Research shows that up to two thirds of women experience hair loss at some stage in their life and this can often be a very stressful time for women and is an integral part of their self image.
The most common causes of hair loss in women is not related to inherited genes but usually associated with other factors such as pregnancy, stress, chemotherapy, certain diets, thyroid hormone deficiency, some drugs or infections. Unlike men the hair loss in this case is usually temporary and healthy re-growth can occur over time.
Unlike men, women rarely go bald but may experience significant thinning and reduction of the hair shaft diameter around the forehead and crown of the scalp as they age.
If you are one of the millions of women who suffer from hair loss the most important factor is to understand why you are losing your hair before you seek out a remedy or solution.
Causes of hair loss:
1. Genetics: The most common cause of hair loss is rooted in your genes also known as androgenetic alopecia, hereditary hair loss can begin any time after puberty, but usually sets in before the age of forty and may accelerate around the time you reach menopause.
2. Pregnancy: A large amount of oestrogen is produced during pregnancy causing the hair follicles to go into their growth phase. Once the birth is over the hormonal balance is restored and the opposite happens with the hair follicles going into a hair loss phase.
3. Alopecia areata: The reasons for this are relatively unknown but research has shown that the cause is thought to be an auto immune disorder where the body mistakenly attacks the hair follicles. What follows is an inflammation of the follicles and surrounding hair structures. This causes the hair follicles to retreat into the deeper layers of skin shutting off an important nutrient supply, the follicles starve and the hair starts shedding followed by a dormant period.
4. Stress: Another common reason for hair loss in women is stress as known as Telogen Effluvium. What happens is that the growing healthy hairs enter the resting (telogen) phase of hair growth. The hairs matrix appears to stop dividing causing the hair to begin falling out. Women in their 40’s to 60’s will be affected by this kind of hair loss.
5. Drugs or Supplements: The most common drug treatment that causes hair loss is Chemotherapy. This kind of medication attacks the hair cells of the matrix causing 90% hair loss from the scalp. Prescription drugs are also known to thin hair out. These can be Blood thinners, high blood pressure and cholesterol drugs. Some dieting supplements can also be causes of hair loss.
6. Hair pulling: Also known as trichotillomania. Unlike other types or hair loss this is not a medical but more a psychological disorder. There are literally millions of people around the worlds that suffer from this condition. These are mostly adult women that suffer from low self esteem, anxiety, depression or are dissatisfied with their bodies. This condition can be treated with counselling.