People consider minimal hair loss or hair shedding quite normal. A few strands of hair pulled out when grooming is usually nothing to be alarmed about. You find hair on your brush. A few strands may sometimes come out while shampooing. You may even find hair on your pillow. A normal amount of hair loss is part of the hair’s natural growth cycle.
This cycle lasts around 24 to 36 months. On average, women’s hair grows at least 1 centimeter per month, then goes into a dormant or resting phase. It then is supposed to naturally shed every 90 to 120 days. This level of hair loss is normal, and is not a reason for concern.
But there are some unfortunate cases where women experience overly thinning hair. If you notice that you are shedding more hair than usual, you should investigate quickly to hopefully stem the problem before the hair loss becomes dramatic. For most women, excessive hair loss is very undesirable because hair adds to a woman’s physical beauty and is often referred to as her “crowning glory”.
So, basically, what are the causes of hair loss in women? Why does it happen? What are the factors that cause to hair to deviate from the normal hair growth cycle? Can it be prevented? How can it be treated? Read on and become more informed.
First off, know that there are two types of hair loss: temporary and permanent. Roughly 33% of women in the world suffer from Alopecia – the medical term for hair loss. Androgenetic Alopecia is permanent and also known as female pattern baldness. In this case, baldness is limited to the front, sides or crown of the head; unlike men whose baldness is complete. It is rare for women to be bald entirely, but this can still be devastating, as the front hairline is easily noticeable.
Regarding the types of temporary hair loss, there are several reasons for hair loss in women. Let us discuss one by one the causes of hair loss in women according to its type. By doing so, you will get a bird’s eye view of why women suffer excessive shedding of hair, temporarily and permanently.
- Androgenetic Alopecia or Female-Pattern Baldness – Can you say blame it on your parents? Heredity is the likely cause of this one. For women with hair issues passed down from parents and grandparents, they will naturally experience hair loss at a certain age. However, the pattern, the extent and the speed on the hair loss depends upon the family genes.
- Cicatricial (scarring) Alopecia – Women with lupus erythematosus or lichen planus are most likely to suffer this type of Alopecia. Their scalp becomes inflamed and it causes scarring of the hair follicle. This prevents growth of new hair and that can causes permanent loss of hair.
- Alopecia Areata – Is an autoimmune disease that is triggered by a virus or anything in the environment (like an allergy), which is one of the causes of hair loss in womenthat is easily reversed and tends to grow back after the initial allergic or immune system reaction. This can happen several times in a woman’s life and it is also a hereditary disorder.
- Telogen Effluvium – One problem that causes hair loss in womenis this syndrome wherein an emotional or physical shock sends the hair into its resting state prematurely. However, after the hair falls out, it does grow back again.
- Traction Alopecia – Women who love to go to salons and have their hair treated – beware! Too much pulling of the hair or extreme styling can damage the roots of your hair and cause it to fall out. Frequently wearing wigs or weaves are a huge contributor to cases of traction alopecia.
- Medicines and Medical Treatments – Women undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments often experience hair loss, but it will usually grow back eventually. Some women also experience hair loss when taking birth control pills and medications for illnesses like gout, arthritis, heart issues, high blood pressure and depression.
- Hormonal Imbalance – Times such as pregnancy, childbirth, stopping of oral pills, and menopause are all causes of hair loss in women. Unstable thyroid glands throw hormone production off kilter and thus affect the normal growth cycle of hair. However, once the event passes, hair will usually grow again at its normal pace.
- Trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder) – This is a condition wherein a woman pulls her hair out. This can be an unconscious habit, or a result of stress and anxiety. The results are often patches of bald spots all over the head and sometimes, it is hard to re-stimulate hair growth.
- Scalp Infections – Infections, such as ringworm can grow on scalp and causes a nasty infection. On the affected area, hair often falls out, as the patchy scaly infection can choke off hair follicles. However, this is usually resolved by using topical or oral medications.
- Poor Diet – One of the causes of female hair loss is having a poor diet, or worse engaging in yo-yo dieting. This results in poor nutrition and your hair does not have the nutrients needed to thrive. Eating right and nourishing yourself well will promote proper hair growth – that is why you have to eat adequate amounts of iron and protein to prevent premature hair loss.
Knowing the causes of hair loss in women, be they temporary or permanent is the first step to reversing it. With this knowledge, you are better equipped to prevent hair loss, the may treat it if it has already begun. By correctly identifying the reason, you can take advantage of the many hair loss treatments available in the market. One of the most popular products to restore hair is Rogaine with Minoxidil. However, consulting a physician can accurately pinpoint the reason for your hair loss and start you on your way to recovery.
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