Far too many people mistakenly believe hair loss is something only men suffer through. That leaves the women watching their hair become thin or fall out feeling as though something is wrong with them. Because of this, many women suffer from their hair loss in silence, afraid to seek assistance in addressing the problem.
But, it’s more common than you think reports the Huffington Post with some 30 million women in America alone experiencing female pattern hair loss (FPHL), also known as androgenetic alopecia. And, according to the American Hair Loss Association, women comprise forty percent of hair loss sufferers in the U.S.
It’s an issue that is especially problematic for women who may experience the following problems related to their hair loss:
Body image issues
Diminishing feelings of attractiveness
Restriction of social activities and participation
Most women who experience hair loss experience it as a gradual thinning on top of the head. Unlike men, who often experience hair loss in the form of receding hairlines along their foreheads, most women will retain their hairlines along the forehead while experiencing a broadening of the natural parts in their hair.
Medical science, in the past, has focused far more effort to address the problem of hair loss in men while devoting little time, research, or money to addressing the problem for women.
The American Hair Loss Association seeks to change that. First, by acknowledging that hair loss in women is a life-altering condition that should not be ignored by medical science or society in general.
Since there are many causes of hair loss in women, including some medications, certain medical conditions and nutritional deficiencies, hair loss shouldn’t be ignored.
What are the Causes of Hair Loss in Women?
Hair is so closely tied to self-image and beauty in the world today that the loss of hair for women can be emotionally devastating. The better we understand the reasons why women lose their hair, the better we can address the problem and offer viable, effective solutions for their hair loss.
Pregnancy and menopause can have equally devastating effects on hair loss. Huffington Post reports that nearly 50 percent of women will experience some hair thinning or hair loss before the age of 50 – a problem which often worsens with menopause. Even oral contraceptives, which cause hormonal changes in women can cause hair loss.
Unfortunately for women, just as with men, genetics does play a role in your hair loss. If you have a family history of male or female pattern baldness, you may be the next in line to deal with this condition and the fallout it creates.
Some medications, particularly medications containing certain hormones (or inhibiting them) can lead to hair loss in women.
Sometimes hair loss is a symptom of something bigger going on within your body. If the other potential causes of hair loss don’t ring true for you, consider discussing the possibility of other health conditions, like thyroid disease, as potential causes for your hair loss.
Radiation Treatment to the Head
The American Cancer Society reports that while most radiation treatments do cause temporary hair loss, radiation therapy to the head often leads to scalp hair loss and sometimes, depending on the radiation dosage, the hair never grows back the same as before.
While some people may react to stress by pulling out their hair, this is a different beast altogether. Stress often leads to temporary shedding of hair.
Temporary stressors include things like:
Weight loss of 20 or more pounds
Losing a loved one through divorce, death, or even the loss of a job
Stopped taking hormone medications, like oral contraceptives
Most women shed between 50 and 100 hairs per day, per the American Academy of Dermatology. Stress can cause those numbers to increase sharply. However, it is generally a temporary response to a variety of stressors and not a long-term reaction.
Your body should recover from this type of temporary stressors within six to nine months at which time your hair will retain its natural fullness. If you are constantly under stress, however, that can lead to long-term hair loss and excessive shedding that may require treatment to recover from.
Your diet could also have a great deal to do with female hair loss. Iron deficiencies, in particular,are known to contribute to hair loss, according to a study appearing in the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, as are dietary deficiencies of the following:
Making dietary changes that involve including more of these key nutrients may be instrumental in reducing hair loss among women.
Rough Hair Treatment
Women can be quite brutal with our hair. In addition to pulling too tightly when putting our hair in ponytails, braiding hair, or adding extensions, the types of chemicals we use to color, treat, perm, or even straighten our hair, it’s no wonder it falls out.
We also often add insult to injury by using chemical styling or setting sprays along with heated appliances that tug, pull, and sometimes scorch our hair. Hair can only tolerate so much abuse before it becomes brittle and prone to breaking off or simply stops growing back at all. Women who wear their hair in cornrows are also at risk for hair loss.
Treatment Options for Hair Loss in Women
While the bulk of attention in medical circles has been devoted to helping men regrow their hair, there are treatment options available for women seeking treatment for hair loss, including the following.
Over-the-counter hair loss treatments. Including treatments like Minoxidil and hair regrowth systems like Nioxin and Keranique have been known to generate positive results in some women seeking to stop their hair from thinning.
Prescription medications. Medications like Propecia, oral contraceptives, and spironolactone have been used to treat hair loss in women.
Laser therapy treatments and devices. Laser treatments help to reduce inflammation to hair follicles that may encourage hair loss. By reducing this inflammation, hair follicles will begin to regenerate lost hair offering greater density to women.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP). Your platelets are rich in growth factors. By using growth factors derived from your plasma, you can stimulate new hair growth in your hair follicles.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Since many instances of hair loss among women are related to hormonal changes, it makes sense that hormone replacement therapies might be an option to consider for reversing the damage.
Home remedies. Supplements, such as iron pills or biotin supplements to promote hair growth show some signs of promise among women experiencing hair loss related to deficiencies in certain minerals.
Neograft® hair restoration for females. Through an automated follicular unit extraction (FUE) procedure, grafting hair to thinning areas of your scalp can be instrumental in helping women restore the fullness of their hair. Ideal candidates for Neograft hair restoration can replenish their own head of hair, naturally, with their own hair.
While hair loss among women has been ignored and overlooked far too long, new and effective treatments, like Neograft hair restoration performed by Dr. Bradford S. Patt, MD, FACS, are on the horizon. These new treatments are due, in large part, to the efforts or organizations like the American Hair Loss Association.
Schedule Your Neograft Hair Restoration in Houston Consultation with Dr. Patt
If you’re a woman experiencing hair loss, you have more options than ever today to restore your hair using the latest, advanced, and most innovated hair restoration procedures and technology. Contact the Office of Dr. Bradford S. Patt at the Houston Center for Facial Plastic Surgery for a Neograft hair restoration for females consultation. Call us at (281) 978-2431 or complete our online form.