Hair Loss In Women
Hair Loss In Women is a condition that could cause discomfort and distress for a woman at any age. You are not alone. An estimated 30 million face hereditary hair loss in the US alone. If you are affected by it, it is important to understand that there are many ways to treat and overcome it.
This Hair Loss In Women site is dedicated to providing relevant articles about the causes of hair loss in women, and hair loss in women treatment.
Hair loss occurs in women of all ages. In fact, some hair loss, around 50 - 100 hairs a day is often considered be normal. Hair growth takes place in cycles. Each hair follicle will go through a phase of active hair growth before the hair is shed and the follicle rests. Then it returns to the growth phases again.
So some hair loss for women every day is normal as the hair follicles gets into a rest phase in the life cycle. What is worrying is when there is continued loss and thinning without new hair growth to replace the hairs that have been shed.
Hair Loss In Women Can Be Distressing
While hair loss in women is not physically life-threatening, it weighs heavily on a woman's emotions. Most women with female pattern baldness say that it affects their confidence and how they see and carry themselves.
As one lady Amy tells it, she worries about her excessive hairloss all the time, and it's especially painful on her self-esteem. For this reason, a woman facing hair loss has very good reason to actively look for ways to restore their hair growth. In a number of cases, hair loss can be completely cured. Usually, that is because the underlying hair follicles are not permanently damaged, they just need the right process and treatment to become active again.
Genetic Hair Loss In Women Affects Over 30 Million Women
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, genetic hair loss in women is a major problem that strikes about 30 million women in the United States alone. That is not counting women who suffer from hair loss due to other non-genetic reasons. Worldwide, it has been estimated that as much as 50% of women aged 40 and above suffer from some level of hair loss or hair thinning.
While cases of female hair loss becomes more frequent with age, affecting more of older women, and post menopause women, it can also happen to the the younger generation of females. There are cases of girls in their pre-teens and teens exhibiting symptoms of female hair loss or Alopecia hair loss. One famous example is that of beauty queen Kayla Martell, who has suffered from Alopecia Areata hair loss since the tender age of 13.
Diagram: Hair Scalp & Follicle - A Complex System
Hair Loss In Women Causes
What are the causes of hairloss in women? There are numerous conditions that result in thinning hair for women, such as:
The main cause of hair loss in women is Androgenic Alopecia, commonly referred to as female pattern baldness. Androgenic Alopecia is a type of hereditary hair loss that is caused by an imbalance of hormones in the female body. Every woman's body produces a small degree of the androgens or male hormones, alongside estrogens or female hormones. When the balance of androgens to estrogens is shifted too much in favor of androgens, it sets off a chain of reactions that cause the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to be produced. DHT can cause Androgenic Alopecia, also commonly referred to as female pattern baldness.
With female pattern baldness, the symptoms include diffuse and gradual hair loss over time. The loss usually start with hair thinning around the top and middle of the scalp. It will not cause a receding hairline. Though it affects more women especially after the 40s and 50s and exacerbates with the onset of menopause, some girls could be affected by this from as early as after puberty. A woman is just as likely to have gotten it from either parent's side of the family. So if either of your parents experience hair loss, it is a sign that you could be affected as well. Hormonal imbalance is not the only reason for women with thinning hair or hair loss, there are is also Telogen Effluvium caused hair shedding and Alopecia Areata.
Telogen Effluvium hair loss in women usually happens because she has received a shock, trauma or serious stress. It could also affect women after a major surgery and child-birth. Oral medication like birth control pills, anti-depressants or beta-blockers could also cause Telogen Effluvium to occur. What is happening is that a larger than usual number of active hair follicles, as much as 85% or more, can become dormant within a short period of time. This leads to the loss of hair. Some women may find that they experience lots of loose hair falling out when shampooing or brushing.
If a woman finds significant hair loss 6 to 12 weeks after a major shocking event, it could be a sign of Telogen Effluvium. The symptoms are wide-spread shedding of hair over the scalp, rather than in patches or limited areas. Compared to genetic Androgenic Alopcia as describe above, the loss of hair is more sudden, rather than gradual. It also will not produce a receding hair line. A woman could recover on their own as the effects of the triggering event subsides and hair follicles get back into their normal growth cycle. However, there are also cases of chronic Telogen Effluvium, where the hair loss continues, and it is not clear what the exact root events that are causing it is.
Alopecia Areata is a rarer type of women hair loss condition that affects an estimated 2% of the population in the US. It is caused by an autoimmune disorder. Basically, a person's immune system turns on itself and attacks the hair follicles. The hair usually starts falling in small clumps. It could eventually heal on it's own, or it could worsen. The condition has the potential to degenerate further into Alopecia Totalis, which is the condition for losing the full head of hair.
Hair Loss In Women Treatment Options
No doubt, many women affected by hair thinning or hair loss are want to seek out the best hair loss in women treatment. A good start is to understand what has caused the hair loss. This could take a visit to the doctor or a dermatologist for a diagnosis. A blood test or scalp biopsy may be called for to determine the cause of hair loss.
There are lots of different options available for women's hair loss treatment, and the more you can understand the root causes for the hair loss, the more informed you will be in making your choice of treatment. With that in mind, let's take a look at the top hair loss treatment options for women:
Minoxidil. Commonly available as Rogaine for women, Minoxidil is the only FDA approved hair loss treatment for female hair regrowth. It requires topical application (rub on skin) to stimulate hair growth. Rogaine is available for both men and women. For women, the concentration of the active ingredient Minoxidil is lower to minimize side effects. With female pattern baldness or Androgenic Alopecia, a woman's hair follicles tend to shrink and become inactive. Rogaine works by stimulating these hair follicles to enlarge them and get them back into a growth phase again. Some doctors also recommend it for Alopecia Areata.
Cortisone Injections. This is used in the treatment of Alopecia Areata. These injections are done on the bald patches by a dermatologist. Several injections may be needed over time to stimulate hair growth.
Prescription Drugs. Sometimes, oral medications are prescribed by doctors to treat hair loss. A number of these are anti-androgen drugs that influencing the hormonal balance in a woman's body. As discussed, hormonal imbalances could cause the female Androgenic Alopecia condition. Prescription drugs like Aldactone/Spironolactone and Tagamet/Cimetidine are examples of these. On a related note, sometimes, existing prescription pills taken by a women could trigger hair loss. By consulting with your doctor, he or she may recommend alternative pills, or lower the dosages on these drugs and restore hair growth.
Hair Transplant Surgery. Hair transplant surgery involves taking parts from a patient's hair scalp that still have normal hair growth and grafting them into areas where there is hair loss. There are a number of different techniques, such as micro-grafts or strip grafts. Undergoing hair surgery is a bigger commitment than using topical or oral medications, and it's also expensive. But it could provide the reliable long-lasting results that a patient is seeking. Surgery is more suitable for some individuals than others, and the best way to find out is speak with a dermatologist who specializes in hair surgery.
Anti-DHT Shampoos. There are various brands of DHT blocking or anti-DHT shampoos that could help with female pattern hair loss. As discussed above, DHT is a hormone that can retard the normal functioning of hair follicles. Ingredients for these shampoos include palmetto, Azlaic acid and nettle. Some users actually report good experiences from using these shampoos, saying that help to slow down hair thinning and loss.
Diet and Nutrition. Diet and nutrition play an important role preventing hair loss and promoting healthy hair growth. Vitamins, minerals and macronutrients are recognized by doctors as necessary for regular healthy hair growth. For example, hair itself is made up of the protein keratin. A diet that contains proteins will help to maintain healthy hair gorwth. Iron is also important for the growth of hair, as found by a 2006 study by Cleveland Clinic dermatologists. Vitamins that will help hair growth include vitamins C, B12 and B7 (Biotin). Check out these top 3 hair loss supplements.
Natural Remedies. Besides taking care of your diet and nutrition, there are various natural remedies that women use to prevent and cure hair loss in women as well. For example, a solution of apple cider and sage tea gently massaged on the hair scalp is said to stimulate hair growth. Aromatherapy, acupuncture and oral or topical herbal remedies are other approaches.
Stress Reduction. Sometimes, as in the case of Telogen Effluvium hair loss, the hair loss can be a result of having too much stress in life. In general, reduction of stress is good for general health and wellness. Being able to relax and being kinder to our bodies and spirits could reverse hair loss symptoms.
Hair Loss In Women Summary
Hair loss in women is a condition that affects over 30 million women in the US many more women around the globe. There are many factors that cause thinning hair. There are also lots of different approaches to reducing the loss of hair, such as massaging Rogaine on the scalp, oral medications, natural remedies and hair surgery. The first step to healing may be to seek a professional diagnosis. If you are not sure, be sure to get a better idea. Take time to browse through a few more articles about the causes and effects of hair loss in women and what treatment involves.