Hair loss is scary for everyone. It can happen quickly, for no apparent reason and when it does you want to fix it – fast. However, while it can be distressing for a man, especially when it starts early in life, there is no doubt that for women, it can be absolutely devastating.
A woman’s hair is often an integral part of her identity and losing it, for whatever reason, can lead to a drop in confidence and self-worth. While a larger number of men than women will experience hair loss in their lifetime, the problem is more prevalent among females than you may think. Here, we look at some of the more common reasons for female hair loss.
Hormonal changes - Women experience a number of hormonal changes during their lifetime – puberty, pregnancy and menopause all cause an imbalance of hormones which can play havoc with hair growth. While a lot of women find their hair is actually at its best during pregnancy, it can be a different story after giving birth. Contrary to popular belief, this has nothing to do with breastfeeding but everything to do with estrogen. The same hormone that is responsible for those lustrous locks during pregnancy is also responsible for its loss after birth when the levels dramatically drop.
The good news is, this loss is usually temporary and most women find their hair returns to normal within 6 to 12 months after giving birth. It’s a similar story when it comes to menopause, except unfortunately the hair loss at this time is usually permanent. However, the process can be slowed through the use of hormone replacement treatments or natural supplements, such as Black Cohosh or Dong Quai, that balance hormonal levels.
Over-styling the hair – Most of us won’t want to admit it, but we don’t always treat our hair as well as we should. In an effort to make it look as good as possible we put it through all kinds of torture; from harsh chemical straightening treatments to curling irons, hair dyes and extensions, our hair takes a beating, becoming brittle and thin. Even many of the more common shampoos and conditioners on the market can contribute to the problem, which is why it’s essential to use good quality, nourishing products on the hair.
While it’s unlikely that we’ll stop some of the more damaging styling techniques, the least we can do is keep the hair that we have as healthy as possible. Avoid shampoos that contain sulfates and parabens, opting instead for more organic, nutrient-rich formulas. And giving those poor follicles a rest from heat, dyes and tight hairstyles is a good idea too!
Stress and poor nutrition – Stress is, unfortunately, often unavoidable especially given the demands that are made on us day to day. While there hasn’t been a definite link found between mild cases of stress and hair loss, there is no doubt that at these times we may not take care of ourselves as well as usual, resulting in poor nutrition and low immunity.
Trying to maintain a healthy, nutritious diet that is rich in Vitamin B is essential as is keeping the immune system as strong as possible through exercise and relaxation. Supplements and hair products containing Biotin, a form of Vitamin H which can also be found naturally in foods such as nuts, eggs and salmon, will strengthen weak hair follicles making them less likely to break during growth.
Going easy on the treatments, looking after your health and trying to stay stress-free will ensure that, even through those crazy hormonal changes, you’re doing the best you can for that great head of hair.
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