Hair loss can be devastating for the woman’s self-image and her emotional well-being, and it can affect her general health. Hair loss in women can be the result of many possible causes; it isn’t always as straightforward as it is with most men. With men, about 90% of all cases are caused by hereditary androgenic male-pattern hair loss. In women, however, though 50% of hair loss is caused by genetic androgenic female-pattern hair loss, the other 50% can be the result of a multitude of conditions and circumstances.
Hair loss in women is of one of two kinds:
TEMPORARY HAIR LOSS
LONG-LASTING HAIR LOSS
TEMPORARY HAIR LOSS IN WOMEN
Temporary hair loss in women is easy to treat when its cause is identified. It can, however, become long-lasting as a result of an incorrect diagnosis. All of the followings can be reasons for temporary hair loss.
- NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES
Healthy eating and active lifestyle are not only important for general health but for hair too. When the body goes under stress, and nutrient deficient, body prioritizes the nutrients delivery only to essential organs and tissues, not the hair. As a result, hair suffers and breakdown starts. Eat a healthy diet and include these essential nutrients for hair growth to overcome the nutrient deficiency of hair.
- ANEMIA (Iron-Deficiency Anemia)
It is the primary cause of temporary hair loss in women. Iron is imperative in maintaining the good working of many body functions, including the production of hemoglobin, the molecule in your blood that transports oxygen. Iron is crucial to maintain healthy cells, skin, hair, and nails.
- TRACTION ALOPECIA
Hair ties and elastic bands are incredibly useful styling aids. Try not to pull your hair too tightly back from your forehead, doing so can cause traction hair loss along your front hairline and temples. Similarly, extensions use to add volume to the hair and is a great styling aid but continue use can cause hair loss.
- THYROID DYSFUNCTION
Women are more likely to suffer from thyroid disease. Hormones produced by the thyroid gland—Triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4)—have an enormous impact on our health, affecting all aspects of our metabolism.
- EXCESSIVE STRESS
If you experienced an extremely stressful, traumatic event, including severe sickness, shock, and major surgeries, it can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle, lead to hair loss. Most of the time hair loss associated with extreme stressful event happens 1-3 month after that event. This kind of hair loss is called telogen effluvium. Mostly your hair grows back without any treatment.
- POST-CHILDBIRTH CONDITIONS
The rise in estrogen hormones during pregnancy keeps you from losing your hair. While you are pregnant, you should expect a full, luxurious head of hair. After delivery, the hormones return to normal levels, which allow the hair to fall out and return to the regular cycle. The normal hair loss that was delayed during pregnancy may occur all at once. This hair loss is temporary, and hair loss returns to normal within six to twelve months.
A complete medical history and relevant diagnostic tests can help in finding the reason for temporary hair loss in women.
LONG-LASTING HAIR LOSS
It is commonly called female-pattern hair loss. Genetics plays a major role in female androgenic alopecia. The majority of women with androgenic alopecia have diffuse thinning in all areas of the scalp. It is relatively more in the frontal part of the scalp than a back part and least hair loss in the hairline area. Men, on the other hand, rarely have diffuse thinning but instead, have more distinct patterns of baldness.
Genetic or female pattern hair loss can start at any age, but once it starts it remains for the rest of life. It starts with a general diffused thinning behind the hairline in the frontal and mid-scalp areas. Initially, the hairline is not affected, but as the hair loss continues, the crown area and hairline are both affected as well.
Genetic women hair loss can be triggered and accelerated by androgen-producing polycystic ovarian syndrome, or by taking high-androgen-index birth control pills. It also triggers during the menopause phase when female hormone levels are at low.
There is always a reason for hair thinning and hair loss. Hair loss from anemia, genetics, aging, and hormonal imbalances all look the same, but an experienced doctor can differentiate one from the other. Diagnostic tests should be performed by a professional to pinpoint the cause of hair loss.