Hair Loss Affects Women Too
Everyone loses hair on a daily basis, but most people think of excessive hair loss as primarily a man’s problem. Balding is often thought of as a common sign of aging. When a woman finds herself suffering from extreme hair loss, it is generally an indication of a problem. This article contains information about what is really going on when women are losing excessive hair.
Telogen effluvium is a common cause of hair loss in women. There are various phases of hair growth and telogen is considered to be a “resting” phase when no new hair growth occurs. The result is shedding or hair loss. Telogen effluvium is seen as thinning hair over the scalp and can be more severe in some areas than others. Women suffering from this generally do not lose all their hair but have noticeably thin areas on their scalp. It is most common after childbirth. Other common causes are crash dieting, trauma, vaccinations, or side effects from medication.
The most common cause of hair loss in women is hereditary. This type of hair loss is also referred to as female pattern baldness. In women, the front hairline generally isn’t affected and baldness is usually seen on the top of the head and at the crown. It can be carried on either the mother or the father’s side of the family. It is caused by the presence of accumulative DHT in the scalp which is a derivative of testosterone. DHT interferes with necessary nutrients reaching the hair follicles. It also causes the hair follicles to shrink, causing the hair to become finer and more susceptible to damage. Eventually hair growth completely stops.
Hair loss is a common symptom of hypothyroidism in women. The amount of hair loss can vary greatly among women. Usually the hair becomes brittle and tends to break off as well as thinning. Loss of hair elsewhere on the body is common too, especially sparse eyebrows. Hypothyroidism can occur at any age but is most common in middle age and older women. If you are experiencing other symptoms of hypothyroidism such as high cholesterol, weight gain, dry skin, depression, sluggishness or stiff joints you should talk to your doctor. While there is no cure for hypothyroidism, there are daily medications to keep it under control.
Many women suffer from hair loss immediately after a pregnancy. This happens due to an increase in the amount of estrogen in the body. This causes a larger than normal number of hairs to go into the resting phase. Generally this problem will resolve itself within a few months. If you are losing excessive hair during your pregnancy it is important to mention this to your doctor as it could be an indication that you are not getting enough vitamins and minerals. Hair loss is also fairly common after a miscarriage or an abortion.
As mentioned in this article, there are many reasons why you may be losing hair. Unless you have recently given birth or had a miscarriage or an abortion, you should discuss excessive hair loss with your doctor to rule out possible medical causes.