hereditary hair loss is male pattern baldness, and the hallmark sign of male pattern baldness is a receding hairline. (04) Because a receding hairline occurs incrementally, it’s a sign that’s easy to ignore or overlook. The following are the most common signs of a receding hairline: 

  • You notice your forehead looks larger than usual. 
  • Your hairline begins to make an “M” shape. 
  • The temple area of your hairline appears thinner than before. 

A receding hairline can happen due to headwear. Tight-fitting headwear like baseball caps and headbands may encourage loss of hair at the hairline by restricting blood flow and through repeated motions (taking the hat on and off). In some cases, men with male pattern baldness may attribute a receding hairline to their hats rather than a hair condition. So, if you notice your hairline is receding, you may be experiencing hair loss. 

3. The Appearance of Random Bald Spots

Have you noticed bald spots or sparse areas that weren’t there before? Patchy, thinning hair and random bald spots may indicate the start of male pattern baldness or a condition called alopecia areata (03). With alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder, hair falls out in round patchy areas or a band-like pattern around the head. Alopecia areata may also affect facial hair – creating small bald patches in the beard area or eyebrows. 

Another condition that begins with bald spots is hereditary baldness. Although hereditary baldness usually starts with a receding hairline, the condition can also begin with an expanding crown. Furthermore, women who experience female pattern baldness typically see different signs than men with male pattern baldness. (05)

A few of these signs are:

  • Thinning at the crown or hairline. 
  • Widening of the center part in a Christmas-tree pattern. 
  • Front hairline typically remains unaltered. 

Compared with male pattern baldness, hair loss associated with female pattern baldness doesn’t usually progress to full hair loss. Women typically keep most of their hair. Despite this, any hair loss can still be very distressing for women and may require treatment. 

4. Your Hair Isn’t Growing

According to the Academy of Dermatology, hair at the top of your head grows at an average rate of about six inches every year. This means that you can expect about a half-inch of growth every month. 

Your grows in three stages: (06)

  • Anagen Phase: Active growth lasting about 2 to 8 years. 
  • Catagen Phase: Hair halts its growth, lasting about 4 to 6 weeks. 
  • Telogen Phase: Resting phase, then hair falls out of the follicle, lasts about 2 to 3 months. 

Only about 5-10 percent of your hair is in the telogen phase at any given time. In contrast, most of your hair is in its growth phase. Your hair’s rate of growth depends on your age, health, genetics, and environmental factors. 

If your hair is thinning and you notice your hair’s growth is slowing, however, it may be because you have less hair than before. As you lose hair, you have less hair in the growth phase. The reduction in hair may make it appear as though your hair is growing more slowly. 

How Likely are You to Go Bald?

People who are experiencing hair loss often want to know when and if they’ll go bald. Unfortunately, there’s no way to predict exactly if and when you will lose all your hair. Genetics plays a significant role in determining how much hair you’ll lose over time. Other factors, like stress, nutrition, and your health also affect whether or not you might lose your hair. 

There’s no way to predict when you’ll go bald. You can, however, look at your family history. Genes are the primary factor that causes female and male pattern baldness. Also, women are much less likely to lose all of their hair when compared to men. 

While researchers still have much to learn when it comes to hereditary baldness, its cause is thought to be polygenic – involving two or more genes. A few genes for male pattern baldness are thought to exist in the “X” chromosome (07), the chromosome inherited through a male’s mother. A 2017 literature review, however, also found 63 genes for male pattern baldness that exists in the “Y” chromosome inherited from a father (08). 

These studies indicate that  interplay between genes may be what leads to inherited hair loss. If you’re wondering if you’ll go bald, look at your family. 

What You Should Do if You Think You’re Going Bald

There’s no timeline for how long it takes to lose all your hair. But if you really are going bald, it won’t happen overnight. Losing all your hair is a gradual process that  takes years or decades. In spite of this, you should intervene as soon as you suspect you’re losing your hair. Why? Because the sooner you start managing your hair loss the better the results will be. 
Think you’re going bald? Taking steps as quickly as possible to protect your hair and scalp can lead to improved hair retention. Whether managing hair loss means changing your lifestyle habits or taking a prescription-grade treatment for hair loss like Happy Head, quick intervention means keeping more of your hair.


(01) https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-do-men-go-bald-and-is-there-anything-you-can-really-do-about-it/

(02) https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/292492

(03) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hair-loss/symptoms-causes/syc-20372926

(04) https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001177.htm

(05) https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/diseases-conditions/female-pattern-baldness

(06) https://www.aad.org/public/kids/hair/how-hair-grows

(07) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5308812/(08) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28272467/


Hair Therapy Podcast Featuring Hair Loss Specialist Dr. Ben Behnam

Dr. Ben Behnam, Los Angeles-based board-certified dermatologist, hair loss specialist, and co-founder of Happy Head prescription grade hair loss solutions, was recently a guest on The Hair Therapy Podcast with Kate Holohan.  The podcast was loaded with information about the causes of hair loss and treatment options.  It’s amazing how many options both men and women suffering from hair loss now have.  If you missed it or are looking for a recap, we’re sharing the highlights from the discussion below.  You can find the full podcast here.

It’s No Longer Taboo to Talk About Hair Loss

Thanks to bloggers and influencers, it’s easier than ever for people to come forward with their hair loss and talk honestly about their issues.  People are showing candid photos of their alopecia on Instagram and other social media sites so others can follow them and say, “Hey, it’s not just me.  Other people are losing their hair also.”  They share what works for them, and they are talking more openly.  That’s really good to see. 

Women are Seeking Hair Loss Treatment Too

The ratio of male to female patients that we’re seeing in our office has also changed over the years. Five to seven years ago, about 80 percent of our patients were men.  We rarely had female patients make appointments to address their hair loss.  Now, our patient base is almost about 50-50.  A lot of women are currently seeking treatment, which is wonderful.  

Men are more likely to accept that they’re going to go bald.  We have Michael Jordan to thank for that.  About ten years ago, he shaved his head, making the look popular for guys.  But not too many women I know will plan to shave their heads and say, “I’m excited about this.”  

Losing Your Hair Can be Devastating

Hair at every age and every level matters because it’s part of who you are.  I see my patients affected socially, emotionally, and even economically.  And honestly, patients’ mentality is very important.  Some of my patients already have anxiety.  When hair loss becomes another trigger, it makes the anxiety and hair loss even worse.

When patients start to see hair regrowth, it helps them feel better about themselves.  They get the boost of confidence they need to become more emotionally stable. 

Early Hair Loss Treatment Can Lead to a Better Outcome

There are two ways you can lose your hair.  One, it’s going to fall out.  Two, is due to miniaturization.  Miniaturization is when the hair follicles literally shrink.  As the hair follicles shrink, the hair itself shrinks as well.  We have a big magnifier in our office, so we can actually show patients what the shrinking looks like.  Now, if you allow too much shrinking, then your hair goes to the point of no return.  So, if you can do something to revive the follicle, you can reverse the aging process.

Hair Loss in Men and Women Happens for Many Different Reasons

Many patients are genetically predisposed to hair loss, but they don’t know it.  Their hair is perfectly fine, and all of a sudden a stressful event such as a divorce or a bad break-up occurs, activating the underlying genetic predisposition.

In some cases,Telogen Effluvium occurs.  Typically, 90 percent of your hair is in the anagen phase, which is a growth phase.  Only five to ten percent is in the telogen phase, which is a resting phase when your hair falls out.   When people experience trauma, about 50 percent of their hair can shift into that telogen phase.  That’s why when some women experience a traumatic event they lose 50 to 60 percent of their hair in six months.  

Other hair loss triggers include:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Illness (Thyroid, Covid, etc.)
  • Hormonal changes from pregnancy or menopause
  • Vitamin deficiencies (Vitamin D and iron are the most common)
  • Smoking & vaping
  • Poor diet with too many processed foods 
  • Playing with or tugging on your hair
  • Bleaching and other harsh chemical treatments
  • Stress

Stress Wreaks Havoc on Your Hair

Stress is one of the hair loss triggers we, unfortunately, see all the time.  We’ve especially seen this during Covid.  

My patients tell me all the time, “When I get mad and angry, I lose my hair.”  I could never find a scientific reason until I came across the Scalp Tension Theory.  Most people, even dermatologists, have not heard of it.  The theory is that when you tense up, and you can really see this on a guy who’s balding or who is bald, you turn red, the scalp muscles tense, and your blood vessels constrict so blood does not flow to your scalp.  

Studies have shown that when you have a lack of blood to your scalp, a few things happen:

  1. Less nutrition goes to your hair
  2. No oxygen or decreased oxygen goes to your hair
  3. Less Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a form of testosterone, is produced, resulting in hair loss.  

The Scalp Tension Theory has been tested with Botox injections into the scalp.  Studies have been conducted over the past 20 years, but nobody talks about them.  A recent study that was conducted on women confirmed that the theory is correct.  When Botox was injected into the scalp every six months, the muscles relaxed, blood flow to the scalp increased, and growth was observed.  

Minoxidil is an Effective Hair Growth Treatment

Minoxidil  is a blood pressure medication that is a vasodilator.  It works a bit like Botox.  It increases the blood flow to the scalp, which is how it makes hair grow.  

Initially, Minoxidil was only available as an oral medication.  Today, topical two and five percent formulas are available over-the-counter under the name Rogaine.  I don’t recommend the two percent any more for women.  Instead, I recommend that women use the five percent for men twice per day.  In clinical studies, 48 percent of female patients see significant hair growth.  

One of the important things you need to know about Minoxidil is that you have to keep using it.  Once you start, you have to use it forever. 

There’s a Secret to Applying Rogaine, Minoxidil, and other Topical Treatments

To make Rogaine work better, I recommend a derma roller.  I find derma rollers especially effective for womens’ frontal hairline areas.  

A derma roller is just a roller with about 540 spikes at the tip.  It creates holes in the scalp, and the topical solution penetrates through those holes to give better results.  We tell our patients to wet their hair and then gently roll back and forth, left and right, for a few minutes.  Don’t hold it in one place in one area because that could cause scarring.  You don’t have to go very deep either.  We recommend just .25, a very mild depth.

I like the electronic derma roller as well as the derma stamp.  With the derma stamp, you’re just stamping the medication on, which is less likely to drag your hair out.  

There are Ways to Reduce Irritation from Topical Treatment

One of the most common side effects of Minoxidil is irritation.  This is because alcohol is in the formula and can be drying.  Some sensitive people experience redness and flaking.  The Minoxidil we use in Happy Head is prescription-grade at six percent for women and eight percent for men, which is higher than the over-the-counter doses.  To minimize irritation, we added an aloe base and a small amount of topical steroid to Happy Head. 

We have a few tips we tell our patients if they still get irritated:

  1. Wash off the topical Minoxidil after one or two hours.  You don’t have to use it all day to be effective.
  2. Purchase a topical serum from Amazon to use
  3. Use a leave-in-conditioner

I also recommend easing into using topical medications, so your skin has time to adjust.  Make a calendar.  Week one, only use it on Monday.  Week two, use it on Monday and Friday.  Week three, use it on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Go slowly, and remember it’s not a race.

It’s Common to Need a Multi-treatment Approach to Reverse Hair Loss

Some people can see hair growth from just one medication, but it’s not unusual to need multiple prescriptions simultaneously.  We call it the kitchen sink approach when we strategically use a few different treatment options at the same time to get optimal results.  That’s what Happy Head, a hair growth formula that my brother and I created, is designed to do.  It combines multiple medications, Minoxidil, Finasteride, retinoic acid and hydrocortisone, in an aloe formula to work better than just one single prescription.  Since patients’ needs vary, the solution can be customized.

Clinical Studies Tell Us that Finasteride Promotes Hair Growth

Finasteride, an ingredient we include in Happy Head, is a prostate medication used off-label to promote hair growth.  Both oral and topical formulas are available. Finasteride works by blocking testosterone from converting to DHT in your scalp.  Documented clinical studies prove that oral and topical Finasteride is highly effective for treating both male and female pattern baldness.

Like the other medications we’re discussing, Finasteride can be customized for each patient.  Make sure you talk to your doctor to find out if Finasteride is right for you.  It is not safe to use if you are a woman of childbearing age.  Some men also experience side effects such as decreased libido when they take Finasteride orally.  Studies show that the topical formula could reduce the risk of sexual side effects. 

As mentioned previously, I always recommend starting slowly and working your way up to full dosage.  

Topical Hair Growth Treatments Like Happy Head Do Work

I have patients come back six months after their initial visits and tell me they don’t see any improvement.  I take a photo, and compare it to the previous one, and I swear that some patients have had so much hair growth that it’s unbelievable.  It’s difficult to see the progress because you can’t see the day-to-day changes.  Photos help, though, and patients are often shocked to see how thin their hair was before treatment and how thick it is now.  I recommend taking photos monthly and monitoring progress over time.

Focus on Being the Best Version of Yourself

It’s difficult not to compare your hair to other people’s, but you really can’t.  Everyone’s hair is different.  If you have fine hair, you will always have fine hair.  That won’t change.  The important thing to remember is that you want to have the best hair that you can have.

About Dr. Ben Behnam

Dr. Ben Behnam specializes in medical hair loss management and medicine.  He practices in Los Angeles, California, with his twin brother, Dr. Sean Behnam, who is also a board-certified physician, specializing in hair transplants.  The brothers have had their own clinic on the westside of LA called Dermatology and Hair Restoration since 2009. 

About Happy Head Prescription Grade Hair Loss Solutions

Two years ago, Dr. Ben Behnam and Dr. Sean Behnam launched the Happy Head website.  Happy Head was designed to make it easier for people to see doctors online and access prescription grade topical hair loss products such as Finasteride.  

Happy Head solutions can be purchased as is or can be customized to individual patients’ needs.  Since the medications are only available via prescription, doctors are available to review each patient’s case.  The process is fast, easy, and personalized.  
We’re pleased to offer patients who visit www.happyhead.com a coupon for 60 percent off of their first purchase. Be sure to check us out and let us know if we can answer any questions. 

What Are the Results of Finasteride?

Male pattern baldness is something that exists commonly and everywhere. It is something that many men experience in their lifetime. This is backed by the fact that at least 85% of men are affected by this when they are about to turn 50. These findings were recorded by the American Hair Loss Association. Finasteride is something that can help. We’ll take a look at the results of Finasteride.

This is a cause of concern for many men because they don’t want to turn bald. However, there is not much that can be done to stop this from happening except hair loss treatments. One of these treatments is known as Finasteride, whether it’s oral Finasteride or topical Finasteride.

Man looking in the mirror at his thinning hair line and applying a topical treatment to help containing finasteride. What are the results of finasteride? That depends on your treatment and dose. Check with a Happy Head dermatologist about a custom treatment.

What Is Finasteride?

What is it and what are the results of results of Finasteride? This is a small pill that one has to take daily. It is used to treat male pattern baldness and is used by many men around the globe. However, one thing to remember here is that it is not a magic pill that will solve your problems overnight. Instead, you have to take it daily and you have to be consistent. In many cases, you will start seeing results after at least 4 – 6 months of taking this pill daily. If you don’t see any results even after a year of taking this then it is time you prepare a visit to your doctor because this medicine is highly effective.

Get Customized Topical Finasteride Just for You

How Does It Work?

Are the results of Finasteride worth the taking? The Finasteride medication interacts with the testosterone in the body. It is responsible for converting testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone) that is responsible for the male pattern baldness. When your body is producing more DHT your hair follicles will reduce and this will cause your hair to become thin and fall out. However, what Finasteride does is that it reduces the production of this hormone. In the long run, your follicles will stop shrinking and your hair will not thin or fall. Do remember that this medication is only suitable for men as it interacts differently with female hormones and so they are not advised to take it.
In many cases, this medication has worked towards reducing the production of DHT in the scalp by at least sixty-percent! This is a significant number and any male experiencing hair loss or hair thinning problems can make the use of this medication. From this process, you will start seeing the results of Finasteride.

Is It Effective?

Is Finasteride effective and when will I be able to see the results of Finasteride? One study was done on men who took Finasteride daily for two years. These were the results that were found in this study:

  • Sixty-six percent of men showed a boost in the growth of their hair
  • Five percent of men showed an even greater increase
  • Thirty-one percent of men had a fairly moderate increase in hair growth
  • Thirty percent of men exhibited a slight increase
  • Eighty-three percent of men did not experience any more hair loss after taking the pill

This shows that if you are consistent with taking the pill, it will fix your hair loss problems by a significant amount. It does three things to men with problems of male pattern baldness and hair loss:

  • Increases growth of hair
  • Halts male pattern baldness
  • Halts hair loss

Of course, these results vary individually as some may experience one of these and some may experience all. This is because individuals have different reactions to the same medicine. And this is the way the results of Finasteride are described as. For some people, this pill may not even work. However, this is something that happens rarely but it does happen. One thing to remember here is that this medication is only extremely effective when it comes to hair loss and thinning. If you have an area on your head that has completely lost hair then Finasteride may not work as effectively. This is because this medication does not reverse hair loss.

Topical Finasteride Made for You

How Effective Is It In Growing Back Hair?

The main function of Finasteride is to reduce the thinning and falling out of hair. However, in many cases, it has been observed that it also encourages the growth of hair. So what is the results of Finasteride, or even Propecia, and how can it help? This depends on the individual, however, studies done have shown that the medication has the potential to aid regrowth of hair. It is said to grow hair again faster and in many cases thicker as well. One note to take here is that it will not magically change the quality of your hair neither the texture. This is because the main function of this medicine is to halt hair loss and thinning. It may only grow back faster and thicker but there will no dramatic changes in the way your hair feels or appears. It is important that you do your research first and read reviews from other people before deciding to take this medication. The best course of action is to first talk to your doctor and if they approve then you can start this daily pill to fix your hair problems.

How You Can Use It Effectively for Amazing Results

This is something many people wonder as they want the medication to be as effective as possible on their hair. The only way it will be effective for you is if you consult your doctor first.
Once you do, you have to follow the instructions they have given to you. You need to remember that this is a process that takes time and consistency. In the first few months, you may not even see any noticeable changes. However, if you keep at it then by 6 – 7 months you will start seeing the results of finasteride and changes that will just keep on increasing. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should also be consistent in the time you take the medication. For example, if you take it in the morning then that is the time you should take it daily. This is because having a gap between doses that is too wide may impact the Finasteride you have in your body i.e. it may reduce. Once it reduces it will not be as effective. This is why it is essential to take the dose at the same time every day so the level of Finasteride in your body can stay consistent.

Results of Finasteride Compared to Other Treatments for Hair Loss

Firstly, this is an effective treatment because it directly tackles the hair loss issue and it is not too heavy on the pocket either unlike other treatments. There are many other treatments that you can get at pharmacies. These can take other forms as well such as creams, lotions, and capsules. Some are prescription based and some you can get over the counter. It entirely depends on what you want and what your doctor has recommended. One other effective treatment is a capsule that has shown promising results of Finasteride over time known as Avodart. However, this is the only prescription based so you need to talk to your doctor first. There are also other options available such as hair supplements. These are not as effective as other methods. If you want something effective, safe, and cheap then Finasteride is your best bet. You will just have to wait and be consistent so if you are willing to do that then this will prove to be the most effective treatment for your hair loss problems. The results of this treatment are extremely positive from almost all its users.

Prescribed Finasteride

Can You Speed Up the Results from Finasteride?

When we take medication, we always want the results to be apparent fast. How fast can I see the results of Finasteride? This is something many people wonder because no one wants to wait a long time for their hair problems to go away. Here are some effective ways you can speed up the results from Finasteride. Do remember that these may not work for everyone.


Be mindful of what you eat. Did you know that more than 20% of men who have male pattern baldness also have an iron deficiency? Another reason is that your body may be lacking the fatty acids it needs for hair growth. This is why it is important to fulfill your nutritional needs so that your hair can also do better.


Getting enough sleep and rest is important for maintaining and healthy lifestyle. If you’re are experiencing stress in your life, try ways to control and reduce stress. Just like with many of the other medications we use, getting enough rest is important and can affect the results of Finasteride on your head.


Hair loss and stress can be related. There are three types of hair loss that is associated with stress. These three are telogen effluvium, trichotillomania, and alopecia areata.

Telogen effluvium

Telogen effluvium is when a notable amount of stress pushes large numbers of hair follicles into a resting phase which causes the the hair growth process to stop.


Trichotillomania is when you constantly have the urge to pull out hair from your scalp. This may be a problem to take care which will not have the results of Finasteride.

Alopecia areata

This is when your immune system attacks the hair follicles, which in result will cause hair loss. If you do use topical Finasteride, you may see the results of Finasteride.

Scalp Massage

This is already known to be effective when it comes to stimulating your hair growth. This is because blood circulation is increased which encourages the growth of hair. Relax and help your hair grow faster with a daily scalp massage.

Take Finasteride With Minoxidil

Minoxidil usually comes in a liquid form and it is supposed to be rubbed on the scalp two times a day. It has shown promising results because more than 40% of men have re-growth once they start using this. This is why both of them combined can be an extremely effective treatment for hair loss prevention and in seeing results of Finasteride. This is probably by far the most effective treatment out there for males who are dealing with hair loss problems or male pattern baldness. It takes time but it is also safe.


This is why if you want to treat your male pattern baldness then you can opt for Finasteride. However, you must consult your doctor first before taking any kind of medication. Using or taking finasteride may be worth the results of Finasteride. They will advise you the best and also give you a set of instructions that you need to follow while taking this medication. Once you start taking it all you have to do is be patient and consistent and the amazing results will automatically come!

Disclaimer: The information in this article does not constitute medical advice and should only be used for informational purposes only. The information in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice and please do not rely on this information to make medical decisions. Please make sure to discuss the risks and benefits of any treatment with your medical doctor before beginning treatment.

Get custom made topical Finasteride just for you by a Happy Head board-certified dermatologist.