Information on causes and treatment of hair loss in women.
Female hair loss follows a different pattern than its male counterpart. It often occurs for different reasons, too. Since women view their hair as their ‘crowning glory,’ female hair loss is obviously of great cosmetic and aesthetic concern. Hair loss in women can and does cause great emotional distress. When it does occur, it is usually causes a gradual loss of hair from the crown of the scalp, causing a broadened midline parting. It may also recede from the forehead, resulting in the classic ‘widow’s peak’. Complete hair loss in women is a rare occurrence. In females, hair loss is often the result of a deficiency in endocrine hormones. Gradual or dramatic thinning of hair in women can happen after the onset of menopause. Genetic predisposition (androgenetic alopecia) is the cause of almost 90% of female hair loss. The use of oral contraceptives is often inevitable and can cause female hair loss, too. This is because birth control pills cause significant changes in a woman’s hormonal balance. In fact, stopping birth control pills can cause temporary hair loss in females too. Pregnancy and delivery also involve hormonal changes in a woman. Hair loss immediately after pregnancy should therefore not be a cause for surprise or alarm.Other reasons are the natural ageing process, the use of unsuitable hair products, drastic hair styling habits and grossly improper nutrition. Certain skin disorders like alopecia areata can also cause hair loss in females (this usually occurs in small patches rather than progressively expanding areas).In quite rare instances, trichotillomania is a factor – this is an obsessive/compulsive disorder typified by the willful uprooting of one’s own hair. Experts often detect it in pre-teenaged/teenaged females. Stress - a common factor in human life these days that knows no gender-related boundaries – is also often responsible for hair loss in both males and females.Approximately 20% of all women suffer from hair loss to some degree or the other, at some point in their lives. The good news is that there are medical ways of rejuvenating dormant, non-productive hair follicles. Sometimes, the body’s metabolism sends the necessary signals and hair growth may resume automatically. However, this is a rare exception and not the rule.We must remember that shedding of dead hair is a normal phenomenon in both men and women. Scientific studies have shown that the human scalp sheds between 100-125 hairs every single day. New growth then replaces the shed hair, but this is not immediately visible. Hair loss becomes a problem when there is too large a discrepancy between the lost hair and the new growth.Female hair loss can first show up at puberty. However, this may be due to normal hormonal changes and it invariably rectifies itself. If it does not, and if the woman notes other anomalies such as excessive facial hair, then she needs to have a hormone study done. Based on the results of this study, a skin specialist can prescribe the required medical treatment.There are many highly effective treatments for female hair loss available today. In fact, there are both pharmaceutical and herbal options. Often, a few changes in lifestyle (such as eating habits, personal hygiene and sleep regulation) can bring about dramatic changes in female hair loss.