Hair loss in men is commonly talked about, but hair loss is also pertinent among women. Are you finding bald spots? Is your hair widening or shedding more than 125 hairs per day? If so, then you may be experiencing hair loss, and you need to run to your dermatologist.
There are numerous reasons why women experience hair loss. It can be because of hormonal changes, stress, or medical conditions. It isn’t always easy finding the root cause of hair loss amongst women, but this page covers the possibilities and what you can do about it!
What’s Hair Loss in Women?
Hair loss in women is just that. It’s when a woman unexpectedly loses heavy amounts of hair. In general, humans would shed between 50 and 100 single hairs daily. Hair shedding is part of a human nature and one’s natural balance since when one sheds, it means that others will also grow in.
When this natural balance is disturbed, hair falls out, and less hair grows; hair loss now occurs. The medical term for hair loss is “alopecia”; it’s different from natural hair shedding.
Any woman can be affected by this condition. However, it’s most common among the following:
- Women aged 40 and above
- Women who just had their pregnancy
- Women undergoing chemotherapy
- Women who often have hairstyles that pull on their hair, e.g., tight braids or tight ponytails
- Women who use harsh chemicals on their hair
- Menopausal women
Individuals diagnosed with this condition usually have hair loss prescriptions that they have to take to treat their condition. Medications like rogaine stimulate hair growth on the scalp. It’s in a solution or liquid form that’s directly applied to the bald areas of the scalp. There are numerous medications with different uses and consumption methods; the medication you’d be prescribed would depend on the severity of your condition.
What are the Types of Hair Loss?
There are three types of hair loss: female pattern hair loss (FPHL), anagen effluvium, or telogen effluvium.
- Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) – is also called androgenic alopecia, baldness, or female pattern alopecia. FPHL is the most common type that occurs among women. The hair thins over the top and side of the head.
- Anagen effluvium – It’s caused by medications that poison the growing hair follicles. It usually occurs among those who undergo chemotherapies.
- Telogen effluvium – This type occurs during the telogen phase, the resting stage in the hair growth cycle. It’s where the hair would fall out by the end of the cycle, which is four months.
The Common Causes of Hair Loss in Women
What can cause hair loss?
- Restrictive diets
- Vitamin deficiency
- Hairstyle – As mentioned above, hairstyles that constantly pull on your hair roots, e.g., tight braids, cornrows, and ponytails, can cause hair loss. It’s a hair loss that’s called traction alopecia. When the hair follicles are destroyed, hair loss is also permanent.
- Over-processed scalp hair (breakage)
- Rapid weight loss
What causes anagen effluvium hair loss?
Toxic substances, e.g., radiation therapy and chemotherapy – These causes can suddenly cause hair loss anywhere on your body. Hair loss due to these causes can be permanent if your hair follicles are damaged.
What causes telogen effluvium hair loss?
- An abnormal thyroid
- Hormonal changes that are caused by menopause, pregnancy, or birth control pills
- Extreme emotional stress, e.g., the death of a loved one, mental illness, etc.
- Medications and supplements, e.g., blood pressure medicines, high doses of vitamin A, gout medicines
- Extreme shock to your body – It causes hair loss temporarily. Examples of these consists of losing a ton of weight, anemia, surgery, and having a baby
What causes Female Pattern Hair Loss?
- Aging: As you age, your hormones would change and cause FPHL.
- Genes: If your family has a history of baldness, those genes can cause the hair on top of your head to be thin.
- Menopause: Hair loss worsens as the estrogen in your body is gradually lost.
Treatment of Hair Loss in Women
- If your hair loss is caused by hormonal changes or stress, it may not require any treatment since the body would likely stop the hair loss on its own as it adjusts to its current state.
- If your hair loss is because of how you style your hair, then the treatment would be to stop tying your hair so tight when you do ponytails or braids.
- If nutritional deficiencies or underlying medical conditions cause hair loss, it’s better to speak with your physician since you’d be given medications to treat this.
Female alopecia can occur whenever and wherever a body part naturally grows out of hair. Hair loss can be permanent or temporary. If you’ve noticed that you’re losing more hair than usual, it’s essential to figure out the cause and start your treatment soon.
Get yourself checked and consult your physician about what’s causing this hair loss. Tell them about your symptoms so that they can efficiently give you an answer and a treatment plan.