Why Do Women Lose Their Hair?
Although we often associate losing hair with men it is something that is common in women too. We will therefore outline some of the reasons why a woman may lose her hair and how to help it:
Androgenetic alopecia or androgenic is knows as female pattern hair loss. This is the female version of male pattern baldness and you are more likely to suffer with it if you are from a family that have lost their hair at a specific age. Rather than the hair line receding, in women the hair becomes thinner and the parting can widen. There are various products that are available on line which can help with thinning hair.
As women enter their 50’s and 60’s it’s not unusual to see the hair thin. There’s nothing that can treat this so the options are cosmetic treatments such as wigs, scarves or wearing the hair in particular styles to cover the thinning areas.
Temporary hair loss can be caused by a serious illness or even by a physical trauma e.g. surgery. What happens here is that a trigger occurs which causes the hair loss, this is known as telogen effluvium. The reason for this is because hair has a life cycle and this cycle consists of three phases: growth, rest and shredding. The stress related event shocks this hair cycle and causes the cycle to get stuck into the shredding phase. Once your body recovers from the stress its experienced, your hair will begin to grow back.
If your body is not getting the correct amount of protein your body will react by closing down hair growth to save on protein. To prevent a deficiency in protein, make sure that you consume foods that contain protein such as eggs, meat and fish.
If you take too much vitamin A you can face temporary hair loss. Its recommended that an adult takes 5,000 IU a day and many supplements contain up to 10,000 IU. To reverse hair loss from too much vitamin A, your body needs to get rid of the excessive Vitamin A so you would need to stop taking the supplements.
Iron deficiency anaemia is something that affects 1 in 10 women between the ages of 20-50. This can cause hair loss and a blood test is necessary in order to determine if you have iron deficiency anaemia. If the blood test shows that you do, you will need to take an iron supplement.
Pregnancy can case hair loss and the same applies with the contraceptive pill. As the pill can cause a change on hormone levels, your hair can enter the telogen effluvium phase. When a woman goes through menopause, hair can also be lost which again is all hormone related. If you find that its contraception that causing the issue then it’s worth speaking to your GP and see if there’s an alternative contraceptive pill that may prevent this issue.
More commonly referred to as having an underactive thyroid. When your thyroid is underactive it stops producing certain hormones and these can cause hair loss. The way to deal with this issue is to take synthetic thyroid medication. As soon as your thyroid levels are back to normal, your hair should begin to grow back.
Extreme Weight Loss
Even if the weight loss is needed, extreme weight loss can cause hair loss. Extreme weight loss can be the result of not eating correctly and therefore restricting your body of necessary vitamin and minerals. If you do notice a loss of hair at the same time as hair loss, this could also indicate an eating disorder such as bulimia or anorexia. If the hair loss is related to extreme weight loss then the issue should resolve itself in 6 months.
Vitamin B Deficiency
If you have a vitamin B deficiency then this could be a cause of hair loss. In order to help with a vitamin B deficiency, you need to look at your diet. You can obtain vitamin B from non-citrus foods, meat starchy vegetables and fish.
If you’ve put your hair though lots of treatments and over styled it, it can cause your hair to fall out. For example, chemical relaxers, high heat, tight braids, corn rows etc. As these practices affect the root of the hair, it may mean that your hair doesn’t grow back. Apart from avoiding these styles and treatments you need to make sure that you use women conditioner every time that you wash your hair. Allow your hair to dry naturally and reduce the use of heat.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
This is a condition where the male and female hormones are imbalanced. If there is an excess level of androgens, cysts on the ovaries can occur as well infertility, weight gain and hair thinning. Treatments for polycystic ovary syndrome include birth control pills, exercise and diet.