Hair Loss In Women: Are Women Big Losers?
The problem of hair loss in women has been a subject of household talks since time immemorial. However, unlike baldness in men which has been widely known, hair loss in women is actually uncommon. This is probably the reason that we don’t hear or read as much about it. But, numerous recent researches have revealed that hair loss in women is far more widespread than formerly thought. Some statistical estimates show that in the United States alone, about 25 million or more American women experience hair loss that is extremely noticeable. This report was also linked to the fact that the effects of baldness are far more distressing in women that many have felt unwanted and inferior. Yes, a lot of women suffer psychologically and emotionally because of hair loss than men do.
So are women who happen to be bald big losers?
That’s what the society had established. But the truth of the matter is, hair loss in women is not a matter of escape. Just like men, women are subject to it, and so we really can’t escape it. In fact, numerous studies have shown that women normally loose between 100 to 125 strands of hair on a single day. There are some that experience more hair loss than is normal. Well, these strands shed out naturally because our hairs pass through the process of what many experts call as, “resting phase”. This phase involves the period in which ten percent of our hair is in, but after two to three months of resting, they fall out, giving way to new hair to grow in its place.
As we get older, women experience some hair loss, the same as with men. A sense of normality is associated with this again. As what many experts have said, this is just part of the aging process. However, unlike men who typically experience hair loss characterized by a receding hair line and baldness on the top of the head, women experience hair loss but don’t do entirely bald, although their hair loss is extreme or severe. What happens, in fact, is that the hair loss is spread out over the entire scalp.
So that’s said. Hair loss in women must not be a matter of shame. It should not be a basis for us to say that women are losers when they get bald. There are a lot of women out there who were elected to be bald at one time or another. The well-known names in record are celebrities like Demi Moore, Sigourney Weaver, and Sinead O’Connor. They are the ones who got the guts to thumb their nose and walked in the aisle of fame with strong sense of self-esteem despite their being bald. If you want to be strong like them, then there’s no need for you to worry much about hair loss. Besides, you can do something to prevent or treat it as there are some options out there for you to choose from.
But before we proceed to hair loss treatment, let us first note and understand how hair loss appears in women and what its possible causes are. Please read on.
The Appearance of Female Hair Loss
As mentioned earlier, hair loss happens in women and men differently. How it appears in women is highly different from how it appears in men. According to some studies, hair loss in women is often characterized by a partial baldness. They do not develop bald spots on the crown of the head. What usually appears is just an overall thinning of the hair and this has something to do with both the thickness and quantity of each and every strand on the head.
Aside from that, it is also perhaps worth noting that some women who experience baldness at some point in their lives develop a somewhat receding line on their head. But, this line rarely appears and is rarely noticeable than what most men experience.
So that’s basically how hair loss in women differs from hair loss in men.
Causes of Female Hair Loss
If you happen to be one of the millions of women out there who suffer from baldness or hair loss, perhaps the best thing that you can do aside from knowing how hair loss in women differs from hair loss in men is to know the real reason why you are losing your hair. Yes, this is indeed critical before you go out and look for a hair loss remedy or treatment.
So what exactly are the causes of hair loss? Why women experience hair loss at some point in their lives?
The answer is so simple. It is just necessary to note and understand in the first place that hair loss in women is caused by a number of factors, just like in men. These factors include heredity, medical, pregnancy, stress, unfavorable habits, and a lot more. To know more about these factors, continue reading.
• Hereditary Factors
Surprising as it may seem, hair loss runs in the family. Because of this, hair loss can’t be cured someday. It can begin any time after puberty, but is usually observed to set in before the person reaches her 40s. Several reports have also noted that hair loss in women due to hereditary factors may accelerate around the time that a woman reaches her menopausal stage.
The hereditary cause of hair loss is often called as androgenetic alopecia. Estimates have it that this condition occurs in fifteen percent or less of the American women. It involves a chemical process by which the hormones and dehydrotestosterone (DHT) blend, causing the hair follicles in the head to collapse. This is also true with baldness in men. Although this chemical process occurs in both men and women, the appearance of hair loss in both genders is poles apart. Women tend to suffer from thinning of hair, while men tend to develop bald spots on their head. A receding hairline is also very common among men.
It is further worth noting that due to hereditary factors that cause hair loss for women and men, several experts have found out that the differences in follicles between both sexes may also contribute to the dissimilarities in how hair loss appears in men and women. Basically, the hair tends to spring out and grow straight up to the follicle for men. This is what basically triggers the oil and other secretions on the scalp to build up and trap the hair follicles. However, a different process happens in women. The female hair may tend to grow out of its follicle at an angle, and this is what basically allows the secretions and oil in the scalp to flow more readily out of the hair follicle.
Hair loss in women is also caused largely by hormonal imbalances in the woman’s body. Well, it is extremely worth noting that men and women, in terms of hormones, differ significantly that women tend experience far more hormonal issues than men do. These hormonal issues even happen at a far greater frequency, causing the hair to easily collapse and fall.
Perhaps the most common hormonal issue associated with hair loss is when the androgens and estrogens in the woman’s body are out of balance. It was further found out through recent studies that an overactive or underactive thyroid gland can also contribute a big part to hair loss.
The issue on pregnancy can actually be included under the hormonal factors. However, due to the fact that women are the only ones who are capable of bearing a child and that this stage is highly associated to hair loss, I prefer to stress out this factor individually.
So pregnancy can be a great cause to female hair loss. The explanation behind this claim holds that during pregnancy, a large amount of estrogen is produced in the body. This large amount of the hormone estrogen is what basically triggers the hair follicles to go into their growth phase. However, once the nine months of agony is over, the hormonal balance is restored, and along with this stage of restoration, the opposite happens – the hair follicles will start to enter its hair loss phase, allowing new strands to grow in its place. Note that hair loss occurs in women after pregnancy because of the physiological impact of the pregnancy on the female’s body.
Ageing is but another hair loss-causing factor to consider. As far as I know, the usual age for hair loss to occur is between the ages of 20 to 50. There are other women, however, who arrive at the advance stages of loosing hair earlier than others do. These stages of balding though become increasingly noticeable as women mature or advance in age.
A number of drugs or medications can cause female hair loss. The list may include blood thinners, anti-depressants, anti-cholesterol drugs, chemotherapy drugs, birth control pills, anti-coagulants, arthritis medications, amphetamines, antibiotics, gout medicines, drugs for ulcers, drugs derived from vitamin A, and a lot more. The list is indeed endless.
It is interesting to know that of all those above mentioned medications, the most commonly noted form of medication that largely cause hair loss to occur is chemotherapy. As you all know, this technique is applied for cancer patients. I bet you all know also that those who are treated with this technique lose their hairs, not just strands, but ALL strands of hair, leaving them hairless in the end. You probably have a friend or a family member who experienced chemotherapy. Well, chemotherapy is that potent to cause hair loss for the fact that when it is applied to the cancer patient, it attacks the cells of the hair with its powerful matrix. This is what actually causes a 90% hair loss from the scalp as all the follicles shed their hair all about the same time.
Another cancer treatment capable of causing sudden hair loss is radiation therapy.
• Severe Stress
Did you know that stress when severe can cause your hair to shed and fall? Well, that’s what most of the recent studies have found out. I guess the explanation behind this claim lies on the fact that when a person is severely stressed, the growth of the hair is slowed down. When the slowing down of new hair growth happens, the tendency is a large number of hair follicles enter the known stage of “resting phase”. A few months after a stressful event, the hair follicles will start to shed hair in large number. Sometimes, hair loss during this stage happens at the same time. According to some experts, the most common victims of this condition are those women in their 40’s to 60’s. And, don’t forget that this condition is known medically as “telogen effluvium”.
• Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is also considered as a disorder in the immune system that causes hair follicles to shed hair and stop producing new growths. Although not well identified in terms of how it truly works to affect hair loss, certain studies show that when this disorder occurs in the individual what follows is an inflammation of the follicles in the scalp. It will even affect the surrounding hair structures. When this happens, the hair follicles in the scalp will tend to rest into the deeper layers of the skin, blocking the supply of essential nutrients. As the follicles starve, the hair will then start shedding, leading to hair loss. Note that this condition does not only occur in women, but also in most men.
Trichotillomania is in the first place the term used to refer to the unfavorable habit of constant hair pulling. If you happen to be one of those who used to pull their hair unconsciously, you should then note that this is something that is not medical, but psychological. Yes, pulling your hair constantly is a psychological disorder, and sad but true, millions of people around the world suffer from this disorder. Most of them are adult women who have developed low self-esteem, depressed, anxious, or dissatisfied with their bodies. So better be aware of that.
Are you the type that is so conscious with weight or body posture? So you’re considering dieting? If so, then better know that dieting can be a major factor to cause hair loss. Numerous studies have found out that those who are trying to lose weight have the tendency of lose hair. The hair loss due to dieting can be noticeable even in just a short period of time. This will further be triggered when you use excessive amount of vitamin A, as a dietary supplement.
• Improper Hair Cosmetics
Millions of women today use chemical treatments on their hair. These treatments may include bleaches, tints, dyes, permanent waves, and straighteners. According to some studies, these chemical products can damage hair and cause hair loss if applied improperly. They will cause the hair to become weak and break and this is highly possible if they are used too often. They can also damage hair if the solution considered is left on the hair too long, or two procedures are done in a single day. This is no doubt the reason that most shampoos and conditioners out there have instructions on their labels for the users to read and follow.
Also remember that combing your hair too often will cause your hair to break. So if you are told to brush your hair 100 times every night…hmmm… don’t follow that old rule. Instead, use combs that have wide teeth or brushes with smooth tips. Consider a proper hair care.
So everything about the hair loss causes has been said. Are you now ready to learn what possible treatments there may be for hair loss? If so, then great! Again, just continue reading. You will be surprised in the end how much this article can help you prevent hair loss or balding.
Hair Loss Treatments for Women
To tell you honestly, a lot of options are out there available to treat your hair loss. However, due to their massive numbers, finding the best treatment can then be puzzling and time consuming. Well, note that that is the reason why this article was written. So if you happen to be a victim of serious, or extreme hair loss or if you have a friend or wife who has been affected psychologically and emotionally because of hair loss and want to help her fight the condition, then there’s no reason for you not to read the following details.
There are about two main types of treatment available for female hair loss. The first has long been considered as the topical treatments, while the other falls
under the surgical treatment category. Let’s consider these types of female hair
loss treatment closely.
• Topical Hair Loss Treatment
As far as I know, there is only one specific topical treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration for hair loss in women. That treatment is none other than minoxidil. Well, according to some claims, this medication is now marketed bearing the name Rogaine. It is readily available over the counter in most drugstores and grocery outlets throughout the world. And, because of its strong popularity, Rogaine or minoxidil is now marketed even online. So it’s no wonder that even single clicks on your mouse can lead you to where this hair loss treatment dwell.
But, how is that Rogaine is very popular as a topical hair loss treatment?
Simple! Rogaine or minoxidil is said to be highly effective at restoring hair growth. It also helps to lessen the appearance of thinning hair in women. However, the medication does not just end shortly. The truth of the matter is, it may take you months before the ultimate result becomes noticeable. But, so far, this happens depending on the female hair types as there are some types of hair that easily respond to this treatment.
Now, to apply Rogaine, make sure that you use it in the privacy of your home. Then, continue using it indefinitely to maintain the re-growth of your hair. Note that if it is discontinued, those hairs that have re-grown may return to their original, breakable hair or loss their strength again.
• Surgical Treatments
Females are said to be better candidates for surgical hair loss treatments. Perhaps this idea stems from the fact that women rarely lose all their hair than men do. However, considering a surgical hair loss treatment is not just an easy process. Every woman should need first to consult their doctor before any procedure be taken. Well, a consultation with your doctor is a very important thing to consider as it is your doctor only who is capable of telling you the truth about the condition of your hair.
Aside from that, your doctor is the only one who can tell you what the best solution would be for your hair loss condition. If he or she tells you to undergo hair transplant, it is likely that he or she will also be the one who will do the procedure for you.
So if you are currently suffering from hair loss and you want the best for you hair, then it’s definitely best for you to consult with your hair restoration surgeon first before you undergo any of the possible surgical treatment there is for your hair loss. Also make sure that you understand the cause of your condition as this will help you to determine the best options for you.
Lastly, always remember that extreme hair loss may be a warning sign of a more chronic disorder, like diabetes and lupus, so it is very vital to talk to your doctor and ask for his or her help or recommendation. This is pretty practical and simple, isn’t it?