Hair loss can be a distressing and emotionally challenging experience for any woman. It affects women of all ages but is most common after menopause. Hair loss in women can have multiple causes ranging from genetics to medical conditions to lifestyle choices.
Not sure if your hair loss is just a normal shedding or something more? Searching for the right answers to understand and manage it better? Then look no further, this article contains all you need to know about hair loss for women.
What is Hair Loss?
Hair loss in women is the thinning of hair or complete baldness. It can be noticed as patches of missing hairs, a widening part line, or an overall decrease in the volume and thickness of your hair.
However, everywhere on the human body, there is a dense carpet of fine hairs – except for in specific places like our palms, soles of feet and eyelids. Even your navel isn’t spared from this coating; thus, most are so light that they’re nearly undetectable to the naked eye.
Hair, known to be composed of the protein keratin, is created in hair follicles just beneath your skin’s outer layer. As new strands are formed and rise up through the surface of your epidermis, older ones will fall away – at a rate roughly equal to six inches per year.
Did you know that human hair is actually a bundle of lifeless keratin cells? Generally, an adult head holds about 100,000 to 150,000 strands and sheds up to one hundred every day. Therefore don’t be alarmed if you find some detached locks in your comb – this isn’t necessarily causing concern!
At any given moment, about 90% of the hair on an individual’s head is in a growth phase. Every single follicle has its own life cycle which can be affected by age, health issues, and countless other aspects. This life cycle is broken down into three periods:
The Cycles of Hair Growth
The Anagen Phase: This is the active growth phase which can last anywhere between two to seven years. At any given moment, about 90% of an individual’s hair is in this phase.
The Catagen Phase: This is a brief transition period that lasts around two to three weeks. During this time, the follicle shrinks and cuts off the blood supply.
The Telogen Phase: This is the resting phase which can last around three months before the hair falls out. At any given moment, about 10% of an individual’s head is in this stage.
Is Hair Loss Common for Women?
Yes, hair loss in women is relatively common. Up to 40% of women may experience some degree of sudden hair loss or thinning before the age of 50.
In fact, it’s estimated that over 30 million American women suffer from hereditary hair loss. That being said, many other factors can contribute to female alopecia, including hormonal changes, medical conditions, and lifestyle choices.
Types of Hair Loss
To gain a better understanding of the causes of hair loss, it is important to look at the different types that can occur.
1. Androgenetic Alopecia
This is a common cause of hair loss in women. This type of hair loss is usually hereditary and can begin at any age, although most often it starts during menopause or after the age of 50.
Female Pattern Hair Loss
As women age, their hair begins to thin gradually all over the scalp. Unlike male pattern baldness which can cause receding hairlines and significant balding, female pattern hair loss is usually more subtle, with visible thinning rather than full-blown baldness. This type of hair loss may begin at any stage after puberty but is most commonly seen as a natural consequence of aging.
Male Pattern Hair Loss
For men, hair thinning or male pattern baldness can start at any point post-puberty and gradually get worse for years or even decades. It usually begins in the forehead area, which is characterized as receding hairline, before expanding to other parts of the head and leaving a thick band around its base. Eventually, many individuals stricken with this condition may become completely balding.
Causes of Androgenetic Alopecia
Androgenetic alopecia is primarily caused by genetics and hormones; both of which can be inherited from your parents. It is also influenced by aging and other factors like stress, poor nutrition, and smoking.
2. Telogen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss caused by a disruption to the normal hair growth cycle, usually due to physical or psychological stressors. This type of hair loss tends to be temporary but can cause significant thinning of the hair.
Causes of Telogen Effluvium
Telogen effluvium occurs when the normal hair growth cycle is disrupted; typically due to a major physical or psychological stressor. These can include childbirth, illness, medications, surgery, and extreme weight loss.
3. Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss in patches on the scalp and other parts of the body. The exact cause of this type of hair loss is unknown, but it tends to be temporary and can usually be reversed with treatment. Also, this often starts and causes patchy hair loss, hair and scalp disorders etc. in women.
Causes of Alopecia Areata
The exact cause of alopecia areata is unknown, however, it is believed to be linked to genetics and hormones. It can also be triggered by environmental factors such as stress, illness, or physical trauma.
4. Traction Alopecia
Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss caused by tight styles such as braids, weaves, and extensions that can pull on the hair and cause damage. This type of hair loss tends to be localized in certain areas and is usually reversible if the hairstyle is changed.
Causes of Traction Alopecia
Traction alopecia is caused by the constant pulling of tight hairstyles such as braids, weaves, and extensions. It can also be caused by certain hair care practices like using harsh chemicals or overdoing heat styling.
5. Anagen Effluvium
Anagen effluvium is a type of hair loss caused by certain medications or medical treatments, such as chemotherapy. This type of hair loss tends to be temporary and the hair will usually regrow once the medication or treatment has stopped.
Causes of Anagen Effluvium
Anagen effluvium is caused by certain medications or medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, that can cause disruption to the normal hair growth cycle. This type of hair loss is usually temporary and the hair will regrow once the medication or treatment has stopped.
Trichotillomania is a psychological disorder that is characterized by the compulsive urge to pull out one’s own hair. This type of hair loss is usually localized and can be reversed with treatment.
Causes of Trichotillomania
The exact cause of trichotillomania is unknown, however, it is believed to be related to a combination of psychological and genetic factors. It is important to note that this type of hair loss can be reversed with treatment.
Signs and Symptoms of Hair Loss in Women
The most obvious symptom of hair loss in women is the thinning of scalp hair. This can start as a widening part line, or patches of missing hairs on the crown or along the temples.
In some cases, there may be an increase in shedding – meaning that more hairs than usual will fall out when brushing, shampooing or styling.
Other signs and symptoms of hair loss in women include:
- Bald patches on the scalp or other parts of the body
- Hair thinning along the temples, forehead or crown
- A decrease in the volume and thickness of hair
- Slow growth rate
- Itchy scalp or dandruff
- Excessive scalp oiliness
When To See A Medical Professional
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of hair loss, it is best to seek out medical help in order to rule out any underlying conditions. A dermatologist or medical professional can help determine the cause and provide a treatment plan to restore hair growth if needed.
In some cases, medications may be prescribed or lifestyle changes suggested in order to reduce symptoms and reverse any further hair loss. Additionally, there are other options available such as wigs, extensions, and laser treatments which may help.
Ultimately, it is important to remember that hair loss can occur for a variety of reasons and may not be permanent. With the help of a medical professional, you can find out what is causing your hair loss and start working on restoring your beautiful locks!
Common Causes of Hair Loss
One of the most common causes of hair loss in women is genetics. A family history of female pattern baldness can mean that you’re predisposed to the condition and will be more likely to experience it.
Hair shedding due to stress is a form of temporary hair loss and usually goes away once the cause of stress is removed.
3. Hormonal Changes
Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during menopause or pregnancy, can cause the hair to thin out or fall out in some women.
Certain medications such as chemotherapy drugs and birth control pills can have an effect on your hair growth cycle and lead to hair loss.
5. Medical Conditions
There are also medical conditions that can cause hair loss such as alopecia, thyroid disease, lupus, and anemia.
6. Poor Hair Care Practices
Over-styling or using chemical treatments too frequently on the hair can lead to damage and breakage.
A diet low in protein, iron and other necessary vitamins can also cause hair loss.
Myths About Hair Loss in Women
1. Hair loss is only an issue for men
This is a common myth, but hair loss can affect women just as much as men. In fact, one in five women experiences some form of hair loss.
2. Wearing wigs or extensions will make the situation worse
It is suggested that wearing wigs or extensions can lead to further hair loss, but this is untrue. In fact, wigs or extensions can help reduce the appearance of thinning hair or baldness and allow you to maintain a full head of hair.
3. All hair loss is permanent
Though it may feel like the case, not all forms of hair loss are permanent. In some cases, the cause of hair loss can be reversed with treatment or lifestyle changes.
4. Hair loss is only caused by genetics
Genetics are a common cause of hair loss, but other factors such as stress, hormonal changes and poor nutrition can also lead to thinning hair or baldness in women.
5. Natural remedies are the best way to treat hair loss
Though there are many natural remedies that may help reduce the symptoms of hair loss, it is important to consult with a medical professional before trying any treatments due to their potential side effects.
Other myths about hair loss in women. But nothing here is true:
- Excessive shampooing and chemical treatments, such as coloring or perming your hair, can result in hair loss.
- Women who suffer from dandruff are at risk of suffering permanent hair loss.
- Prolonged stress can lead to permanent hair loss in women.
- If you invert your body by standing on your head, it will help to boost circulation and thus encourage hair growth.
- Brushing your hair 100 strokes a day is an excellent way to nurture and nourish it, keeping your locks radiant and resilient.
- Wearing hats and wigs can lead to hair loss in women.
- Intellectual women are only the most affected by hair loss.
- Women with a family history of female pattern baldness
- Women with high levels of stress
- People using certain medications or undergoing chemotherapy
- Women experiencing hormonal changes such as pregnancy, menopause, or thyroid disease
- People who have poor nutrition and do not get enough vitamins and minerals
- People who use harsh styling products or over-style their hair
10 Home Care Tips To Manage Hair Loss
1. Avoid overusing chemical treatments like hair dye or relaxers.
2. Be gentle when brushing, combing and styling your hair.
3. Try to limit styling tools such as blow dryers, flat irons and curling wands.
4. Get regular trims to help keep your hair healthy.
5. Consider using a gentle shampoo and leave-in conditioner for thick and thin hairs
6. Stay away from tight hairstyles such as braids, buns or ponytails.
7. Eat a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals to keep your hair and scalp healthy.
8. Consider consulting a medical professional if you are experiencing excessive hair loss.
9. Try stress-reducing activities such as yoga or meditation.
10. Use of the right hair care products – such as hair masks for thick or thin hair to help prevent or reverse some types of woman’s hair loss
Treatment Options for Thinning Hair
The good news is that there are many treatments available to help treat hair loss, including medications and surgery.
Before deciding on a treatment plan, it’s important to discuss your concerns with your doctor or dermatologist so they can provide you with the best advice.
There are several medications available that can help slow down and even reverse the process of hair loss. The most commonly prescribed medication for female pattern baldness is minoxidil, which comes in topical form as well as a pill. Other medications that may be prescribed include spironolactone and finasteride.
In some cases, surgery may be the best option for treating hair loss. The most common type of surgery for female pattern baldness is a follicular unit transplant (FUT), which involves taking healthy hair from one part of the scalp and transplanting it to areas where hair loss has occurred. This type of procedure is usually quite successful and can provide long-lasting results.
There are also several other treatments available for hair loss, including laser therapy and scalp micro pigmentation. Laser therapy helps to reduce inflammation in the follicles and stimulate new growth, while scalp micro pigmentation is a technique that involves tattooing tiny dots onto the scalp to give the appearance of thicker, fuller hair.
Losing hair can be a daunting experience for any woman. Whether it’s caused by genetic conditions, age, stress, or lifestyle, there are many reasons why hair loss in women is on the rise. However, there are plenty of effective solutions and treatments available to prevent and even reverse this process.
If you feel that you may be prone to losing hair due to certain conditions out of your control, be sure to discuss the issue with your doctor. Though the causes of hair loss for women can be varied and complex, finding the right solution with medical help and proper dermatologic care can lead towards a rejuvenated head of healthy hair like never before.
Why not visit Vitamins Revive Store to give you an array of options tailor-made just for you? With their extensive range of products formulated with natural ingredients found in nature; these will leave your hair feeling and looking soft, strong and silky smooth.