Everyone loses hair. In fact, most people will lose between 50 to 100 hairs each day. But what do you do when, as a woman, you start noticing bald spots or see large clumps of hair falling out?
The truth is there are many reasons why women lose hair. Everything from stress to medications plays a huge role in your overall health – including your hair. So while it can be distressing to discover thinning hair, there are things you can do about it. Read on to learn more about the specific causes of hair loss in women.
Androgenetic alopecia is really a fancy term for pattern baldness, something most of us associate specifically with men, but women are affected too. In fact, female pattern baldness will affect up to 30 million American women. Most women who suffer from this inherited gene will see thinning at the hairline (the area where your bangs would sit) and in some cases throughout the entire scalp.
Unlike men, women with androgenetic alopecia will never go completely bald. If you’re curious to know if this will affect you – your own mother’s (or grandmother’s) hairline is a good indicator. A trip to the doctor can confirm if this is the cause of your hair loss and help determine a treatment plan right for you.
A poor diet that lacks significantly in iron can cause hair loss, especially in extreme cases when you’re anemic. If you are anemic, your body instantly goes into a survival mode with your body focusing on supplying oxygen to the major organs. To do so, it will take oxygen from other areas that aren’t deemed as important – like your hair for example. Some women who experience heavy periods, extreme fatigue or weakness may have a low iron supply and should seek out their doctor for testing. Usually, through supplements and diet change, many women can get their iron levels back up to a healthy level and find that their hair regrows both healthy and strong.
This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but high heats and lots of daily styling can cause a lot of damage to the tresses. In most women who use heated appliances, damages are found at the ends rather than the roots. To combat the stress that is put on the hair during styling, use a hair protectant. Another way to avoid hair loss is to limit the number of times you shampoo your hair during the week. Dry shampoos are a good option for those oily roots in between washes!
Stress or Telogen Effluvium
When our bodies are under a lot of stress our adrenal glands start to produce extra amounts of testosterone – which for a woman isn’t ideal. The testosterone will tamper with the hair growth phase, causing your strands to move quickly from the growing phase into the resting phase.
In most instances reducing or eliminating stress helps the hair (and the entire body) regain normal function – usually within 6 weeks. Determine what factors are increasing your stress levels and take action to reduce them.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Roughly 5 million women in America suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which is a hormonal imbalance where the ovaries produce too much testosterone. As we previously mentioned, high levels of testosterone in the body cause a lot of women to see a thinning of hair on the scalp. Some women who suffer from this hormonal imbalance may also experience irregular periods, cysts on the ovaries, and acne. Where they might notice a lack of hair on the scalp, they might see it growing elsewhere on the body. Treatment for this condition is handled with birth control and other testosterone blocking medications.
Hair loss, no matter what the cause, can be incredibly distressing. Fortunately, in most cases, there are treatment plans available that will restore the look of your hair in as little as a few months. A trip to your General Practitioner is a good first step to help you find answers and discover any underlying issues that may be contributing to your hair loss.
If you are suffering from hair loss and believe it’s time to try surgical options, Dr. Marvel would love to help you find the right solution. Call 931-455-2005 to book a consultation or click here to contact us today. Dr. Marvel will help you assess your needs and develop a plan to give you the most natural looking results!