Most Common Hair Loss Causes
A few of the reasons that cause your hair to fall off are summoned below:
- Androgenic alopecia is the most common hair loss cause, affecting up to 50 percent of the people. Androgenic alopecia happens gradually between all ages.
- Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes your immune system to attack the hair follicles. This results into bald patches in your hair, that can range from small to large. In addition to losing hair on the scalp, some people with alopecia areata lose hair from their eyebrows, eyelashes or other parts of the body.
- Anagen effluvium is a rapid loss of your hair. This happens after chemotherapy or a radiation treatment.
- Telogen effluvium is a type of sudden hair loss that results from not using the right products, stress, hormonal changes or an illness. See more on
- Tinea capitis is a fungal infection that can effect the scalp and the hair shaft. It causes small bald patches that are scaly and itchy, also brittle hair breaks easy, the scalp is tender and the patches look red or grey.
- Traction alopecia is a condition that is the result of too much pressure and tension of the hair, often from wearing tight styles like braids, buns and ponytails.
- Other causes diseases can cause scarring, such as lichen planus and some types of lupos, can lead to permanent hair loss due to the scarring.
How Is Hair Loss In Women Treated What Medicines Or Supplements May Help
Treatment depends on the cause of your hair loss.
- In cases where the loss is due to stress or hormone changes like pregnancy, there might be no treatment needed. The hair loss will stop after a period of time.
- In cases of hair loss being due to hair styling practices, like tight braids or ponytails or certain chemicals, treatment means not doing the things that caused the damage.
- In cases due to nutritional deficiencies, you might be told to take supplements. For instance, you might be told to take a multivitamin and three to five milligrams of biotin daily.
- Minoxidil is approved for treating FPHL. The 2% or 5% solution can be purchased in stores. However, you have to follow directions exactly and use the product indefinitely. Dont use this product if youre pregnant, if you plan to get pregnant, or if youre breastfeeding.
- The HairMax Lasercomb® low light laser is approved by the US FDA to treat FPHL. Another FDA-approved laser product is the Theradome LH80 PRO® helmet and low light laser helmets and caps.
Other medications that have been studied, but not approved, for hair loss in women include:
- Spironolactone and other anti-androgens.
- Other light treatments.
It is important to note that premenopausal women should not take medications for hair loss treatment without using contraception. Many drugs, including minoxidil and finasteride, are not safe for pregnant women or women who want to get pregnant.
Cosmetic Options For Hair Loss
When medical treatments fall short, women can also consider cosmetic options to make up for lost hair, such as wearing a wig. At the other end of the spectrum is hair transplantation, a surgical procedure that moves active follicles from the back of the scalp to areas where the hair is thinning. Once transplanted, the hair grows normally.
Hair transplantation is typically performed as an outpatient surgical procedure. In appropriate patients, it can be extremely successful, but it wont work for everyone, says Dr. Scott. One drawback is the expense: it can cost thousands of dollars and is not covered by insurance. The procedure also requires recovery time. And it may not be appropriate for women who have diffuse thinning across the whole scalp. Its more effective in treating smaller, more defined areas of balding.
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What Causes Hair Loss In Women
With any symptom that arises in the body, including female hair loss, its best to get to the root cause of the issue. . What can be daunting about trying to pinpoint what causes hair loss in women, is that there are so many different possible causes. One of the most common culprits is stress. There is good stress, like exercise, and bad stress, think chronic stress. When we overload the body with too much of the harmful stress, we induce inflammation in the body. This inflammation causes our hair to weaken, and potentially fall out. There are also cases where people are so stressed that they unconsciously begin to pull out their own hair.
Another common cause of hair loss in women is yo-yo and restrictive dieting. When we dont consume enough calories, or we restrict the type of food we eat, we miss out on vital vitamins and minerals. Think of our body as a plant. If we dont water it properly, it will begin to wilt and lose leaves. Our hair is the same. If it doesnt receive the right amount of nutrients, it will become frail and likely fall out. Side effects of a low mineral diet can be poor circulation and blood deficiencies, both of which can also contribute to hair loss.
Natural female transitional periods, like childbirth and menopause, are also times when women are likely to experience hair loss. With hormones and stress levels high, the body focuses on what its being signaled is a major priority, and not so much on collagen production and hair growth.
Take A Holistic Approach To Hair Wellness
Hair loss is complex, and hair health needs to be supported from a variety of different angles. And while addressing the underlying cause is essential for managing thinning hair and hair loss, there are lots of tools at your disposal for supporting your body’s natural ability to regrow hair and return to hair health.
Here are a few ways to take a holistic approach to hair health.
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If You Have Hair Loss Start Here
Treating your hair loss starts with addressing the underlying cause. So if you have signs of hair loss, see a board-certified dermatologist as soon as possible. They can help you pinpoint the problem and address the issue. No matter what the reason, the sooner you get treatment for hair loss, the better the result will be.
Since the hair is an extension of your body, living a healthy lifestyle can also help. Some measures you can take are:
Eating a balanced diet
Avoiding traumatic hair care
Seeing your primary care provider regularly for preventative medical care
Topical solution or foam is the first-choice medication for most types of hair loss. For hereditary hair loss, your dermatologist may recommend pills like or . Other treatment options include cosmetic and surgical procedures at a dermatologists office. Some of these treatments are still experimental, but they show promise. Alternatively, many women cover thin areas with topical products, scalp tattooing, or wigs.
No matter what your age, the good news is that most causes of hair loss are treatable. Addressing the root cause early is key to stopping the process and regrowing hair.
Hair Loss: How Does It Affect Women
On seeing a bald man walk past, most of us wouldnt take a second glance. But would this be the case if a bald woman walked past? It is doubtful. Hair loss although distressing is generally more accepted in men, despite women accounting for 40% of all hair loss sufferers in the US. In this Spotlight, we look at the main causes of hair loss in women, the emotional toll it can take and why research is lagging behind in treatment for female hair loss.
The most common cause of hair loss in both men and women is androgenetic alopecia, also referred to as male or female pattern baldness.
A hereditary condition, androgenetic alopecia is believed to be caused by dihydrotestosterone , which derives from the male hormone testosterone.
An enzyme called Type 2 5-alpha reductase present in the oil glands of hair follicles, the skin organs that produce hair helps convert testosterone to DHT. This derivative then binds to and shrinks hair follicles, killing healthy hair.
Because men have higher testosterone levels than women, they are likely to produce higher DHT levels, leading to increased hair loss. As such, men with androgenetic alopecia often experience a receding hairline which can progress to partial or complete baldness, while women tend to experience hair thinning on the top and sides of the scalp.
But androgenetic alopecia is not the only cause of hair loss in women.
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Skin Conditions Of The Scalp
The symptoms: Seborrheic dermatitis causes the scalp to shed its skin, so you’ll notice greasy, yellowish scales on your shoulders or in your hair. It may be the result of yeast called Malassezia, hormonal changes, or excess oil in the skin. Psoriasis, an autoimmune condition that causes excessive skin cell turnover, produces a very thick white scale on the scalp that can bleed if pulled off. With ringworm, a fungus you contract by touching an infected person or animal, you’ll notice red patches on your scalp, which may be diffuse, Jakubowicz says.
The tests: A physical exam of the scalp will help determine which condition you have. A fungal culture and possibly a biopsy of the scalp may pinpoint ringworm.
What you can do: Each condition usually requires a prescription: a medicated shampoo for seborrheic dermatitis, medications or light therapy for psoriasis, and oral antifungals for ringworm.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks hair follicles. It affects about 4.7 million people in the United States and occurs equally in men and women. The cause is unknown, but it may be triggered by stress or illness.
The tests: Observing the pattern of hair loss can usually determine if you have alopecia areata, and blood tests for iron stores, ANAs. and hormones are usually done to rule out underlying conditions that may cause hair loss.
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Can Stress Cause Hair Loss In Females
Stress is a cause of hair loss in women. The medical condition Telogen effluvium is a side effect of stress which forces the hair follicles into the telogen phase prematurely.
Hence why you see increased hair fall when you have significant levels of stress. You will know if your type of hair loss is caused by stress if your hair stops falling out once your stress levels are back to normal.
Working on your stress levels and ensuring your general health is maintained will encourage new hair growth. Furthermore, getting sufficient sleep also helps to reduce stress levels and improve your overall health.
When you get enough sleep your body has ample energy to fulfil all your bodys functions effectively. Hence the causes of hair loss include sleep deprivation.
Will My Hair Grow Back After Corona
If the hair doesnt grow back then its a serious concern, and usually a sign of a different illness. But usually, Covid-19 survivors have been able to regrow hair after their hair follicles have finished the telogen phase .
After this phase, the hair enters the anagen stage which lasts years. Thus replacing the lost hair.
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The Severe Emotional Impact Of Hair Loss For Women
It goes without saying that hair loss regardless of gender can be devastating. It can dent a persons self-esteem and negatively affect their overall quality of life.
Studies on the psychosocial impact of hair loss have found patients self-esteem, body image and self-confidence to be negatively impacted, Dr. Francis told MNT. Known psychosocial complications include depression, low self-esteem, altered self-image and less frequent and enjoyable social engagement.
It seems experts are in agreement, however, that women are significantly more likely to suffer emotionally as a result of hair loss.
Hair loss in a woman is so emotionally devastating that it can trigger a wide range of social and emotional issues that can negatively impact healthy daily living and overall quality of life. I have heard of women that retreat from social situations, have diminished work performance, and even alter their healthy living avoiding exercise, overeating, not treating other medical illnesses due to their hair loss, said Dr. Francis.
But why do women see a greater emotional impact from hair loss than men? According to Dr. Glashofer, it is down to societys perception of beauty. Society unjustly puts an inordinate amount of pressure on beauty and a great deal of this comes from perceptions of hair, he told us.
Dr. Francis agrees. She told MNT:
Will Hormone Replacement Treatment Stop My Hair From Falling Out
Estrogen and progesterone can keep hair in the growing stage, which means that these hormones can keep your hair on your head for longer.
In other terms, HRT will stop your hair from falling out. When women go through Hormone Replacement Therapy its been reported that their hair thinning starts to improve. Therefore, estrogen can help with hair loss.
A low level of estrogen causes hair to grow slowly. When estrogen levels drop, the production of androgens is triggered which turns into DHT and causes hair loss.
There are foods that contain high levels of estrogen to increase estrogen in females. These high estrogen foods include flax seeds, soybeans, dried fruits, sesame seeds, garlic, peaches, tofu, and tempeh.
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What Causes Frontal Hair Loss In Women
There are many reasons why you may be losing the hair in the front of your head. As mentioned above, one factor could be frontal fibrosing alopecia. While the causes of FFA remain unknown, there are some theories.
Since cases have risen exponentially in the past few decades especially in western countries some researchers believe there may be an environmental trigger.
Its also possible that some types of sunscreen and makeup may cause FFA, but more research is needed to support this theory.
Whats more likely considering FFA is predominantly seen in peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women is that a hormonal shift like a lack of estrogen may trigger the condition.
Top Ten Reasons For Sudden Hair Loss In Women
- Excessive exercise: Too much of exercise drains essential nutrition from your body which causes hair follicles to lose their strength.
- Change in dietary conditions/ malnutrition
- Lack of sleep: Sleep apnea causes stress to hair follicle causing hair to fall out earlier than usual.
- Medications: Common medicines that cause hair loss in women include oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, NSAIDs, and beta and calcium channel blockers.
- Pregnancy and child birth: Hair loss occurs 2-3 months after child birth mainly due to the hormonal changes in the body.
- Allergies: Allergies from dust and medications can cause itching and scaling resulting in sudden hair loss.
- Hot weather: Hot weather causes hair follicles to lose the moisture content. This results in sudden hair loss.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs cause severe and sudden hair loss in cancer patients. Though this type of hair loss is reversible, the hair that is re-grown after the treatment may lose its natural color and texture after the treatment.
- Thyroid diseases:Hair loss can occur either due to an underactive thyroid or a hyperactive thyroid . Each condition causes a hormonal imbalance and results in hair loss.
- Viral infection: Viral infection can result in sudden hair loss called alopecia areata.
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