Women’s Hair Loss: 6 Causes That Might Be To Blame
Female pattern baldness and thinning hair can be painful, devastating, and hard to handle for most women. One in four women have it. Millions more women suffer female hair loss as a result of alopecia, chemotherapy and other medical treatments. However, women can also experience hair loss from unexpected causes such as excessive styling, birth control, stress and more. Continue reading this blog to learn more about these 6 causes of women’s hair loss that may be to blame.
Excessive hair styling and coloring can lead to women’s hair loss. Firstly, applying heat on a regular basis such as blow dryers, straighteners and curling irons can severely damage the hair.
Therefore, intense heat used on a daily basis can lead to significant hair damage that can ultimately cause hair loss. Additionally, when the hair is over chemically saturated from constant coloring or bleaching, the hair is weakened and easily breaks off at the shaft or root leading to temporary hair loss. The good news is that once the chemical reaction stops, the roots can begin growing again. However, if you were to continue coloring your hair or not seek hair restoration treatment, the damage will continue to worsen.
Lastly, hair styling such as tight braids or having your hair tightly pulled back can lead to hair loss. If this happens, you’ll notice gradual hair loss, mostly at the hairline, from chronic pulling of the hair. This is also medically known as traction alopecia.
According to Healthline, Birth control pills can cause hair loss in women who are especially sensitive to the hormones the pill contains or who have a family history of hormone-related hair loss.
Hair normally grows in cycles. Anagen is the active phase. During this phase, your hair grows from its follicle. This period can last for two to seven years. Catagen is the transitional stage when your hair growth stops. It lasts for about 10 to 20 days. Telogen is the resting phase. During this phase, your hair doesn’t grow. Between 25 and 100 hairs are shed daily in this phase, which can last for up to 100 days. Birth control pills cause the hair to move from the growing phase to the resting phase too soon. This form of hair loss is called telogen effluvium. Large amounts of hair can fall out during this process. Furthermore, if baldness runs in your family, birth control pills can speed up the hair loss process (Source).
It’s common for new mom’s to experience some form of hair loss and for some to lose more than others.
A main reason why you may see hair loss is because during pregnancy changes in women’s hormone levels cause your hair to stay in a resting phase for longer, so you lose less hair on a daily basis. However, after you’ve given birth and your hormones have gone back to normal — usually at about 12 weeks after delivery — more hair shifts into a shedding phase. Which means, you may notice an alarming amount of hair left on the brush or coming out by the handful (Source).
This can be very disturbing, but try not to worry too much as this type of hair loss isn’t normally permanent.
Everyone becomes stressed every once in a while. However, short-term everyday stress such as being late for work or anticipating a big event is not going to affect your body in such a way that causes hair loss. Constant higher levels of stress that make you tired or affect your appetite raises the level of stress hormones, which can lead to hair loss.
The natural hair growth and loss process is hindered by the effects of physiological stress, which is typically due to changes in diet or medical issues. The physiological stress disrupts the natural process and forces more hairs to “rest” then eventually fall out.
The good news is, hair loss caused by stress such as a disease called alopecia areata are typically temporary. The best plan of action is to talk to your doctor for more information on how to reduce your stress. Additionally, talk to a hair restoration and replacement specialist who can offer an effective scalp analysis to best determine which solution is best for you. Laser hair therapy, or even custom wigs specifically designed for individuals with alopecia areata, are two possible solutions available to help with the effects of hair loss caused by stress.
Your body thrives on the vitamins and nutrients it receives. The opposite effect can happen with vitamin deficiencies such as a lack of iron or vitamin b. For instance, a lot of women lose vitamins when dieting, which can lead to hair loss. When cutting out food groups, you may not be receiving the necessary vitamins and nutrients the body and hair need. For example, a popular diet trend is to eat fruits and vegetables only, while cutting out carbohydrates and meats. Fruits and vegetables are vital for hair growth as these foods provide vitamins A, C and E as well as zinc. However, whole grain contains the needed iron our bodies need and meat provides protein that makes hair strong and the body more energetic. When starting a new diet, be sure you are not removing foods that help your body thrive and provide the nutrients you need to boost your overall health.
Women especially already commonly experience an iron deficiency problem. Iron is one of the more common nutrient deficiencies in the U.S., especially among women. “The Journal of Korean Medical Science found that while iron’s role in hair loss isn’t entirely clear, it does appear that getting plenty of iron may help prevent female pattern hair loss, especially in premenopausal women. That’s why getting plenty of iron-rich foods is important, and meeting iron RDAs (18 milligrams for women ages 19 to 50, 8 milligrams for women over age 50, 27 milligrams for pregnant women, and 9 milligrams for nursing women) is necessary to maintain healthy locks” (Source).
Unlike hair loss caused by stress, which is typically temporary, some causes of hair loss are permanent and unavoidable. Male and female pattern hair loss is a hereditary condition with a strong genetic susceptibility. Hereditary-pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss. Hereditary-pattern baldness is not necessarily a disease, but a natural condition caused by some combination of genetics, hormone levels and the aging process. Women can also inherit these genes from either parent or both (Source).
Many forms of hair loss can be caused by stress as well as genetics. Some of these forms may have permanent effects while others are temporary. The most common forms of hair loss are alopecia areata, andogenetic areata and telogen effluvium. Although it was stated before that alopcia areata can be caused by stress, it has also been known to be a hereditary disease.
Whether you experience permanent or temporary hair loss, there are several solutions available. With the advancement of technology, there are several hair loss treatment and hair restoration solutions to help you overcome hair loss and have great looking hair again.