Everyone loses some hair every day. When hair loss leads to undeniable balding, however, it can be devastating for men and women. People usually associate balding with men, but about 40% of all hair loss sufferers are women. A woman’s self-image and emotional well-being can understandably take a hit when hair loss becomes an obvious condition.
There are many possible reasons for female hair loss, and solutions are available for all of them. Some conditions can be reversed, and the cause of hair loss determines the approach to treatment. Below are 4 common though very different causes of hair loss in women.
1 – Genetics
Take a look at photos of the aging women in your family tree. If your mother, aunts, or grandmothers had female pattern hair loss, you are at a higher risk of suffering the same fate. Androgenetic alopecia is a common hereditary condition affecting an estimated 30 million women in the U.S. It is possibly the most common type of hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia usually occurs in women in their late 50s or 60s but can happen as early as the teen years, specialists say.
What happens in women with this condition is that hair follicles that are shed are replaced with finer, thinner hair. The hair follicles continue to shrink until they completely stop growing.
2 – Tight Hairstyles
For many women, hair loss is brought on by the hairstyles they wear. A condition called “traction alopecia” can occur due to such things as constantly wearing tight braids or wearing too-tight ponytails. These activities can progressively cause thinning of the hairline. If the damaging practices continue, the hair loss could become permanent. Traction alopecia is considered a scarring process, which has a potentially irreversible effect on hair follicles. Experts suggest being careful not to wear a particular type of hairstyle for too long. Also, be careful not to pull the hair too tightly when styling.
3 – Certain Medications
Some types of medications are notorious for causing chronic shedding. It’s important to speak with your prescribing physician, if you notice an increase in hair loss after a few weeks of taking new meds. What can happen is medications can interfere with the scalp’s natural cycle of hair growth. Some of the types of medications associated with hair loss include antidepressants and blood pressure meds.
There are two types of hair loss caused by medications. The most common, telogen effluvium, occurs 2 to 4 months after taking a medication. Those who suffer from this condition typically shed 30% to 70% more than the typical 150 maximum hairs daily.
The other type, anagen effluvium hair loss, occurs days to week after taking medication. It is most common among women and others who are being treated for cancer using chemotherapy drugs.
4 – Intense Stress
A woman’s body can have adverse reactions to intense emotional or physical stress, and that includes a temporary halt of hair growth. Major stress events such as a big move, a divorce, quickly losing a significant amount of weight, having a big operation, a death in the family, and a significant job change can all end up causing hair loss.
Hair doesn’t grow at the same rate. At any given time, some hairs are in the growing phase, some are resting, and some are being shed. After hair growth stops, because of various stress conditions, and then later continues its processes, a lot of hairs end up getting pushed out all at once.
When a woman goes through something as difficult of hair loss, it’s always comforting to know you’re not alone. Contact the Houston Hair Loss Clinic to get the help of hair loss experts who care about your condition and specialize in effective solutions.