What Can I Do About Traction Alopecia
To protect your hair from traction alopecia and prevent further damage:
- Ask your stylist to create looser braids or dreadlocks.
- If you have braids, remove them after three months.
- If you wear a weave or hair extensions, remove them after eight weeks.
- If you have relaxed or dyed hair, make sure these treatments are applied by a professional. If you still notice breakage or hair shedding, avoid chemical treatments completely.
- Minimize heat styling, including hair dryers, flat irons and curling irons. These wear out the hair and can lead to major hair loss.
Thinning Hair In Women: Why It Happens And What Helps
Many people think of hair loss as a male problem, but it also affects at least a third of women. But unlike men, women typically experience thinning hair without going bald, and there can be a number of different underlying causes for the problem.
Some are associated with inflammation in the body. Some are female-pattern hair loss, says Dr. Deborah Scott, assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Hair Loss Clinic at Brigham and Womens Hospital. But the good news is that in many cases this hair loss can be stabilized with treatment, and it may be reversible. When its not, there are a number of new cosmetic approaches that can help.
Nutritional Deficiencies: Nutrients Are Processed Less Efficiently
As women age their bodies begin to process nutrients less efficiently. Many vitamins and minerals are necessary for hair growth. Iron and Vitamin C are good examples of this.
Iron deficiency has been linked to hair loss in several studies. As the body ages, it can become more difficult for it to obtain the iron it needs from foods. The deficiency can then lead to thinner hair. Interestingly, a Vitamin C deficiency can contribute to the iron deficiency. This is because, without enough Vitamin C, the absorption of iron from foods such as red meat becomes more difficult.
There are a great number of nutrients that play a part in thinning hair in older women. In addition to iron and Vitamin C, getting enough magnesium, B vitamins, selenium, niacin and zinc is important. Some deficiencies can be helped with a diet change or nutritional supplements. Nutrafol is a supplement that contains Vitamin C, Selenium and Zinc â among other things.
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What Steps Can I Take To Prevent Or Slow Hair Loss
Unfortunately, certain types of hair loss are genetic, and very little can be done to prevent them. Genetic types of hair loss include alopecia areata and female pattern hair loss.
But other types of hair loss can be brought on by stress and a poor diet. Do your best to eat a balanced diet, and find ways to take care of your mental health.
For added benefit, stay up to date with your routine checkups. Anemia, low levels of vitamin D and abnormal thyroid hormones can all affect the health of your hair. Simple bloodwork from your primary care physician can determine if these conditions are contributing to your hair loss.
Black women in particular are prone to a type of hair loss called traction alopecia, which is caused by heat, chemicals and tight styles that pull at the hair root, including some braids, dreadlocks, extensions and weaves.
Hair Loss In All Ages
Although certain causes of hair loss might be more common at specific times of life, many of them can happen at all ages. For example, hormone imbalances, infections, vitamin deficiencies, and autoimmune diseases affect women of all ages and these may lead to hair loss. There are also rare inflammatory conditions that cause permanent damage to hair follicles.
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First Attempts Into An Understanding Of Hair Aging
The original studies into hair aging were performed in the 1980’s by Pinkus, Ebling, and Kligman. Ebling’s estimation of the diameters of plucked scalp hairs is the first credible attempt to measurement in the literature. He found that regardless of age, hairs from the same individual showed a wide diversity of diameters, with a shift toward smaller diameters with old age. While Pinkus originally coined the term senile alopecia, Kligman performed the first comparative histopathology of male pattern baldness and senescent alopecia with the conclusion that male pattern baldness and senescent alopecia are clearly different processes: while he found that hair follicle miniaturization, inflammation, and fibrosis are the hallmarks of male pattern baldness, senescent alopecia was characterized by a modest reduction in the size of follicles that were otherwise normal. Therefore, he considered what Pinkus had described as a fibrosing alopecia, the result of a prominent increase in collagen which choked the epithelium of the follicle till it disappeared, leaving only a collapsed fibrous sheath rather to be a late stage of male pattern baldness in the elderly than senescent alopecia. Since streamer fibrosis was not a feature of senescent alopecia, he considered that theoretically at least, hair growth in senescent alopecia could be stimulated by pharmacological means, because scarring does not stand in the way.
What Is Female Pattern Hair Loss
The most common type of hair loss in women is called androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern hair loss . Hair follicles shrink, causing the hair to become thinner and finer, with decreased numbers of hairs overall. The hairs growing phase also gets shorter and fewer hairs are in the active growing phase.
Usually in female pattern hair loss, the frontal hairline stays about the same, but there can be a widening of the part and a central thinning of the hair, says Alison Bruce, MBChB, a dermatologist at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Bruce presented information on common causes of midlife hair loss and new therapy options at the North American Medical Society Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, held September 2225, 2021.
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Patterns Of Female Hair Loss
Clinicians use the Ludwig Classification to describe female pattern hair loss. Type I is minimal thinning that can be camouflaged with hair styling techniques. Type II is characterized by decreased volume and noticeable widening of the mid-line part. Type III describes diffuse thinning, with a see-through appearance on the top of the scalp.
What Are Some Tips For Dealing With Hair Loss In Women
There are some things you can do on your own. You might check with your stylist or try some of these:
- Coloring your hair adds volume to the strands, making your hair seem fuller.
- Massaging your head, like when you are washing your hair, can stimulate blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles.
- Getting your hair cut shorter, and having layers added, can make your hair seem fuller.
- Using the right kind of shampoo can also help. Look for a shampoo that adds volume without using sulfate detergents.
- Using the right kind of product at the right time can also help. There are products that add volume that you add while your hair is still wet. However, using too much product can add weight.
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As They Age Women Lose Their Hair Too Which Treatments Really Work
There are treatments that can slow the hair loss down, but they won’t bring back what you’ve lost. Women of African descent have extra problems, but treatment works if done quickly.
Women expect their hair to turn gray as they age, but they may be far less prepared for another ego-challenging aspect of aging: Their hair falls out.
You can cover gray with dye, but it’s harder to disguise the sparsely covered scalps that millions of women start to notice in their 50s and 60s. Some unlucky ones have thinning hair long before that. This kind of hair loss is unrelated to cancer treatment or other serious health problems.
Of course, there are plenty of men who wish desperately to restore their youthful locks, and a few we can think of one powerful one who cling to elaborate comb-overs, but many balding men simply clip their hair short and go on with their lives. Dermatologists say hair loss is emotionally harder for women, who are often deeply embarrassed by thinning hair even though it’s quite common. By the time they reach 50, about 40 percent of women are experiencing what’s known as female-pattern hair loss, said Gopal Patel, a dermatologist with Aesthetic Dermatology Associates in Media. Women of African descent struggle with even more conditions that can damage hair follicles and cause bald spots.
Like other doctors, Cotsarelis decried the lack of funding for studying hair loss. Said Patel: “The biggest challenge we face is we don’t really have great data.”
What Are The Common Causes Of Hair Loss In Women
What causes hair loss?
- Hair style: Your style of hair can cause hair loss when your hair is arranged in ways that pull on your roots, like tight ponytails, braids, or corn rows. This type of hair loss is called traction alopecia. If hair follicles are damaged, the loss can be permanent.
- Vitamin deficiency.
- Over processed scalp hair .
What causes anagen effluvium hair loss?
- Toxic substances, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and some medications. These cause sudden hair loss that can occur anywhere on your body. It happens to hair in the growth stage. Sometimes, this type of hair loss can be permanent if your hair follicles are damaged.
What causes telogen effluvium hair loss?
- Extreme physical stress or shock to your body: This causes temporary hair loss. This category includes events like losing a lot of weight, surgery, anemia, illness and having a baby.
- Extreme emotional stress: mental illness, the death of a loved one, etc.
- An abnormal thyroid.
- Medications and supplements: blood pressure medicines, gout medicines and high doses of Vitamin A.
- Hormone changes caused by pregnancy, menopause or birth control pills.
What causes FPHL ?
- Genes: Your familys genes can cause thinning of hair along the top of your head.
- Aging: Hormone changes as you age can cause balding.
- Menopause: This type of hair loss often gets worse when estrogen is lost during menopause.
There are also some conditions that affect hair loss:
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Finding The Root Cause Of Hair Loss Is Important
If youre bothered by your thinning hair or hair loss, a visit to your primary care doctor is a great place to start, says Bruce. Its likely that female pattern hair loss is probably the cause, but a clinical examination can confirm this, she says.
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If the hair loss doesnt follow the typical appearance of female pattern hair loss, your doctor will likely perform a few tests to explore potential causes.
- A complete blood count test is used to evaluate overall health and can detect many conditions, including anemia, which can cause hair loss.
- Thyroid function tests can reveal thyroid issues that may be related to thinning hair.
- A dietary assessment, or a discussion of what you eat, can determine whether you have a normal healthy diet and any vitamin deficiencies.
- Autoimmune inflammation Your doctor may investigate conditions related to inflammation in the scalp, including autoimmune diseases, which can be associated with hair loss, says Bruce.
- A hormone test may be performed, though a hormone imbalance is rarely the culprit in hair loss, says Faubion.
Noticeable Hair Loss In Women Can Be Deeply Distressing Here Are Some Medical Treatments That May Help
About one-third of women experience hair loss at some time in their lives among postmenopausal women, as many as two-thirds suffer hair thinning or bald spots. Hair loss in women often has a greater impact than hair loss does on men w, because it’s less socially acceptable for them. Alopecia can severely affect a woman’s emotional well-being and quality of life.
The main type of hair loss in women is the same as it is men. It’s called androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern hair loss. In men, hair loss usually begins above the temples, and the receding hairline eventually forms a characteristic “M” shape hair at the top of the head also thins, often progressing to baldness. In women, androgenetic alopecia begins with gradual thinning at the part line, followed by increasing diffuse hair loss radiating from the top of the head. A woman’s hairline rarely recedes, and women rarely become bald.
There are many potential causes of hair loss in women , including medical conditions, medications, and physical or emotional stress. If you notice unusual hair loss of any kind, it’s important to see your primary care provider or a dermatologist, to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. You may also want to ask your clinician for a referral to a therapist or support group to address emotional difficulties. Hair loss in women can be frustrating, but recent years have seen an increase in resources for coping with the problem.
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Cancer Treatment Is A Trigger
Radiation and chemotherapy used to treat cancer are some of the common causes of hair loss in women. Both therapies harm hair follicles in addition to killing cancer cells. People undergoing cancer treatment often experience dramatic hair loss as a result of these therapies. They may wake up with clumps of hair on their pillow or they may lose large amounts of hair in the shower. Rapid hair loss in women often starts within 2 weeks of beginning treatment. It may be worst between 1 to 2 months into therapy. The scalp may be extra sensitive during this time. It may be irritating to wash, brush, and comb hair. The good news is that once cancer treatment is over, hair tends to grow back.
And 5 Ways To Save Your Strands
by Cheryl Bond-Nelms, AARP, September 27, 2017
You can take steps to prevent further hair loss or damage.
En español | Visible hair loss can be deeply distressing and affects both men and women of all ages. While this condition is more common in men, women can experience thinning or complete hair loss, as well.
For women, pattern hair loss occurs mostly when they are in their 50s and 60s. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, Female pattern hair loss is the commonest cause of hair loss in women, and prevalence increases with advancing age. Affected women may experience psychological distress and impaired social functioning.
According to a posting by Harvard Women’s Health Watch, Hair loss often has a greater impact on women than on men because it’s less socially acceptable for them. The organization notes that as many as two-thirds of postmenopausal women have thinning hair or bald spots.
Hair loss in men, the Harvard article explains, “usually begins above the temples,” with the receding hairline forming the shape of an M. In women, thinning hair appears gradually, usually at the part line, and increasing hair loss spreading from the top of the head.
There are several causes of hair loss in women, including medical conditions, certain medications, and physical or emotional stress. Here are five categories of hair loss affecting 50-plus women.
- Family history of pattern baldness
- Diet i.e., poor nutrition
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