Decoding Hair Loss in Women

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“Women losing between 50 to 100 hairs a day is normal”, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It is when it exceeds a hundred that should cause an alarm because it may indicate hair loss conditions. Although studies have revealed that hair loss in women is more prominent with ages 50 or 60s, it can still happen to younger women (with varying reasons such as genetics, childbirth, stress, etc.).

 

Representation of hair

Hair represents quite a few things for women. It may mean beauty, femininity, health, identity, freedom, and more. In fact, to give an example, fuller and longer hair is equated to a more feminine and healthier disposition.

This is the reason why hair loss for women can be very devastating. It affects women’s perception of themselves as well as their confidence and self-esteem. That is why learning the common possible causes is important – to know how to better handle, prevent or treat hair loss.

 

Common possible causes of hair loss

Hereditary Hair Loss

Hereditary hair loss can be passed down from either or both sides of the family. Also known as androgenetic alopecia or female pattern baldness, it is the most common cause of hair loss. It is characterized by hair thinning at the top and crown of the scalp. Women often suffer from this condition on their latter years.

Alopecia Areata

This is a hair loss condition condition caused by the immune system attacking the hair follicles. It is the sudden appearance of round or oval, slick or smooth patches without scaling or broken hairs on the scalp. Alopecia areata has a 5% probability of progressing to alopecia totalis (loss of all hair on the scalp) while some develop alopecia universalis (loss of all body hair).

Thyroid Disease

The thyroid produces hormones that is responsible for hair growth among other things. This is why prolonged or severe hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism may result in hair loss on the entire scalp.

Lupus

Lupus causes a widespread skin inflammation which affects the face and scalp. Sufferers of this disease experience gradually thinning hair or losing clumps of it (which is seldom). Loss of facial and body hair is also possible, however, there are instances when lesions are developed on the scalp which result to permanent hair loss.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium is when hair follicles stops growing and enter the resting phase that makes hair shed excessively – resulting to either partial or complete baldness. This is also known as an iron deficiency hair loss, which is a temporary hair loss condition if addressed properly.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

A hormonal imbalance characterized by the ovaries producing too many male hormones. Its symptoms include facial hair growth, irregular periods, acne, and cysts on the ovaries. Furthermore, sufferers of PCOS may experience hair loss on the scalp while other body parts grow hair.

Skin Conditions of the Scalp

Skin conditions such as tinea capitis is a contagious fungal infection often seen in children and commonly known as ringworm. Symptoms includes scaly round or oval patches of hair loss on the scalp. It may also appear on the eyebrows, and eyelashes. It may sometimes cause hair breakage at the surface of the scalp – making it look like tiny black dots. An unhealthy scalp may cause inflammation making it difficult for hair to grow and possible for conditions like Seborrheic Dermatitis, Psoriasis, and Tinea Capitis possible.

Excessive Styling

Too much of everything is bad. With this in mind, excessive shampooing, dyeing, and styling can damage your locks. More so when a combination of treatments is done.

 

What to do

Learning about your hair loss condition could lessen the stress you go through. Although symptoms may be visible, it is advisable to consult a doctor or better yet a hair loss specialist to better understand your condition. It is critical to have an accurate diagnosis to know the specific medication or treatment you would need to undergo to cure your hair loss condition.

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