What Causes Hair Loss In Women
Hair loss doesnt happen overnight. Typically, theres some kind of trigger that leads up to it.
There are numerous causes of hair loss from such causes as hormonal issues, certain types of hair styling that can cause hair loss over time, systemic diseases such as thyroid gland problems, lupus and others, said Dr. Alan Parks, board-certified dermatologist and founder of DermWarehouse.
Extreme mental or physical stress and certain medications or nutritional deficiencies can also cause hair loss.
Cutting Your Hair Off Is Incredibly Freeing
As mentioned, most of us fuss over our hair for years. It becomes all we can think about as we try to frantically hang on to our youth. It can be exhausting, all the research, all the experiments and no results. You literally become a slave to your hair as you try and figure out how to grow it back.
However, when you shave the last of your hair off, you instantly feel free and at ease again. Sure, it can take a while for you to get used to the person looking back in the mirror but you can also feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from your entire life this is exactly how I felt.
I no longer felt like a slave to my hair. There was a feeling of ease and lightness. I even liked my new look as soon as I shaved the last bits of hair off. It was very satisfying cutting the longer bits off that I used to disguise my hair loss. It was like a little win for me against my hair loss.
As a culture and as men we can get wrapped up in the way we look especially when were young. Our appearance becomes everything. However, as Ive learned to deal with depression and anxiety in my life Ive learned that these kinds of things are really unimportant and instead its about what kind of person you are. Sure I still want to look as best I can but your looks become less important when youre faced with real challenges.
Is It Possible To Know If Im Losing Too Much Hair
Yes, it is. We often use the pull test to know the level of hair loss.
Simply run your fingers on the clean and dry hair. And when you reach the ends, gently tug it. If you will have more than two or three strands of the hair then you could be at the first or third phase of the cycle.
If you, however, have more than 10 strands shedding off of your 100 stands, you are experiencing a massive loss and should consult with the doctor.
If you are balding and experiencing full body hair loss as well, you should seek consultation with your doctor.
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Causes Of Permanent Hair Loss
Hormonal imbalances before, during and after menopause can lead to more permanent hair loss, Dr. Simpson says.
Female pattern baldness is largely genetic, affecting hair along the top of a womans head. This typically begins when estrogen levels drop.
A scalp injury that causes scarring can also cause permanent hair loss, she says.
Early Signs Of Balding And How To Stop Hair Loss
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
One of the keys to stopping hair loss is learning about the common signs of baldness and taking action as early as possible. Simply put, the earlier you take action to prevent hair loss, the more hair youll be able to save.
Unfortunately, identifying hair loss isnt always easy. With many myths about balding circling the internet, it is easy to mistake normal hair loss for male pattern baldness.
Luckily, there are some real signs of male pattern baldness that you can use to identify and deal with hair loss. Learn about hair loss treatments from Hims.
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What Is Hair Loss
- Nutritional imbalance: oftentimes, a poor diet is responsible for nutritional imbalance. Deficiency of essential nutrients like vitamins B3, vitamin D, iron, proteins and fats can lead to severe hair loss. Maintain a healthy diet by eating fresh fruit and vegetables every day. You should also add nuts and seeds to your diet to boost hair growth. Avoid over processed and unhealthy food.
- Heredity: some people can experience hereditary hair loss. If you cant find any visible reason for your hair loss, your genetic composition might be responsible.
- Reaction to certain drugs or treatments: some drugs can disrupt your hair growth cycle and prevent hair from growing. Treatments like chemotherapy can also cause hair loss.
- Over styling with heat: excessive exposure to heat can dehydrate your hair. The heat can also alter the internal protein structure of hair and cause breakage. To prevent this, minimize heat styling and use heat protectant products.
What’s The Best Way To Maintain Healthy Hair/scalp
Practice appropriate hair washing techniques and protect the hair and scalp from damage and injury with a shampoo and conditioner. Depending on the hair type and genetic background, hair should be washed two to three times a week for those of Caucasian, Latino or Asian backgrounds and once every week or two for those with drier or curlier hair of African descent. Use of gentle shampoos that tend to be sulfate-free can help maintain hydration and avoid drying and breakage. Products containing silicone can also be protective but may result in buildup. Hair is 100% protein held together with sulfide bonds and eating a balanced diet of foods high in protein, iron, vitamin D and other essential nutrients supports hair growth.
Identifying Imbalances In Dosha Levels
- When Vata dosha aggravates, it is indicated by dry and frizzy hair with split ends. Your scalp gets dehydrated and hair becomes brittle and lustreless. Eventually, your hair breaks or becomes very thin and falls out in clumps.
- When Pitta dosha aggravates, it is indicated by scalp inflammation and premature greying of your hair. You will also undergo short-temper, anxiety, and stress when Pitta dosha spikes up. It causes severe hair fall, which leads to baldness over time.
- When Kapha dosha aggravates, it is indicated by excessive oiliness on your scalp and hair. You may also have itchy and oily dandruff associated with scalp acne. Hair loss can be the result.
Sometimes, more than one dosha can be in an elevated state, which can lead to compound damage on your hair’s healthy growth and cause hair fall. You need to understand your underlying dosha imbalances before treating your hair loss.
Other signs that indicate abnormal hair fall and hair loss may include the following:
- Hair starts thinning gradually on top of the head .
- Circular or patchy bald spots start occurring in the areas of the scalp, beard or eyebrows.
- Hair loosens up suddenly and falls out in clumps.
- One may experience temporary hair loss during treatments like chemotherapy for cancer.
- Skin diseases like ringworm, psoriasis, etc. cause patches of scaling over the scalp. It leads to the swelling of hair follicles and eventually hair loss.
What Will Happen If I Treat My Hair Loss What Are The Possible Side Effects
Minoxidil lotion: Common side effects are scalp and skin irritation. More rarely it can cause changes in hair colour and texture.
Finasteride: Noticeable side effects are uncommon, but sometimes the medicine can cause a rash, and a small proportion of users may experience reduced libido, erection problems or breast and/or nipple tenderness.
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Be Gentle To Your Hair
Hair dryers, hot curlers, chemical treatments, hair dyes or styling your hair in tight braids or updos can cause dry, brittle and thinning hair.
To prevent further damage, leave your hair in its natural colour and texture . If that is not possible due to professional reasons, give your hair ample time to recover between dyes, chemical treatments or blowout appointments.
Treatment Of Hair Loss
The appropriate treatment for your cats hair loss will depend on its underlying cause.
Treatment depends on addressing the underlying cause.
Treating Fleas and Mites
Because fleas and mites are such common causes of hair loss in cats, effective treatment for these parasites is an important part of treatment for many cats with hair loss. However, not all flea preventatives are equally effective and not all are also effective against mites. Your vet can help you find the safest and most effective options for your cat.
If a food allergy is suspected your vet may recommend a diet trial to eliminate common allergens like chicken. For environmental allergens, there are treatments to reduce the allergic reaction.
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Dermatologists Can Distinguish Between Hair Loss And Hair Shedding
If you are concerned by the amount of hair falling out, you dont need to suffer in silence. You can turn to a dermatologist for help. These doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating the skin, hair, and nails. A dermatologist can tell you whether you have hair loss or excessive hair shedding. Some people have both.
A dermatologist also can find the cause or causes and tell you what you can expect. Effective treatments options are available for many types of hair loss. The sooner treatment begins, the better the prognosis.
Hair Products For Hair Loss Treatment
Biotin can also be found in special shampoos, conditioners, and scalp treatments to help protect your hair so that it grows stronger and does not fall out as easily. Nutritional supplements and over-the-counter hair regrowth products may be useful in keeping hair healthy although some loss might still be noted.
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Why Does It Happen
FPHL is very common and increases with age and varies across ethnic groups. Although it can happen at any age, the condition occurs most commonly following the menopause. This does not mean that hormones alone are to blame, although oestrogen may have a protective role, helping to keep hair in the growing phase. Age itself is a factor and whilst women can take care of their hair cosmetically, it is one aspect of the ageing process we cannot always control. Genetics are important too and you may notice a family link with both male and female hair loss. Occasionally times of acute stress on the body will influence hair growth, eg illness, emotional stresses and crash dieting. Some medications may have an influence too.
What Not To Look For
The three signs above are good indicators that you should think about taking action to stop your hair loss.
However, there are also commonly repeated “signs” of baldness that arent as reliable for identifying hair loss. These include:
An itchy scalp, which may have one or more causes, such as dandruff, but which generally does not indicate long-term hair loss.
Thin-looking hair after you swim or shower, which is more often a result of your hair clumping together and revealing your scalp than real hair loss. To accurately check for hair loss, its always best to compare photos of your hair when its dry and unstyled.
A widows peak, which is a dominant genetic trait and may be an indicator of hair loss or susceptibility to hair loss.
A few hairs on your pillow or bar of soap, which are completely normal and not a reliable indicator that youre losing an abnormal amount of hair.
A depigmented bulb on hair that falls out naturally. This just indicates that the hair was in the telogen phase when it fell out, and doesnt mean that it wont grow back as normal.
A bald grandfather on a certain side of your family. Scientists still dont know exactly how male pattern baldness is inherited, and a bald father or grandfather is no guarantee that you will also go bald.
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Prescription Medications For Hair Loss Treatment
For serious cases of female hair loss, a doctor might be willing to recommend a higher-grade treatment regimen by prescribing women’s supplements for hair loss. Products like Rogaine and Propecia are now more widely available and might not require a medical prescription.
However, read the directions and warnings to see whether you are a good candidate for this type of treatment based on your specific type of hair loss. These products do not treat every kind of balding area of the scalp.
Treat your hair gently and use safe, healthy products to keep it growing strong. Ask your doctor or a pharmacist to recommend safe, effective products that can help.
Its Not Just An Age Thing
A typical scalp bears some 100,000 to 150,000 hairs. Normally, between 50 and 100 of them fall out daily as they complete their growth cycle. When shedding outpaces growth, explains Dr. Shapiro, the result is alopecia, the medical term for hair loss. The most common type in both men and women occurs when follicles become overly sensitive to a hormone and deteriorate. As a result, the growth phase shortens until it finally stops. Although alopecia becomes more prevalent with advancing years, it affects one in four men by age 30.
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Hair Loss Differs From Hair Shedding
Hair loss occurs when something stops the hair from growing. The medical term for this condition is anagen effluvium. The most common causes of hair loss include:
Hereditary hair loss
Hairstyles that pull on the hair
Harsh hair-care products
Compulsion to pull out ones hair
If you have hair loss, your hair will not grow until the cause stops. For example, people who undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatments often lose a lot of hair. When the treatment stops, their hair tends to regrow.
If you suspect that a treatment or drug is causing your hair loss, talk with your doctor. Serious side effects can occur if you immediately stop a treatment or drug.
Other causes of hair loss may require treatment. Many people who have hereditary hair loss continue to lose hair without treatment. A woman who inherits the genes for hereditary hair loss may notice gradual thinning. Men who have hereditary hair loss tend to develop a receding hairline or bald patch that begins in the center of the scalp.
Treatment helps many people who have hair loss, but not everyone. A dermatologist can tell you what to expect.