Suffering from hair loss is of great importance to many men but is devastating for women and can cause a great loss of self-esteem. Women are judged so much more on appearance than men and the great need for women to have the perfect body, perfect skin, voluminous, gorgeous tresses, etc. If you are suffering from hair loss as a woman, you are not alone and there are many therapies available. But before treating the issue, it is essential to determine the type you are dealing with.
The effects of hair loss in women are devastating and often extremely stressful. Most think that hair loss is only a man’s issue and therefore are confused and frustrated when it happens to them. In reality women, hair loss is more endemic than most people realize. The good news is that in a large percentage of women, hair loss is treatable, preventable and reversible.
The most popular causes come from temporary hormonal issues associated with unusual stress, high fever and infection, major surgery, crash diets, and chemotherapy, certain drugs, and pregnancy. These conditions are usually temporary and once the issue is alleviated, the hair thinning stops and healthy regrowth usually occurs.
If the hair loss is not related to a metabolic issue, it is most likely due to Female Pattern Hair Loss. Unlike men, women do not lose their hair in the typical horseshoe pattern on the head, but rather in an overall thinning at the hairline and top of your head. This kind of loss may appear at any time after puberty but is most commonly seen after the menopause. In Female Patter Hair Loss, the male hormone testosterone is converted to Dihydrotestosterone or DHT. This hormone then proceeds to influence the vulnerable hairs to become thin and eventually fall out. There are different of reasons why women could be experiencing hair loss:
Normal Locks Loss
Many individuals become concerned about their situation when they see hair on their clothing, in the shower or on the pillow. Though, hair is constantly going through cycles of growth, shedding and resting. It only becomes a concern when hairs that are lost are not replaced. The average person sheds roughly 50 – 100 hair per day.
Radiation and chemotherapy therapy stop the growth of hair follicles within their hair cycle, causing sudden hair loss as those follicles shed their hair at about the same time. Other medications such as amphetamines, anticoagulants, antidepressants, some antibiotics, some blood thinners, some medications for ulcers, high blood pressure and gout also cause hair to fall out.
Sebum is the fatty substance that is secreted from your sebaceous glands which open into hair follicles. When sebum builds up in the follicles it attacks the hair bulb, resulting in the shrinking of the hair bulb until the hair strand grows weaker and weaker and eventually dies.
After menopause, about 1/3 of every woman find their hair begins to thin due to hormonal changes in their bodies. While there are different treatments for hormone replacement, there are also side effects associated with many of them and experimentation and discussion with a healthcare expert are recommended.
Many women experience hair loss after pregnancy, typically during the first 4 to 6 months after giving birth. Most noticeable are large amount amounts of hair coming out after washing or after brushing or combing their hair. This is caused by the hormonal changes occurring within the woman’s body, causing the hair to go into a resting stage, and regularly resolves itself within 6 months.
Stress is a regular factor in hair loss, which ironically often leads to additional hair loss due to the added anxiety. A stressful event can cause a huge number of hair follicles to enter the resting (telogen) phase at the same time, causing sudden excess shedding. Women subject their hair to many daily stresses that can bring about hair damage and hair loss. A few such women hair loss causes include:
- Permanent waves
- Hair coloring
- Harsh shampoos
- Hair bleaching
- Frequent wearing of tight ponytails, braids, and other hair restraints
- Improper or harsh brushing or combing of hair
- Frequent use of blow dryers, curling irons and other heated appliances
While these things generally do not cause instant or permanent hair loss in females, they do often result to dry, damaged hair that is more likely to break off and therefore appear thinner and more brittle. In women whose hair is already thin due to hormonal changes that come with aging, actions such as these can have a huge impact on hair appearance.
For women with a predisposition to female pattern hair loss and has a history of it in her family member, should advise her physician before going on the pill. Following discontinuation of the pill, there may be the noticeable shedding of 2 to 3 months later and may last for up to 6 months. Women who are vulnerable to Androgenic Alopecia (Female Pattern Hair Loss) can come through hair loss at a much younger age by being on birth control pills.
Androgenetic Hair loss is the genetic predisposition in men and women for hair loss. Contrary to popular belief, the responsible trait can be carried through either the mother or father’s side of the family.
Severe illnesses and infections can cause loss and thin of hair. These may include hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, diabetes, thyroid problem, as well as fungal infections on the scalp.
Many women come across overall thinning at the tops of their head as they age. Prior to menopause, roughly 13 percent of women experience thinning hair. After menopause, this number increases to roughly 37 percent.
Loss of hair may occur when androgens (male hormones) and estrogens (female hormones) are out of balance. Also, either underactive or overactive thyroid can bring about hair loss as well. If you are a woman experiencing thinning of the hair, the first thing to do is get right diagnosed by your family doctor or dermatologist through a series of tests to define the cause. These tests include a thorough physical examination and medical history as well as blood tests checking the blood count, thyroid, iron, and glucose levels.
Common Types of Hair Loss in Women
- Friction alopecia results from wearing too tight wigs or hats which can be remedied once these behaviors are stopped.
- Traction alopecia results from certain hairdressing practices such as wearing tight cornrows, tight braids, tight ponytails, etc., that pulls at the hair follicles and sometimes pulling the hair right out of the hair follicle. This can inflame the hair follicle leading to stunted hair growth and a lack of hair growing out of the hair growth, especially along the hairline.
- Alopecia total is a severe form of alopecia areata that leads to total hair loss on the scalp or body when our bodies inexplicably attack all the hair follicles.
- Telogen effluvium represents excessive amounts of hair shedding which is often experienced by women after a pregnancy or illness. New growth will usually replace this shed hair after a period of time.
- Anogen effluvium is the hair loss that results from undergoing chemotherapy.
- Symptomatic alopecia results from infection of the skin or scalp, disease, nervousness, etc.
- Cicatricial alopecia results from scarring on the scalp due to many reasons like hot hair oil burning the scalp. When there is scar tissue, there is not a chance of hair being able to regrow in this area.
- Alopecia areata is a kind of hair loss in women that causes small hairless spots on various areas of the scalp. These bald patches often feel very smooth to the touch since there is completely no hair in the area where there was once hair.
Hair loss treatment
Hair loss treatment is not necessary in most cases. If hair loss is due to pregnancy, it will usually regrow the following childbirth. If it is due to the anesthesia used during surgery, it will usually regrow on its own. If hair loss is due to a poor diet plan, improving this diet is often all the treatment that is needed. If you wish to haste the natural hair regrowth process, you can try a hair loss treatment. If hair loss is due to a medical problem, such as thyroid issues, you will need to see a physician to get a medical treatment. Your hair may perhaps regrow on its own. If not, you may want to try some hair loss treatments.
If the hair loss is due to the normal aging, then there are several hair loss treatments you can try. There are topical treatments like Rogaine, which you apply on your scalp. There are also medicines, such as Propecia. Both of these have been confirmed to help treat hair loss in women. If you are on any medications, talk to a doctor to make sure these treatments are safe for you.
Hair reduction for women is usually attributed to a wide variety of factors that are well-known to be causes of a hair loss including lifestyle stresses (job, family), scalp conditions, anemia or iron depletion, issues with body organs such as the liver, kidneys or thyroid, emotional stresses, diseases, or the lack of essential nutrients and vitamins in the body which it needs to maintain good health.
This final factor that focuses on vitamin deficiency has given rise to a renewed interest in vitamins for hair loss in women. The increased interest in these kinds of vitamins is a combination of new research findings which have identified clearly which types of vitamins are best for preventing a hair loss plus the low costs related to simple diet changes or simply taking vitamins in tablet form to address a hair thinning issue.
Here are the vitamins for hair loss in women: The 5 essential vitamins for hair loss in women consist of vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin E, vitamin A and vitamin B7
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) may be classified as one of the vitamins for women with hair thinning problems since it helps with protein creation which in turn makes for healthful hair as shown by thick, shiny hair with a great amount of texture. Food resources for B1 consist of citrus fruit (strawberries, pineapple), whole grains, green vegetables, soybean, dried beans, rice, eggs, and meat (red meats, fish, turkey, and chicken).
- Another one of an essential vitamins for hair loss in women is Vitamin C. It contains antioxidants which help the body to convert carbohydrates and fats into energy allowing for healthier hair and skin. Another benefit is the creation of healthy collagen which helps to bind tissue together and prevents hair from breaking and the ends from splitting. Food resources for Vitamin C consist of green peppers, green vegetables, tomatoes, citrus fruits, and potatoes.
- When looking at vitamins for hair loss in women, one cannot forget about the role played by Vitamin E. Most individuals think of Vitamin E as a healing agent, but it also plays a crucial role in enhancing our immune system so we stay healthy. It also increased the oxygen uptake, which improves circulation to the scalp and subsequently acts to improve the health and hair growth.
- Another one of the essential vitamins for hair loss in women is Vitamin A. This vitamin will help your entire body produce the right amount of sebum that your scalp needs in order to encourage the growth of hair and become stronger. Good sources of vitamin A are milk, eggs, liver, fortified cereals, darkly colored orange or vegetables including carrots, kale, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes.
- Vitamin B7 or Biotin is heavily involved in the production and growth of the hair and nails which makes it very one of an essential vitamins for hair loss in women. The B7 helps the body to better utilize the building blocks known as amino acids, to replace and repair the tissues in our bodies. Biotin has also required the making of keratin, the protein needs to build both hair and nails. Good sources of B7 are from eggs, rice, liver, milk, soy and brewer’s yeast.
These 5 key vitamins for hair loss in women may be easily achieved by simply following the healthy eating plan. If you are unable to consume some of the foods listed that are excellent resources for these important vitamins to help prevent hair thinning in women, and then another alternative is to take vitamin pills containing these important vitamins to help prevent a hair loss.