Causes Of Hair Loss In Women Over 50 - What You Need To Know
On this page, we look into the causes of hair loss in women over 50 and what to do about it. Hair loss can impact women of all ages, but women over 50 can be more susceptible to hair thinning and loss.
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What Are The Causes Of Hair Loss In Women Over 50?
Hair loss in women over 50 is said to affect as much as 50% of women fifty or older. As part of our aging process and post-menopausal changes, a lot of women experience some level of hair loss or thinning hair.
Hair loss in women over 50 is caused by a myriad number of reasons, when your scalp cannot grow sufficient hair. The amount of hair you shed each day is not in proportion to the hair that grows. Some reasons for hair loss include genes, malnutrition, stress, medication and various illnesses. You will begin to notice your hair is becoming noticeably thinner, or starting to fall in patches.
Genetic Hair Loss In Women After 50
The most common cause of hair loss in women over 50 is genetic female hair loss, also known as female pattern hair loss or Androgenic Alopecia. It could be inherited from either side of the family. Androgenic Alopecia affects women of all ages, beginning as young as a woman's late teens. The condition tends to exacerbate with age and the onset of menopause. With menopause, a woman's hormonal levels undergoes changes. Some of the changes could result in hair loss for women.
In a normal female body, both male and female hormones exist, with male hormones or androgens being very minimal in presence. With Androgenic Alopecia, the hormonal balance between male hormones and female hormones in a women's body is tipped in favor of more male hormones, or androgens. This causes the production of dihydrotestorone, which causes hair follicles to shrink before they mature. The hair texture begins to become thin and eventually loses its pigment. Hair also falls out prematurely. There is diffuse thinning starting from the top and middle of the scalp.
Stress Related Hair Loss After 50
Experiencing extreme stress and traumatic events can also cause hair loss in women over 50. As women grow in age and life experiences, some of the experiences the appear in your 50s and beyond could be unexpected and challenging. This could include events like undergoing major surgery, a death in the family, loss of a life-long job, serious illnesses, heart and liver diseases, divorce and other circumstances.
The resulting condition is known as Telogen Effluvium hair loss. It causes a large percentage of a woman's hair follicles become dormant very quickly. In a healthy hair growth cycle, hair follicles go through stages of growth and rest, with the majority of hair follicles staying active. When a woman experiences Telogen Effluvium, most of hair follicles will get into a rest phase and hair growth stops.
Some Medications And Illnesses Cause Hair Loss In Women After 50
The medications you are taking can also bring about hair loss in women over 50. These include drugs like anti-depressants, beta-blockers, androgens, retinoids and more. Illnesses like thyroid and diabetes could also bring about side effects of hair loss. In the case of thyroid, it can cause hair thinning because of weakened hair follicles. Thyroid disease affects the metabolism levels of hair follicles.
Smoking Causes Hair Loss In Women After 50
Several studies have shown that there are effects between smoking and hair loss in women over 50. In the latest study results released in 2011, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine announced findings that linked smoking with female hair loss. It appears that the more a woman has smoked, the more likely she will face temporal hair loss. Current smokers also seem to face higher risks with hair loss around the top of the head.
Skin Disorders Cause Hair Loss In Women After 50
Another cause of hair loss for women over 50 is the presence of skin disorders such as Tinea Capitis, commonly known as fungal infection of the scalp or ringworm of the scalp. It normally affects both males and females, but with age, especially post-menopausal ages there appears to be a higher incidence of fungal scalp infection amongst females than males (Chen et al, 2009). Infected scalp areas become bald, and one can see little dark spots on the scalp.
Hair Treatments Like Perm And Coloring Affects Hair Texture
A common myth about female hair loss is that perming and coloring causes loss can cause balding. A more accurate way to put it is that these actions could make hair appear thinner. While coloring your hair will cause hair stress and breakage, this will not make hair fall out of the follicles en masse like some of the causes of female hair loss. Still, it is something to consider. If you notice excessive breakage and damage to your hair texture from perms and color treatments, it may be time to tone down on these treatments.
Hair Loss In Women Over 50 - What Should You Do?
Causes Of Hair Loss In Women Over 50 Diagnosis
For women with hair loss over 50, it is always good to seek a professional diagnosis to understand why the hair loss is happening. Sometimes, hair loss in women could be a symptom of an undiagnosed serious illness happening, such as thyroid or diabetes. So it is would be helpful to thoroughly check and understand the causes behind the loss of hair. The test areas include the doctor looking into your physical pattern of hair loss, your medical history, blood work and skin biopsies.
Hair Loss Treatment Cure & Cause
Depending on the causes, hair loss in women over 50 can be treated and fully cured. If it is due to medications that change a woman's hormonal balance, substituting the current medication taken, or changing the doses may stop further hair loss. One woman in her 50s had an androgen producing tumor removed. Once removed, her hair grew back normally. Minoxidil or Rogaine for women is commonly prescribed for female hair loss. This topical solution seems to re-activate hair follicles that are miniaturizing. This slows down hair loss, as well as revitalize hair growth. More on how Rogaine for women works.
Keeping Your Scalp Healthy
Along with getting a proper diagnosis and treatment for female hair loss, it is also advisable observe basic hygiene and give your scalp some loving attention. Monitor your scalp to make sure it is clean and not too dry. If your scalp is consistently dry, it may not be not conducive to health hair growth. You could hydrate your scalp with oils. Another tip is to massage your scalp periodically. Massaging allows the scalp to have proper blood circulation and healthy hair growth. Some natural hair loss remedies include massaging your scalp with essential oils like lavender and tea tree oils. For more detailed natural remedies and exact recipes, check out the Natural Hair Regrowth For Women ebook resource.
There are many causes of hair loss in women over 50. The most common is hereditary female pattern hair loss. Stress, illnesses, smoking and skin disorders are other possible causes. Besides reviewing more articles to learn more about the possible solutions to female hair loss over 50, make it a point to seek out a hair specialist or doctor's help and diagnosis. You can also check out this list of effective hair loss products recommended by other women sufferers.