An Overview of the Factors That Lead to Hair Loss in Women

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It is only normal for people to lose about 100 hair strands in a day. This may either be noticeable or not, but most women easily feel uneasy whenever they notice that they are starting to lose more hair than usual.

There are many treatments available for hair loss in women. But before even thinking about getting any of these, find out first about the causes of the hair loss. Hair loss in women can be caused by a variety of factors. It can be the side effect of certain medications, or it can be due to mental or physical stress, diseases, hormonal imbalances, and a lot more.

Many women, whether they admit it or not, are very concerned about their physical appearance. This is the reason why they get very anxious when faced with the possibility of losing their hair. There are women who prepare themselves for the worst before undergoing certain procedures, such as chemotherapy. But no matter how prepared they thought they already were, most women still get surprised and agitated once they begin to actually lose their hair.

If you are uncertain about what is causing the abnormal falling out of your hair, it is best to check with your doctor about your condition. He can do the necessary tests or recommend that you see a dermatologist if needed.

It will be easier to understand what brings about this condition if you will know first how your body is able to produce hair. The growth cycle of human hair takes about two to six months. The average person grows hair up to half an inch every month. Even if you do not seem to notice it, up to 90 percent of your hair keeps on growing at any given time, while the rest (the remaining 10%) is at the dormant phase. After 2 to 3 months, the hairs from the dormant cycle will fall out, and new strands will take the place of the old ones. This will begin a new growth cycle. While this is happening, there are other portions of the hair that enter the dormant phase.

This is how hair growth typically works. When the cycle is hampered or certain factors cause it to accelerate, this is when you will start noticing that you are losing more than the usual number of strands of hair. The normal cycle of hair growth can be disrupted by many factors.

Sample Causes of Disruption of Hair Growth

Harsh treatments used on hair

Many hair products, which include bleaches, dyes, permanent waves and straightening chemicals, are safe for hair. It only becomes harmful if these chemicals are administered improperly or if you subject your hair to these treatments too often.

Certain hairstyles

The use of rubber bands and barrettes can also contribute to hair loss. These items can cause scars and inflammation on your hair follicles. It can even be worse if you love pulling your hair too tight. This can lead to traction alopecia. If the damage becomes too much, the hair loss from these causes can actually become permanent.

Female pattern baldness

This hereditary condition, which is also known as androgenetic alopecia, can also happen to men. Only a few women actually suffer from this. This happens when the male hormone testosterone changes into dihydrotestosterone or DHT. The condition will have great negative effect on your hair follicles. For women, the condition is likely to happen when they suffer from hormonal imbalance, specifically when they enter the menopausal period when their female hormones become fewer in number.

Hormonal Imbalances

These can happen due to other causes aside from hitting the menopausal stage. Women will suffer from hormonal imbalance when they take birth control pills or abruptly discontinue their use. This can also occur when they are pregnant or as a result of post-partum hormonal changes. Hair loss can also be attributed as a result of the removal of a woman’s ovary or uterus. When there is hormonal imbalance, a greater percentage of the hair follicles enter the resting period. There are other ailments and medical conditions that can also lead to this, such as lack in iron, thyroid disease, syphilis and other kinds of auto-immune diseases.

Pregnancy

When a woman is pregnant, some of their hormones are unusually high. The condition may lead to the retention of the hair that is normally shed, but will fall out in greater volumes three months after. In this case, it might take another three months for hair growth to come back to normal.

Certain illnesses and surgery

There are some kinds of physical or psychological ailments and surgical procedures that can cause more hair follicles to go into the resting phase. This is the body’s reaction to counter the sickness and help sustain its other vital functions, while ceasing the less important ones that include hair production. The usual period for hair loss and re-growth in this instance takes about six months.

Lack of nutrition

Hair loss can also be due to improper diet and eating disorders. In these situations, the hair follicles experience shock that may halt the growth of hair temporarily. This can also happen as a result of nutrient deficiency, such as the lack of vitamins, protein, minerals and others that may prompt the body to minimize hair growth and allot the available sustenance to the more important functions of the body.

Some types of vitamins and drugs

Extreme hair loss will likely be experienced by someone who is undergoing chemotherapy. The medical agents that are used in the procedure will attack fast-growing cells all over the body, which include hair follicles. Hair loss can also happen as a side effect of taking certain kinds of medications, like the ones that are used in treating gout and high blood pressure. You may also experience thinning of hair if your body has very high levels of vitamin A.

Aging

Hair growth becomes slower as people age. This is a normal process that is part of ageing. There may be some causes of hair loss that can be prevented, but there are also some that cannot be helped. In any case, it will help if you keep good habits in caring for your hair, and if you eat right all the time.

When it comes to treatments, their effects and effectiveness vary depending on the person taking the treatments. It is best that you know what the root of the problem is, so that you can find the most appropriate solution or treatment that can help solve the hair loss problem.

Sample Solutions and Treatments for Hair Loss

Topical creams and lotions

There are over-the-counter creams and lotions that are intended to cure hair loss and restore hair. These are specifically helpful to people who are losing hair due to hair thinning and hereditary causes. These topical treatments are usually applied directly on the scalp. For a thicker appearance of the hair, you can also use permanent waves or shampoo.

Anti-inflammatory treatments

These can come in the form of injections or steroid creams. These can be bought only when prescribed by a doctor. The chemicals work by giving the hair follicles a calming effect, especially when the cause of the problem is excessive hair pulling or the hair being subjected to strong chemicals. You have to keep your doctor informed about how your body is reacting to prescription drugs. If the medications are causing hair loss, he will suggest alternatives that will prevent this from happening.

Wigs

Aside from helping the person bring back his confidence and self-esteem, wigs can also help him maintain a “normal” appearance as he waits for the temporary hair loss condition to pass and for his hair to grow back.

Surgery

There are certain procedures that can now help in the restoration of a natural-looking hairline. This form of treatment is mostly availed of by men because hair loss in women is, more often than not, evenly distributed throughout the head. It is advised by the American Hair Loss Association for potential clients to be very careful when opting for the procedure because aside from being expensive, it can also lead to infection, and it is not typically covered by your insurance.