If I got a dollar for every time I found loose strands of my hair; I would be a billionaire! At least I’d be making a profit that would help remove the stress caused by the hair loss, if not help with the treatment.
Although it’s a common misconception that only men are affected by hair loss and balding, studies show that only 45% of women enjoy a fully-haired head throughout their lifetime.
Fear not, ladies, because today we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about female hair loss conditions, from symptoms to treatment! Let’s get started…
Let’s go over The Warning Signs.
Finding Excessive Hair in your Brush or Drain
You might notice your hair brush collecting strands of hair every time you brush it. Or maybe every time you run your fingers across your scalp a bunch comes out, especially while washing.
Shedding is a natural process; There is no need to worry as long as shedding is unnoticeable. Should shedding increase suddenly, it may be time to consult an expert. Take notice of how often your hair clogs the drain or if you lose a significant amount of hair when brushing.
Noticing Bald Patches on your Head
Finding bald patches that keep increasing their size is a matter of concern, and one should immediately take it as a warning sign. You might even lose patches of hair in one spot all of a sudden. Sometimes the area might have a burning or stinging sensation before the hair loss. Look out for signs of blisters, itchiness, or tenderness in the area of hair loss. Bald patches could also indicate an infection, in which case you should consult a doctor.
Thinning of Eyebrows, eyelashes, and all the other parts of your body.
Although hair loss on the scalp is more common, in some cases, people can experience hair loss all over their bodies. An autoimmune condition called Alopecia Areata can cause hair loss across the body. This condition results in your immune system attacking your hair follicles, which leads to your body losing all of its hair. Watch out for visible bald patches on your eyebrows, eyelashes, armpits, or anywhere around the body.
White lines on your Nails.
Our nails can give us a hint about our overall health. Amazing, isn’t it? Subtle changes in your nail’s appearance could be a warning sign of certain disorders and deficiencies. The earliest symptoms of Alopecia appear in the nails. Consider it a warning sign if you see visible pitting, small craters, or white patches on your nails.
There could be countless other factors behind the change in the appearance of your nails, but if you are experiencing hair loss and notice these changes, we recommend seeing a dermatologist.
Before we look for a solution, let’s dig deep into the root of the problem…
Factors Causing Hair Loss among Women.
The most common cause of hair loss among men and women is a hereditary condition that accompanies aging. This condition is also known as male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness. The patterns of hair loss differ in both genders. For instance, it causes a receding hairline and bald spots in men and thinning of hair along the crown of the scalp. You may be prone to balding if you have a family history of balding and hair loss.
Medical conditions and Hormonal changes
There are types of health conditions that can lead to both temporary and permanent hair loss among women. Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, thyroid problems, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome are some of the factors that cause hormonal changes that lead to severe hair loss. Medical conditions include Alopecia Areata, scalp infections such as ringworms, or certain mental health conditions that cause one to pull out their own hair.
Taking medications and supplements
Medication is good for our health, but certain drugs have side effects. Some of these side effects could be hair loss. Medicines used to treat cancer, arthritis, depression, heart issues, gout, and high blood pressure can have such side effects.
Head radiation treatment.
Radiation therapy to the head makes hair fall out excessively, and the hair does not grow back the same or sometimes not at all. The texture or color of the hair would not be the same as before.
Stress is a major factor.
Extreme stress can trigger excessive hair loss. Temporary hair loss caused by significant stress can push hair follicles into a resting phase. Although hair may grow back after a few months, physical and emotional shock does enough damage to cause hair to grow back thinner.
Hairstyles and treatments
Hairstyles that cause you to pull your hair back into a tight bun or ponytail can cause traction alopecia due to repeated pulling of hair from the scalp. Did you know that using harmful chemical products like bleach can damage the scalp and hair follicles? And hair styling methods like blow drying, straightening, permanent smoothing, and hot oil treatments can also lead to hair loss.
Weight loss and lack of nutrition
When you go on diets, you also limit the nutrition intake necessary for your hair to grow. Rapid weight loss, restrictive diets, and weight loss surgery often result in hair loss. Sudden weight loss and restrictive diets can cause temporary hair loss that usually happens after the body goes through stress. In the case of weight loss, this can last for 6 months. Lack of essential nutrients such as Vitamin B, B-6, B-12, zinc, and the amino acid L-lysine can lead to excessive hair fall.
Now that we have gone over causes of balding, it’s time we finally get to…
Solutions and Treatments!
Here are some of the most effective ways to treat hair loss.
Minoxidil is an over-the-counter drug that comes in liquid and foam forms for topical use. This product must be rubbed on the scalp daily and used long-term. It could take months or even years to prevent hair loss and promote hair growth effectively.
The downregulation of Estrogen causes hair disorders. While it is not as popular as it used to be, hormone replacement therapy can be a treatment for hormonal-related hair loss. This therapy focuses on the hormones to support a woman’s decreasing levels. Although studies have shown estrogen and combined oral contraceptives as effective, data is still limited to support this.
This topical medication, popularly known by the brand name Retin-A, is used in combination therapy with minoxidil to treat alopecia. There have been claims that topical retinol creams, serums, and lotions have made hair loss even worse for some.
Corticosteroids are said to cure Alopecia areata. In some treatments, injecting corticosteroids in affected areas can lead to hair growth in just four weeks. You can repeat corticosteroid treatment every four to six weeks. Side effects of injections include skin atrophy or thinning of the scalp. Topical corticosteroids are also available, but they are not necessarily effective and oral corticosteroids may lead to unpleasant side effects.
Anthralin is one of the safest and most effective solutions to Alopecia areata. You can apply it at home, once a day, and massage it for 5 minutes or as long as an hour. Rinse it with cold water and clean it with a mild shampoo. You will see the hair grow back in 2 to 3 months.
Apart from these, if you are looking for natural remedies, you can apply onion juice, aloe vera, coconut oil, and rosemary oil to your scalp. Massaging the scalp with these oils stimulates the scalp and encourages hair growth.
Our hair is a big part of our appearance; luckily, we have many ways to overcome hair loss. Always remember to discuss any new hair loss treatment with a doctor.