Women’s Hair Loss
Hair loss in women may affect one’s self-image and emotional well-being. Although women suffering from hair loss seem to be getting more open in discussing this condition in public, thanks to the role of social media wherein men and women with hair loss find an online community of support and acceptance, a lot of women with hair loss still suffer in silence due to the embarrassment and stigma. Hence, altering their hairstyle to hide thinning or patches or worse, isolating themselves to avoid further embarrassment.
According to American Hair Loss Association, over 30 million women in the U.S. alone are affected by hair loss and an estimated 40% of Americans suffering from hair loss are women. Unfortunately, women’s hair loss is not as openly recognized as men’s hair loss therefore information along with treatment options are quite limited and not easily available.
Common Causes of Hair Loss in Women and Treatment Solutions
Women’s hair loss can be triggered by a multitude of conditions and circumstances (In men, about 90% of all cases are caused by hereditary male pattern baldness).
- Androgenetic Alopecia – majority of women with androgenetic alopecia have diffuse thinning on all areas of the scalp (men have rarely diffuse thinning but instead have more distinct patterns of baldness). It can be caused by a variety of factors such as hormonal activity, taking of high-androgen index birth control pills, pregnancy and menopause. Heredity plays a major factor in the disease.
Solution: Anti-DHT treatments to prevent shrinkage of hair follicles in women suffering with female pattern baldness
- Telogen Effluvium – many of the 90% or so of the hair in the growing (anagen) phase can shift all at once into the shedding (telogen) phase when the woman’s body goes through traumatic or stressful event like child birth, malnutrition, severe infection, major surgery or extreme stress.
The onset of the telogen effluvium phenomenon is usually 6 weeks to 3 months after the stressful or traumatic event occurred.
Solution: Complete remission is probable as long as severely stressful events can be avoided. Hair growth boosters such as hair supplements with essential ingredients (such as saw palmetto, fo-ti root and biotin) is strongly recommended to support the hair growth internally.
- Anagen Effluvium – occurs after any insult to the hair follicle that impairs its mitotic or metabolic activity. Commonly associated with chemotherapy since this cancer treatment targets the body’s rapidly dividing cancer cells which greatly affects rapidly dividing cells such as hair follicles. The tapered fracture of the hair shafts causes narrowing as a result of damage to the matrix which eventually causes hair loss (approximately 90% or more of the hairs can fall-out). Also associated with skin/ scalp infection and autoimmune disease.
Solution: Anagen effluvium due to chemotherapy is expected to recover fully within 3-6 months of stopping it. The hair nearly always grows back normally, but sometimes patients with straight hair develop curly hair when it regrows and/ or slight change in hair color may occur. In addition, the use of women’s topical minoxidil at 5% strength works by prolonging the growth phase of hair - providing more time for hair to grow out to its full density.
- Traction Alopecia – this condition is caused by localized trauma to the hair follicles from tight hairstyles that pull at hair over time. Braiding, cornrows, tight ponytails and extensions are the most common styling causes. If these harmful hairstyles are worn frequently, eventually the hair follicles can become damaged, causing the hair to become brittle, making it break easily. This can also lead to hair loss around the hairline and temples, as well as any other areas where heavy hair embellishments, such as hair pieces, have been attached.
Solution: If the condition is detected early enough, the hair will regrow as long as the hair follicles are still able to produce hair. Treatment involving the use of women’s topical minoxidil extra strength (5%) proved to be helpful to regrow hair and avoid further hair loss.
Non-Traditional Hair Loss Treatment and Solutions
Homeopathic Treatment – While most people affected with hair loss look for treatments and solutions that shows faster results. There are some who embrace holistic or natural healing treatments such as homeopathy. While this practice is recognized by FDA, results may not be consistent and guaranteed.
Hair Growth Boosters - Which non-clinically proven treatments are worth using? There are many available (laser treatments or laser combs) but most of those hold minimal, or no efficacy, with a lack of clinical evidence showing that the product actually works. Good news is, there are hair loss supplements available on the market that contains essential nutrients (Tip: Look for ingredients such as saw palmetto, biotin, fo-ti root) known to be effective in supporting hair growth internally.
Home Remedies - Looking for a treatment that works without the side-effects of chemicals or medications? According to hair experts, losing 50-100 strands of hair every day is fairly normal. It is only a cause of concern when you lose more than that. Hair loss may be prevented with simple home remedies. The use of coconut oil, tea tree oil, egg yolks, castor oil and apple cider vinegar are the most common and easily available in your own pantry.
Early Prevention is the Key to Hair Loss
It is important for everyone to know the facts about hair loss, and we at Regenepure, are glad to help with all your hair loss questions and suggest treatments and solutions. The sooner you seek treatment, the better the chances of successfully treating or preventing your hair loss.