Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Keira Knightley Says Wigs Are Her Savior After Hair Loss

She’s dyed her hair various shades of blond, brown, and auburn over the years for acting roles ranging from Anna Karenina and Atonement to Pride and Prejudice and The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. While Keira Knightley’s career has been thriving, her tresses haven’t fared so well. According to the U.K.’s Mirror, Knightley has experienced hair loss for the past five years due to overdyeing, and she’s taken to sporting wigs to cover up her thinning mane. But she’s not mad about it: The actress called the hairpieces “the greatest thing that’s ever happened to my hair,” according to the Mirror.

“When people use hair dyes and clinical products it reduces the length of the growth phase, meaning hair becomes thinner and easily broken,” said an expert from PHP Aesthetic-Wellness clinic, who spoke with the Mirror. But, fans of hair color, don’t fret just yet. “Hair loss associated with hair coloring is extremely rare,” Chris Flower, director-general of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association, a toxicologist and chartered biologist, tells Yahoo Beauty. “And though it should only be temporary, it is of course very upsetting.” The publication cites hair-loss experts who claim your hair can grow back if you refrain from using dyes and give it a rest — that is, if the follicles are still present.

Experts who spoke to the Mirror also suggest getting blood tests to rule out a thyroid problem or iron deficiency causing the thinning strands. The 31-year-old actress has been on a hair roller coaster over the years, beyond just losing strands to overdyeing. Even her texture has changed. “I have naturally crazy, curly hair — and since I’ve had the baby [in 2015], it’s become 10 times thicker,” she said, according to the Mirror. “So now I’ve been finding quite a lot of dreadlocks.” Actress January Jones has experienced a similar problem, watching her tresses fall out after changing her hair color too many times for roles. “I have been every color and now my hair is falling out in clumps,” she told the fashion publication Grazia. According to hair-loss clinic the Belgravia Centre, hair dyes do not cause hair loss at the root. “[Hair loss] is not, as many people think, due to the dyes affecting the hair follicles in the scalp where the hair is produced,” its website states. “It is actually an unfortunate side-effect of the leeching process, by which dye is removed from the proteins that compose each hair shaft.”

Which explains why hair-loss experts who spoke with the Mirror suggest that hair can grow back in most cases like this — because follicles remain undamaged. Overuse of dye can definitely magnify the chemicals’ damage to your hair over time, causing strands to become weak and break off. According to the website Bustle, dye can can lift and break through protective hair cuticles. And the more you dye, of course, the more havoc you wreak. If you frequently change your hair color with dyes containing ammonia — the most harmful chemical — you might want to consider taking a break (and wearing wigs like Knightley?).

Also, adopt some best practices for keeping your strands intact when using hair dye at home (for a major change, see a hair-color professional). According to Flower, you should:

  • Always read the instructions and make sure you understand them completely, even if you’ve used the product before, and make sure you leave the product on the head for the time stated on the pack. 
  • Always carry out the allergy alert test, exactly as instructed, each time, and allow a full 48 hours for any reaction to develop. 
  • If you react to the allergy alert test, do notgo ahead and color your hair. 
  • If you are unsure of anything, call the company help line using the number on the pack. 
If you do suffer a reaction in spite of these guidelines, Flower says, you should contact your doctor first but also contact the manufacturer of the product or the salon where you had your hair colored; both will help you and your doctor handle your reaction. Companies have your safety in mind and will investigate each incident to help ensure the safety of hair colorants for the millions of people who use them regularly. If you choose the wig route, there are a bunch of things to consider, not the least of which is, should you go for natural or synthetic hair? While human-hair wigs look and feel natural (because they are), tangle less, and last longer, they’re also much more expensive. Synthetic wigs are more affordable and can withstand heat styling better — but, of course, they’re artificial.

Monday, August 29, 2016

A decade on, vaccine has halved cervical cancer rate

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The world's first cancer vaccine was administered in Australia exactly 10 years ago. Since then, the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine has been rolled out across 130 countries and halved the number of new cervical cancers.

The HPV vaccine also protects against cancers in the throat and mouth in both men and women. Prof Ian Frazer said the vaccine could eradicate cancers caused by HPV within 40 years. "It helps not only control cervical cancer but also the oropharyngeal cancer - the cancers inside the mouth that are caused by these viruses," Prof Frazer, chief executive of the Translational Research Institute, said. "If we vaccinate enough people we will eliminate these viruses because they only infect humans.

And in Australia there's already been a 90% reduction in infections in the 10 years the programme has been running." HPV is a very common virus that lives on our skin and other areas of the body, including the mouth, genital areas and anus. It can be passed through skin-to-skin contact and genital contact. The virus is most often passed during vaginal and anal sex, but can also be transmitted through oral sex. "The papilloma viruses that cause cancer are very common indeed," Prof Frazer said. "Most people get rid of the virus themselves without knowing they've contracted it, but 1% of the population that get it get persistent infection that lasts over five years. If they do that they've got a very good chance they'll get a cancer."

Prof Frazer, the late molecular virologist Dr Jian Zhou and a research team used genetic engineering to build a virus replica to create the vaccine. With millions of doses of the vaccine administered worldwide, the number of new cases of cervical cancer has reportedly halved. "We know that 170 million doses of vaccine have been given out," Prof Frazer said. "If you do the sums on that, one in a hundred people were going to get a cancer that could kill them."

Some parents have reservations about their children being vaccinated on the grounds that it may encourage promiscuity. Others object to vaccinations over safety fears. "In countries like the US where the vaccine isn't so widely taken up, that's a little bit disappointing because cervical cancer still kills several thousand women in the US," he said. "Then, of course, we've got the problem of the 250,000 people that die from cervical cancer in the developing world."

Researchers are continuing to refine the effectiveness of the vaccine and ensure more widespread inoculation. "We're moving from a vaccine that protects against two common strains of the virus that cause cancer to a vaccine that protects against nine common strains," Prof Frazer said. "If we get that rolled out we will eventually get rid of all cancers that get caused by this virus."

Friday, August 26, 2016

Transforming Stress for Teens

The recent alarming reports that a growing number of American teens are experiencing high levels of stress clearly signals a burgeoning crisis and an immediate need for solutions. The American Academy of Pediatrics reported in June suicide was the second leading cause of death among 15- to 19-year-olds. The widely reported 2014 American Psychological Association’s Stress in America survey said teens experienced even higher levels of stress than adults. And a study out last year from New York University found “very high levels of chronic stress in a wide number of arenas” among 11th-graders in a private-school setting.

We believe teens, their parents, teachers and counselors will find highly effective strategies in Transforming Stress for Teens - the HeartMath Solution for Staying Cool Under Pressure. Today’s teens are growing up is strikingly different era than past generations. The speed, complexity and deluge of information filling teenage brains is accelerating their stress. World events, wars, refugeeism, global warming and a deteriorating national discourse certainly may be on the periphery of those brains. Among many other more immediate and personal pressures, however, are homework overload, excessive hours of social networking and texting, bullying and harassment. Additionally, high school seniors and graduates report great anxiety about the college application process and leaving home for the first time to attend college.

What is stress? Four hours of homework each night? Being bullied at school or online? Working tirelessly to get into a top-rated college or university? Having your sexual identify questioned? The answer is none of these - directly. As we write in the book, “Stress is not the ‘thing’ that just happened or the situation on the outside. Stress is the feeling or emotion you experience inside yourself in response to the thing, that external event or situation. It’s the emotion that makes you feel lousy, not the thing itself.” Frequently feeling any number of emotions such as anger, anxiety, bitterness, boredom, fear, frustration, helplessness or impatience among others is a sign of elevated stress. Feeling any of these most or all the time is a signal of very serious and unhealthy stress. Central to the solutions presented for dealing with stress successfully is self-regulation of emotions. Learning to self-regulate and slow down on the inside is not just another feel-good exercise. It is a tool decades of scientific research have validated for increasing resilience and lowering harmful stress. Self-regulation is a vital skill teens can learn to function better and be happier during their school years and beyond.

Face stress head-on. Ignore in the hope it will go away invites a lot of unnecessary anxiety, heartache and generally bad days. “Managing stress,” we explain, “means learning to manage your emotions so you can deal with whatever comes your way with more balance, clarity, and self-assurance rather than with anger, impatience, frustration, or anxiety.” Increasing our capacity to self-regulate is the essence of maturing. We are like little kids learning to stop and look for cars before crossing the street, to share and play well with others and not charge more than we can afford as we get older. The fact is, one of the most challenging areas for many teens, and adults is learning to maintain our inner emotional composure when dealing with people, especially those who push our emotion-reaction buttons. A good time to transform stress is before something triggers it, but you also can do it in the moment or even hours later. Preparing for something you know could or will be stressful can save you a lot anguish and heartache.

One teen who recalled doing an exercise at school using HeartMath’s Heart-Focused Breathing Technique, described here: Focus your attention in the area of the heart. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathe a little slower and deeper than usual. “Our health education teacher gave us an assignment. We were supposed to practice Heart-Focused Breathing while walking across campus and try not to judge anyone ... to celebrate how unique everyone is and not how they are different from us. That was really fun, to appreciate people rather than judge them.” Said another, “I used Heart-Focused Breathing when I was in an embarrassing moment. I calmed down and then I handled the situation calmly.”

Even when you can’t immediately shake the upset, anger or sadness of something, going to your heart and using the breathing tool hours later can work wonders. The sooner you get the stress hormone cortisol out of your system, however, the better. Transforming Stress for Teens speaks directly to today’s teenagers, addressing what’s causing excessive stress and how to combat it. The science for why stress happens - heart coherence vs. incoherence, heart-brain interactions, energy drain and more - is presented in a format suitable nonprofessionals and professionals alike.

Each chapter incorporates the research-based insight of recognized experts and includes teen-approved exercises and tools thousands have used successfully around the world. Following are benefits teens have reported from these exercises and tools:

  • Think more clearly. 
  • Better sense of what’s truly important. 
  • Bounce back faster after stressful situations. 
  • Communicate and talk things through more easily. 
  • Enjoy life more. 
  • Less boredom. 
  • Less drama. 
  • More calm. 
  • Greater confidence. 
  • Focus and concentrate longer. 
  • Better decisions

Thursday, August 25, 2016

You Won’t Believe How Many Women Are Losing Their Hair

Men’s hair loss is such a common problem that preventive measures are advertised all the time.Yet the same can’t be said for women, for whom the problem is much more stigmatized. However, as part of National Hair Loss Awareness Month, a new survey is shining a light on just how widespread the problem is for women. Conducted on 800 participants by hair-growth treatment brand Keranique and Wakefield Research, the study found that 46 million women may suffer from hair loss across the United States.

Nearly 40 percent of women over the age of 18 have noticed thinning hair, and 50 percent over the age of 58 have seen a decrease in strands over time. Women who have undergone chemical treatments on their hair are 71 percent more likely to see hair fall out, and women who have relatives with hair loss are 97 percent more likely to suffer the same issue themselves.

Roughly 78 percent of women have treated their hair in ways that can eventually lead to hair loss, including adding color, using perms or relaxers, getting weaves, or styling with tight braids or extensions. The widespread struggle of thinning hair among women is rarely discussed, although public figures have started to come forward with their own experiences in recent years. Rosie O’Donnell tweeted a photo of her “male pattern baldness” back in May, while British MP Nadine Dorries spoke publicly about her personal problems with hair loss in 2013.

 According to Kavita Mariwalla, MD, a dermatologist based in West Islip, N.Y., women come to her office every day to talk about hair loss. “It is a lot more prevalent than people realize,” she tells Yahoo Beauty. “Part of the reason is marketing: We see a lot of products targeting hair loss in men, but very few for hair loss in women.” She says this is because the patterns of hair loss affect women differently from men, but the problem is still widespread — and disheartening. Mariwalla says a lot of women will notice thinning hair in their late 40s and early 50s, in addition to times like pregnancy, but it can also happen earlier. “It’s normal to lose about 100 hairs a day, but you know you’re experiencing true hair loss when you wake up and see hairs on your pillow,” she explains.

 The widespread struggle of thinning hair among women is rarely discussed, although public figures have started to come forward with their own experiences in recent years. Rosie O’Donnell tweeted a photo of her “male pattern baldness” back in May, while British MP Nadine Dorries spoke publicly about her personal problems with hair loss in 2013. According to Kavita Mariwalla, MD, a dermatologist based in West Islip, N.Y., women come to her office every day to talk about hair loss. “It is a lot more prevalent than people realize,” she tells Yahoo Beauty. “Part of the reason is marketing: We see a lot of products targeting hair loss in men, but very few for hair loss in women.” She says this is because the patterns of hair loss affect women differently from men, but the problem is still widespread — and disheartening.

Mariwalla says a lot of women will notice thinning hair in their late 40s and early 50s, in addition to times like pregnancy, but it can also happen earlier. “It’s normal to lose about 100 hairs a day, but you know you’re experiencing true hair loss when you wake up and see hairs on your pillow,” she explains.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Back to School Anxiety

It's Back to School Time! And that may mean anxiety for your child.
Signs that a child may be experiencing more than typical back to school jitters include:
  • Changes in appetite
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Isolation
  • Excessive crying
  • Emotional outbursts and irritability
  • Refusal to go to school

Tips for a smooth transition:
  • Talk about it
  • Get back to routines
  • Stock the kitchen and pantry with nutritious foods
  • Arrange your schedule to drop off or pick up your child
  • Try to focus more on your child

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

5 Things People With Trichotillomania Want You To Understand

Sure, you’ve heard of anorexia, OCD, depression, and anxiety; they’re all common mental illnesses. But what about trichotillomania? Most likely, you’ve never even heard of it; and believe it or not, it’s more common than anorexia and affects approximately 2-5 percent of the population.

Trichotillomania, hair pulling disorder, is a BFRB (body-focused repetitive behavior) in which a person is compelled to pull out hair from anywhere on their body, often resulting in noticeable bald patches. There is not one specific reason someone may have trichotillomania. While research has shown that it is very possible that it could be genetic, there are still many other factors involved. At the moment, there is no cure.

1. Even though we say we want to stop, we don’t always want to stop Don’t get me wrong; if it was that easy to stop, I would. But unfortunately, it isn’t. However, there are some times when I am conscious of my pulling, yet I choose not to try and stop. Instead of reaching for a fidget toy or getting up and going to a different room, I would rather sit and pull my hair. The reason for this is that I like the feeling of pulling my hair so much; it feels natural and I do not know what I would do otherwise. I have a theory: I’ve had trich for so long that trich has “brainwashed” me into thinking I like pulling my hair, and in order to stop pulling, I first need to come to terms with actually wanting to stop once and for all. In order to stop, I have to be fully motivated and willing — and I don’t know if I am yet.

2. If you think my hair pulling is weird, imagine how embarrassing it is for me We’re the ones who have to live with and face the aftermath of our disorder, not you. Yeah, I understand that my lack of eyebrows sometimes may look weird to you, but it’s even harder for me to deal with. I’ve spent countless hours trying to perfect them and make them look the least bit natural so I don’t get made fun of. And you think wigs are weird? I’ve spent even more hours trying to get it to look nice than you can imagine. So if you think our hair pulling is weird — we’re the ones having to live with it, not you.

3. We can ruin a year’s hard work in minutes If we have an urge to pull, and do start to pull (because it just feels so necessary), we might tell ourselves that we will pull “just one,” — but it’s never just one. Because then we find another hair that has to go, and another, and another, until we’re left with a bald patch — right where we were before. Relapse is very hard to deal with, and oftentimes, we feel terrible after having ruined our regrowth. We were doing so well, but now it’s all down the drain. This has happened to me quite a few times. The worst was when I was in seventh grade. I finally had full eyebrows, but in the spring, I started pulling at them again. One afternoon, while my parents were at my sister’s soccer game, I was studying and pulled all of them out. I called my parents crying and asked them to come home because I was so ashamed and upset. I didn’t want to go to school the next day because I didn’t want others to see me. When my mom told me I had to, I asked if I could fill my eyebrows in with Crayola marker (I didn’t know about eyebrow pencil then).

4. We don’t always know when we’re pulling. If you catch us pulling, don’t assume we are aware of it. For many of us, the act of pulling is a subconscious behavior. Pulling just feels so natural for us; many times, our hand just goes up automatically and searches for a hair to pull. We don’t even think about the fact that we are pulling; at that moment, we’re so engrossed in the behavior, we don’t pay attention to it. We just go about our day normally, but pull our hair whilst doing so.

5. We may or may not want to talk about it, so let us come to you No matter how open we may be about our trich, it’s still a hard thing for us to talk about at times, because it causes us to feel so much shame. The funny thing is, personally, I am more comfortable talking about my trich with my friends than I am with my parents. I think many other trichsters can relate to this, because we feel like we’re disappointing our parents. We don’t want to show them that we’ve been hurting. Instead, it’s easier to talk to people our own age or therapists, who will better understand what we are going through.

Of course, there are times when we might be open to talking about it. And if that time does come, we will come to you and talk. Don’t force it upon us. It may take years for us to talk to you about it, or maybe we never will.

Trich is just a really hard thing to talk about, and for some of us, it’s embarrassing. If you’re struggling with trichotillomania or know someone who is, resources and information are available at The TLC Foundation for BFRBs. You are not alone.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

8 Tips For Choosing The Best Bra Following A Mastectomy

Here are some helpful tips in choosing the best bra after undergoing a mastectomy:
  1. Wide, comfortable and adjustable straps are crucial for reducing the risk of Lymphedema developments.

  2.  Good separation between the cups, with a deeper centre that sits against the breastbone will ensure the breast form is secured firmly and cannot be visible if the wearer bends forward. Deeper cups are also preferable.

  3.  Opt for deep side wings under the arms and no stiffeners to avoid rubbing or chafing on the scar tissue from lymph gland removal.

  4.  Appropriate depth in the cup will accommodate the breast form.

  5.  Pocketed bras are best for housing the breast.

  6.  For optimum comfort, opt for bras with soft fabrics and seams.
  7.  As advised by surgeons, we have found that wire free bras are, generally, better.

  8. Multi-sectioned or pre-formed cups generally give a better and fuller shape.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Cancer survivors more prone to obesity, especially certain types

Obesity is more common among cancer survivors in the United States than in the general population, a new study finds. The problem is particularly high among survivors of colorectal and breast cancer, the study authors said.

The researchers analyzed data gathered from nearly 539,000 American adults between 1997 and 2014. Among people with no history of cancer, 21 percent were considered obese in 1997, compared to 29 percent in 2014. Among cancer survivors, the obesity rate went from 22 percent to 32 percent over that time. Colorectal cancer survivors had the largest increases in obesity rates, followed by breast cancer survivors.

The increases were particularly high among blacks who had survived colorectal, breast or prostate cancers, the findings showed. Specifically, for women who had survived colorectal cancer, the largest increases in obesity rates were among those who were young, black and had been diagnosed in the previous two to nine years. Among male colorectal cancer survivors, the largest rate increases were among those who were older, black and had been diagnosed 10 or more years before, the study authors said.

For women who had survived breast cancer, obesity rates increased most among those who were young, white and had been diagnosed within the past year, the study found. For men who had survived prostate cancer, the largest increases in obesity rates were among those who were younger, white and had been diagnosed in the previous two to nine years, according to the report. Principal investigator Heather Greenlee, of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, said the findings should help focus attention on cancer survivors who face the greatest risk of becoming obese.

"While our findings can be partially explained by the growing population of patients with breast and colorectal cancer -- the two cancers most closely linked to obesity -- we identified additional populations of cancer survivors at risk of obesity not as well understood and which require further study," Greenlee said in a university news release. "These results suggest that obesity is a growing public health burden for cancer survivors, which requires targeted interventions including weight management efforts to stave off the increasing obesity trends we are seeing in cancer survivors," added Greenlee, who is an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Biden honored for cancer efforts

More than four decades after then-President Richard Nixon effectively declared war on cancer, Vice President Joe Biden criticized cancer research "silos" for spending more time studying cancer than fighting it. "Instead of being soldiers in the war against cancer, we've been students studying cancer," Biden told an audience of nearly 300 people at an awards ceremony of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.

Biden attended the Wednesday night event, held at the Hyatt at The Bellevue, to accept the educational nonprofit organization's Atlas Award for his leadership in accelerating and coordinating research toward curing cancer. In his nearly hour-long speech that veered from a straight acceptance speech to an urgent call for action, the vice president imagined a day when cancer vaccines are as routine as those for measles and mumps. He stopped short of declaring that a cancer cure was within immediate reach, but noted that exponential progress is possible in treating most forms of cancer if the research establishment fundamentally changes its practices.

Margie Fishman

Under Biden's stewardship, the National Cancer Moonshot aims to double the speed of research efforts by increasing collaboration among doctors, researchers, philanthropists, pharmaceutical companies, patients and anyone else touched by cancer. The endgame is to boost the number of therapies available and improve prevention and detection of a disease that kills an estimated 600,000 Americans each year. The Obama administration has requested $1 billion to fund the effort, which has defined Biden's final year in office. This summer, Biden helped organize Cancer Moonshot summits in more than 260 communities nationwide, including at Christiana Care Health System. Roughly 2,000 Delawareans are expected to die from cancer this year.

Before his eldest son, the late Attorney General Beau Biden, was diagnosed with brain cancer, the vice president said he had no idea of the fragmentation impairing the cancer research community. Sharing Beau Biden's MRI results among the multiple institutions coordinating his treatment, Biden recalled, involved taking cell phone pictures and flying a disk of images to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. At times Wednesday, Biden's voice rose in anger as he described "information hoarders" who delay releasing research on experimental therapies in a highly bureaucratic, publish-or-perish environment. In previous speeches from the Vatican to Capitol Hill, Biden has threatened to cut National Institutes of Health grants to slow-footed medical institutions. He has also criticized drug companies for charging "astronomical" prices for some treatments and has advocated for more investment in seeking less profitable cures for those cancers that affect fewer people. A task force of prominent health care leaders assembled by the vice president has reached consensus on dozens of strategies to streamline collaborations and rapidly improve access to care, Biden said Wednesday.

Among the recommendations is to incentivize cancer researchers to take risks in their labs without jeopardizing federal grant funding, and to make that research widely available at no cost. Biden noted that a public-private partnership involving a limited number of pharmaceutical companies now allows researchers to test existing drugs for new combinations in treating different forms of cancer. He also pointed to the website, trials.cancer.gov to help patients locate clinical trials for which they are eligible. By aggregating and sharing data on millions of patients, including genomics, family histories, lifestyles and treatment outcomes, and harnessing supercomputing technologies, "we're closer than ever before to understanding what causes cancer, knowing how to attack particular cancers," Biden said. If nothing changes, the world will see nearly 20 million new cancer cases and 11.4 million cancer deaths by 2025, he said.

"Cancer is taking your loved ones and mine, robbing them of decades of productive life," he said. At the same ceremony, the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia presented a local Atlas Award to the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson University for its integrated approach to oncology, research and training programs and outreach efforts to cancer survivors and their families. Center Director Karen Knudsen said Wednesday her team has heard Biden's "call to arms" and has worked to remove accessibility barriers and increase cooperation in the lab and beyond.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Growth Plan: How to Combat Hair Loss


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Around the time you blow out 40 candles, your hair loses some of its bounce and shine and...happy birthday? For many women, however, those changes are more severe. By 50, about half of us will have noticed a widening part, a brush full of broken hairs, a thinning ponytail, and it’s—we’re just going to come out and say it—hair loss. Now is the time to get back the hair you had at 21.

If you pinpoint the reason for your hair loss with your doctor, you can do something about it for good:

Reason #1: Genetics is the most common cause of female hair loss. Before you go down a Google hole of home remedies, know that “the only topical treatment with evidence-based efficacy is minoxidil,” says Neil Sadick, a dermatologist in New York City who specializes in hair loss. He recommends the 5 percent concentration in Women's Rogaine Hair Regrowth Treatment 5% Minoxidil rogaine women foam hair growth treatment(it takes at least three months of daily use to yield results, so stick with it).

Reason #2: Stress and crash diets are the second and third most frequent culprits. “Three months after a major trauma, like surgery, you may have temporary hair loss,” says Sadick. Biotin or zinc supplements can strengthen the hairs you have (so they look fuller) until the rest of your hair grows back in about 6 to 12 months.

Reason #3: Inflammation complicates matters. “Scalp inflammation is present in a majority of women with hair loss,” says Sadick, who suggests coupling Rogaine with a prescription steroid solution. Weekly sessions with a low-energy-laser home gadget, like iGrow, can also help.

Reason #4: Hormonal changes—from menopause or birth control pills—can mess with your hair. Spironolactone, a prescription drug that controls androgens, or a birth control switcheroo can put hormones in check to normalize hair growth.

BULK UP FAST It takes time—usually three months—for growth treatments to work. While you’re waiting, bring in reinforcements: volumizing spray and lightweight mousse. Rake them from roots to ends with a wide-tooth comb, starting with the volumizing spray. Blow-dry with a big round brush, then set your hair in Conair Styling Essentials Thermal Self-Grip Rollers to smooth frizz and add lasting volume.