Did you know that 65% of women experience hair loss? Studies show that 30 million women suffer from hair loss every year. So if you’re feeling embarrassed and insecure about your hair loss, please be assured that hair loss is not a rare occurrence in women.
There are different causes for hair loss in women that range from short-term stress to long-term, medically-diagnosed conditions that require continuous or more aggressive treatment.
There are different types of hair loss with specific medical names.
Some women may experience hair loss at sporadic times, while others may routinely struggle with the condition until they find a solution that suits them. Some of the most common types of hair loss include:
Alopecia – Incurable, sudden hair loss that begins with circular bald patches due to an overactive immune system affecting 200,000 to 3 million people a year.
Telogen effluvium – A treatable hair loss condition that occurs when a person is facing a stressful experience.
Female pattern baldness – Baldness is typically talked about among males, but females also can experience permanent hair loss from the scalp, resulting in non-regrowth of hair.
If you are experiencing excessive hair loss, consulting a medical professional at the earliest is adviseable.
These are the most common causes of hair loss in women:
Stress – Stress is a leading cause of temporary hair loss. It can lead to excessive hair fall during the shedding phase. It is also the key reason behind thinning hair in young women, especially, due to the transitions they face through their late teens and 20s.
Post Pregnancy Shedding – Post-partum, women frequently experience short-term abnormal hair loss. Many women actually experience fuller, stronger hair while pregnant due to pre-natal vitamins. However, post-delivery, the hormones resume back to normal, causing more hair fall than regular.
Protein Deficiency – Low intake of dietary protein can also cause hair fall. Fish, meat, and eggs are good sources of protein that can easily be incorporated into a daily diet. Vegetarians have alternatives like nuts, quinoa, and beans. It is ideal to consult with a nutritionist or your doctor to implement a healthy eating plan.
Hormonal Imbalance – Hair loss in young women is more common if they switch birth control medication or stop taking it altogether. The flux in hormone levels can cause side effects, such as hair loss, to occur. Anything that interrupts the hormonal balance in the body can be a factor in a woman losing her hair.
Anemia – It is caused due to an iron deficiency and can be helped by taking an iron supplement daily. Anemia affects one in every 10 women ages 20 through the 40s. Hair loss is a common symptom of anemia.
Dramatic Weight Loss – When sudden changes occur, the hair cycle responds accordingly. A sudden drop in weight due to an illness or eating disorder can cause excessive hair fall.
Most of these causes are short-term conditions that lead to hair loss in women. However, many may face more long-term challenges of hair loss due to hormones or simply heredity.
Hair Loss Diagnosis and How It Differs for Women
Hair loss for men is more straightforward than it is for women. Hair fall in women can be because of a range of conditions and circumstances.
In order to properly diagnose the root cause of hair loss, there are tests that can be performed to pinpoint the triggering factor(s). These tests can eliminate the possibility of certain conditions and help in finding the treatable reason behind those disorders. Sometimes testing for hair loss is a process of elimination to get to the root of the problem.
Common diagnostic tests that women may experience include testing for:
Hormone levels (DHEA, testosterone, androstenedione, prolactin)
VDRL (a screening test for syphilis)
Complete blood count (CBC)
The hair pull test is another optional diagnostic test, which is just as it sounds. A hair expert will gently tug at a small amount of hair at the same time to determine if excessive loss is apparent. Typically speaking, a “normal range” is one to three hairs shed per pull.
According to the American Hair Loss Association, about 85% of men will have significant hair thinning by the time they turn 50, and some men will even begin to lose hair as early as 21.
If you are facing significant hair loss, we can assure you that you can tackle this challenging phase of your life with confidence. The key is to know what type of hair loss you’re experiencing, what’s causing it, and the different treatment options you can choose from.
Types of Hair Loss
The following four are the most common types of hair fall that men can expect to experience:
Involutional alopecia is the gradual thinning of the hair that occurs with age. It is a natural condition that happens as more and more hair follicles go into the telogen, or “resting” phase. In this phase, hair continues to get shorter with fewer hairs growing, and it becomes harder to regrow hair.
Also known as male pattern baldness, this is a hereditary condition characterized by a receding hairline and gradual disappearance of the hair from the top of the scalp. This condition is responsible for the vast majority of hair loss in males.
It can affect both men and women, but men can experience this type of hair loss as early as their teens or early 20’s. Men who suffer from male pattern baldness have actually inherited hair follicles that have a genetic sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT shortens the lifespan of the affected hair follicles, and eventually stops the production of new follicles.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune skin disease that results in hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere on the body. It occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, which is where hair growth begins. Although it is temporary, the experts do not know the cause of the attack on the hair follicles.
Due to this condition, clumps of hair fall out, which causes small, round patches of the visible and exposed scalp on top of the head. In about 90% of people with this condition, the hair may return within a few years.
Telogen Effluvium is a temporary condition that develops when there is a change in the number of hair follicles growing hair. It is caused by a large number of hairs entering the Telogen or “resting” phase at the same time, which causes the hair follicles to become dormant, and subsequent shedding and thinning occurs.
However, just knowing the types of hair loss is not enough. It’s important to understand the causes, and if there are any preventative measures one can take to help minimize hair loss.
Causes for Hair Loss
Several causes may lead to hair loss. Luckily, in most cases, the condition is temporary and hair regrowth for men is possible.
Medical conditions, such as thyroid disease, lupus, diabetes, iron deficiency, eating disorders, and anemia can all cause hair loss. In many cases, once the underlying problem is treated, hair restoration can be expected.
A balanced diet is a key to good health. Protein, iron, zinc and biotin deficiencies have all been linked to hair loss. In addition to deficiencies, having too much of certain nutrients, such as vitamin A or carotenes can also cause premature male pattern baldness.
Short-term, everyday stress, such as work or family life, is relatively harmless for your hair. A major life event though, or something that causes you to lose sleep at night or a change in appetite, could raise the level of stress hormones in your body. Hopefully, this condition will be temporary. Hormones Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) shortens the growth cycle of your hair and increases the resting phase.
Overtime, hair begins to grow less and becomes shorter until it stops growing altogether. Unfortunately, genes can make certain hair follicles (usually in the front and crown of the head) especially sensitive to this hormone. Furthermore, excess levels of testosterone often result in higher levels of DHT and therefore an increase in hair loss or baldness.
More than 95% of male hair loss is due to male pattern baldness, which is genetic. Contrary to popular belief, this gene can come from either parent. Unfortunately, this type of hair loss is impossible to prevent, but there are men’s hair growth treatments that can help counteract the genetic trait when used early enough in the hair loss process.
One of the most difficult parts of hair loss is knowing the right product or products to use to help treat it. Vivandi Trichology Center provides the best treatment to use for the type of hair loss you have.