Hair loss is often associated with men, but women of all ages can also suffer from this condition. Common culprits behind female hair loss include stress, excessive styling and a number of medical conditions. By understanding what causes hair to fall out, women with this issue can be better prepared to address it with the right strategy. Here is more about the six main causes of hair loss in women and how it can be prevented.
Telogen effluvium is a condition characterized by switching of follicles into the renewal phase of growth. Most women afflicted with TE, which can be acute or chronic, suffer diffuse hair loss that may or may not affect the entire scalp. Although severe cases of TE can cause the hair on top of the scalp to become very sparse, total hair loss is rare. Short-term TE may spontaneously resolve while chronic TE may respond to stress reduction, hormonal therapy or nutritional supplements depending on the cause.
This condition is a non-communicable skin disease that can occur anywhere on the body, including the scalp. In most cases, women with alopecia areata experience small areas of total hair loss, but diffuse alopecia areata can also occur and result in widespread thinning of hair on the scalp. Alopecia areata has been linked to several autoimmune conditions, including ulcerative colitis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Although no medications have yet been developed for alopecia areata, many women ultimately see spontaneous remission of the condition.
Iron Deficiency Anemia
Women are at higher risk of iron deficiency anemia, which has been shown to be a major factor behind hair loss. A review of 40 years of research revealed that iron deficiency anemia worsens hair loss regardless of what is causing the hair to fall out. Iron deficiency has been linked to heavy menstruation, hereditary factors, digestive disorders and diets low in iron. Women who suffer from hair loss due to iron deficiency anemia can increase their iron levels by consuming iron supplements or iron-rich foods, such as beef, liver, leafy green vegetables and beans. Vitamin C from foods or supplements boosts iron absorption and also supports healthy hair.
A variety of genetic factors have been pinpointed as causes of hair loss in women. More than 90 percent of hair loss has been linked to heredity, which can predispose women to the condition through high levels of DHT, post-menopausal hormone changes or other factors. Although hormone replacement therapy can resolve this issue in some women, it can also make hair loss worse when HRT drugs contain hormones derived from testosterone. Women whose hair loss is hormone related may also benefit from plant-derived phytoestrogens that mimic estrogen in the body.
Hair is constantly passing through rest and growth stages, resulting in consistent low-level hair loss under normal conditions. However, heavy treatment of hair may disrupt this process and cause hair to be lost faster than it can be replaced by the body. Straightening treatments, hair dyes and curling irons can all potentially drive hair loss. Women who suspect that excessive styling is causing their hair loss should embrace a milder approach toward their hair with gentle haircare products and soft-bristled brushes. High-temperature styling appliances, frequent hair dyeing and combing after application of hair spray or gel should be strictly avoided.
Stress can contribute to hair loss in several ways, including reduction of blood flow to hair follicles, increases in cortisol and general hormonal disruption. Psychological stress, low-calorie diets, illness and surgery can all stimulate stress-related hair loss. Because this type of hair loss is situation dependent, sufferers can often simply wait for the condition to improve when the source of stress disappears. When lifestyle changes can resolve the stress, however, steps taken to bring about those changes can help encourage regrowth of hair.
Identifying the cause of hair loss is the first step towards reversing the condition. The solutions listed here can start the road to recovery, but changes may take some time to appear. Using hair regrowth shampoo is a reliable way to make your hair regrow more quickly.
I would love to hear about changes you have made to treat your hair loss. Please share your experiences here for the benefit of other hair loss sufferers. With continuing research into the causes and cures for hair loss, we can all help each other regain the lustrous locks we deserve.f