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.
What Causes Hair Loss In Women
According to experts, the average human scalp has about 100,000 hair follicles. At any given time, each of your hair follicles is in a different phase of this cycle: Anagen phase , Catagen phase, Telogen phase , and Exogen phase . Thus, seeing some hairs in your brush or in a bath is perfectly normal and doesnt mean you are experiencing a hair loss.
However, if you find more lost hairs than usual, spot thinning edges, or your scalp becomes more noticeable, it is worth analyzing the possible causes and taking action to stop and reverse hair shedding.
Heavy Metal & Toxic Chemicals
Exposure to heavy metals and toxins will often result in unhealthy hair. In fact, the EPA tests peoples hair when checking for toxins.
Residents in the small town of Rosebery, a coastal town in the Australian state of Tasmania, sued the local mine for health issues that they believed came from the heavy metal mining that was done from 2008-2010. Residents suffered from a number of health problems including hair loss.
If you are exposed to a large number of toxins in your diet, your job, or elsewhere in your environment, this could be causing hair loss.
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What Are The Signs That My Hair Is Weak
One of the easiest methods to test whether your hair is brittle is to grab a strand from both ends and simply pull it out. Hair is considered fragile if it breaks readily. Another approach to check for raised ends is to wrap some hair strands around your finger. Too many raised ends indicate that the hair is fragile and damaged.
Female Hair Loss: Causes And Treatment
Far from being my crowning glory, my hair has been the bane of my life. But one question has always plagued me: is my problem on my head, or in my head? While I’ve suspected my hair has been thinning for decades, few people ever believed me and at times I even doubted it myself.
There were years when my hair seemed fuller, when I’d scrunch it into ringlets and delight at its apparent thickness. At other times, particularly in my 30s, I’d fret over the wispy strands at the front of my head or when I saw too much scalp in the mirror.
My friends always reassured me I had a good head of hair. Most of the GPs I saw reacted the same, despite my tears and protestations. I had no bald patches or visible gaps so they’d put it down to stress or would test my iron and thyroid levels, which appeared normal.
Some of my hair loss over the years is easily explained. I developed an eating disorder and recall gathering clumps of hair off my pink bedroom carpet when I was under-eating in my teens.
Weight loss, low iron levels, poor diet and stress, along with thyroid and hormonal imbalances, can all cause hair to fall, trichologists say. Hair needs a healthy diet and a well-functioning endocrine system to flourish.
“Genetic hair loss is the only hair loss in which the follicle gradually gets smaller and finer and producers smaller and finer hair until it stops altogether and then you get the thinning,” says Lyons.
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What Is Common Baldness
Common baldness usually means male-pattern baldness, or permanent-pattern baldness. The medical term for this is androgenetic alopecia. Male-pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss in men. Men who have this type of hair loss usually have inherited the trait. Men who start losing their hair at an early age tend to develop more extensive baldness. In male-pattern baldness, hair loss typically results in a receding hairline and baldness on the top of the head.
Women may develop female-pattern baldness. In this form of hair loss, the hair can become thin over the entire scalp.
Be Mindful Of Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are a form of contraception that works by suppressing ovulation and/or making it more difficult for a fertilized egg to implant into the lining of the uterus. Hormonal hair loss in women may occur when women start or stop taking certain kinds of contraceptives. The hormones that make birth control pills effective may also cause hair thinning in women who use them. You are more likely to experience this side effect from birth control pills if you have a family history of hair loss. Stopping the pill is also a cause of hair loss in women. Hormones are not the only medication that may be associated with hair loss. Blood thinners and blood pressure medications may do it, too. So can drugs used to treat depression, heart disease, and arthritis.
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What Are The Cycles Of Hair Growth
Hair goes through three cycles:
- The anagen phase can last from two years to eight years. This phase generally refers to about 85% to 90% of the hair on your head.
- The catagen phase is the time that hair follicles shrink and takes about two to three weeks.
- The telogen phase takes about two to four months. At the end of this phase, the hair falls out.
Your shorter hairs like eyelashes, arm and leg hair and eyebrows have a short anagen phase about one month. Your scalp hair can last up to six years or even longer.
How Common Is Hair Loss In Women
Many people think that hair loss only affects men. However, it is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss , which affects about one-third of susceptible women, which equals out to some 30 million women in the United States.
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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.
Causes Of Temporary Hair Loss
You can avoid hair loss and promote regrowth when hair loss is temporarily caused by:
Tight hairstyles. Tight ponytails, braids and cornrows can all cause hair loss and damage the follicles, which regulate hair growth. Changing hairstyles can help prevent thinning. But beware: When the follicles sustain too much damage, hair loss can be permanent.
Extreme physical shock/stress. Dramatic changes in the body can cause temporary hair loss. Giving birth, rapid weight loss, surgery and certain illnesses may cause more hair loss than usual, typically in the resting phase. But hair should grow back over time.
Medical therapies and toxic substances. Chemotherapy, certain other drugs and radiation treatments can prompt hair loss, mainly in the growth phase. Hair loss can strike suddenly, anywhere in the body. It is typically temporary .
Nutritional deficiencies. Not getting enough iron, protein or vitamin B12 in your diet can also cause your hair to thin. If this happens to you, talk to your doctor about supplements.
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Living With Hair Loss
Losing your hair can be devastating. Many people consider a thick head of hair a symbol of youth and vitality. So losing it no matter how young you are can make you feel old. It can make you feel less attractive. It can lower your overall self-esteem.
Remember that it is okay to feel what youre feeling. It is also okay to seek out a strategy for stopping or even reversing hair loss. Wanting hair doesnt mean that you are vain. You should not feel guilty about doing something about your hair loss.
If adequate treatment is not available for your type of hair loss, you may consider trying different hairstyles or wigs, hairpieces, hair weaves or artificial hair replacement.
How To Prevent Hair Loss
- Use the right hair care products to prevent future hair damage.
- Choose shampoos and conditioners that are specifically designed for your hair type.
- Limit the use of dyes, perms, straighteners, blow dryers, and curlers.
- Keep in mind that heat is the enemy of healthy hair.
- Using a paddle brush and a good detangling spray, comb your hair.
- Use a leave-in conditioner or serum to soothe frizzy hair.
- Trim your hair every two months to prevent split ends of the hair.
- When shampooing your hair, avoid using hot water. Use Anti Hair Thinning Kit
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Three Types Of Hair Loss
Hair loss is classified into three different groups:
This is the most common type of hair loss in women. Its typically reversible. Types include:
- Female pattern hair loss: This is the most common type of alopecia. It causes hair loss in the front and top of your scalp, often causing the part in your hair to widen. Female pattern hair loss is more common in older women. Doctors use the Ludwig scale to categorize the amount of hair loss you have at your part and front of your scalp. It ranges from I to III .
- Traction alopecia: Hair loss occurs in areas where there is excessive tension on the hair follicles, typically from certain hairstyles, such as tight ponytails and braids.
- Alopecia areata: This is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks your hair follicles, causing hair loss. It occurs in patches on the scalp and sometimes all over the body.
- Telogen effluvium: This develops when many hair follicles shift from the growth phase of the hair cycle to the resting phase , causing widespread, significant hair loss. It can happen to women with certain nutritional deficiencies or restrictive diets, after childbirth, during periods of high physical or emotional stress, or from taking certain medications.
- Skin conditions that cause inflammation of the scalp, such as psoriasis, can also cause alopecia.
Inherited and structural hair disorders
What can cause women to lose hair?
There Are Different Forms Of Hair Loss In Women
If youre losing the hair on the crown of your head , you have what is called androgenic alopecia more commonly referred to as female pattern hair loss or female pattern baldness. This is the most common type of hair loss in women.
But if youre losing the hair in the front of your head in spots around the hairline, you may have frontal fibrosing alopecia . This type of frontal hair loss is more rare, and mostly affects postmenopausal women.
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How Can I Prevent Hair Loss
There are things you can do to prevent further hair loss. Dont wear tight hairstyles like braids, ponytails, or buns that put too much pressure on your hair. Over time, those styles permanently damage your hair follicles.
Certain beauty regimens can worsen or cause hair loss.
If youre currently losing hair, use a gentle baby shampoo to wash your hair. Unless you have extremely oily hair, consider washing your hair only every other day. Always pat the hair dry and avoid rubbing your hair.
Styling products and tools are also common culprits in hair loss. Examples of products or tools that can affect hair loss include:
- blow dryers
There Are Different Types Of Hair Loss Genetic And Reactive
There’s a chance you’re genetically predisposed to hair thinning, which means you may see a progressive, gradual reduction in hair volume. “In these instances, certain hair follicles are sensitive to male hormones and this sensitivity causes follicles to gradually shrink and produce slightly finer and shorter hairs with each passing hair growth cycle.” Explains Anabel Kingsley.
This means your hair loss is the result of a trigger. “Excessive daily hair shedding is not reliant on having a genetic predisposition, it occurs as the result of an internal imbalance or upset, such as a nutritional deficiency, severe stress, crash dieting or an illness” says Anabel Kingsley.
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Frontal Hair Loss In Women
Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Curling irons. Straight irons. Messy buns. High ponies. Hair extensions. Tight braids.
Women create and wear tons of different styles, but no matter which you prefer, theres one look that is never in fashion: thinning hair.
As awful as it may feel to gaze in the mirror and notice bare scalp where there used to be hair, you can take comfort in knowing that you are not alone: Fewer than 45% of women go through life with a full head of hair.Female hair loss is a thing.
Heres what to do if you notice patches of hair loss in the front of your head , as well as information on what might be happening in the first place.
What Causes Hair Loss For Women
Hair loss can crush your confidence, butwhat causes hair loss for women? There are a variety of factors, from medicalillnesses to the food you eat. Determine if one of the four causes discussedhere may be the reason for your hair loss, and talk to your doctor if your hairdoesn’t start growing back within a few months.
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