Women can lose their hair, but it is rare that a woman will go completely bald like some men will. That should be comforting but when you are the woman whose hair is thinning or falling out it doesn’t feel that way. Hair is important to a woman’s self confidence and we spend a lot of our lives working on our hair. We change the style, we color it, we curl it and then we straighten it. So when it falls out we stress about it. If we are stressing about it enough to go to the doctor, how deflating it is when they do not really see it as a problem. We then can become depressed and miserable.
Most people believe that hair loss only affects men but it is estimated that 40% to 60% of all women will at some time in their lives lose their hair. The loss of hair is called alopecia and women can have female pattern baldness. This is caused by hormones and family inheritance and can be seen as the thinning of your hair all over your head with small to medium loss of hair on the crown.
To know what is abnormal hair loss you should first know what normal is. People lose up to 100 hairs a day. You will see it on your comb, brush, in the shower drain or on your pillow. Your hair has its own cycle of growth and generally it grows for a few years then rests for a few months, sheds and grows again.
What causes baldness?
This is the number one cause of hair loss in women and it should come as no surprise that for women hair loss can occur during pregnancy, menstruation and menopause.
Poor nutrition can be a significant problem for women with hair loss. Fad diets that limit our intake to the foods we need for good hair growth are a huge contributing factor. We need protein, red meat, iron and some carbohydrates to have healthy hair.
We almost daily torment and torture our hair. We perm it, color it, tint it, highlight it, iron it, bleach it and roll it and then we wonder why it is not healthy and is thinning or falling out?
Unfortunately some medications we take for other problems can cause problems for our hair. The culprits for this are: high blood pressure medicine, birth control, menopausal hormones, depression and arthritis.
This is also known by the medical term of Telogen Effluvium. Telogen is the name for the resting stage of the hair growth cycle. A Telogen effluvium is when you suddenly encounter a stressful situation that causes your hair growth to go into the rest phase. It is usually acute but can be a chronic problem.
This in when you constantly strain your roots and they become damage. This is done by rubber bands, or other hair products that tug on the scalp. Roots can be permanently damaged and will not grow any hair.
Diseases such as lichen planopilaris, frontal fibrosing alopecia and chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus, can cause scarring of the hair follicle and thus it will not grow any hair there. The cause of these conditions is little known.
Now we know the many causes of hair loss in women and we can discuss in further articles the ways and means of dealing with this most embarrassing and hard issue.