Every woman loses at least some of her hair every day. In fact, as much as 100 to 125 strands of hair can fall from your head or stay in the hairbrush per day. This is simply the natural hair growth cycle in which there is a shedding stage to make room for new hair follicles. However, females who are experiencing bald patches or notable thinning may be suffering from hair loss. While both men and women can experience hair loss, women suffer the greatest emotional distress since it is less socially acceptable to have balding or thinning hair as a woman. Fortunately, there are hair loss treatments for women, but an effective treatment must address the “root” cause of your hair loss:
- Female Pattern Hair Loss
This is the most common type of hair loss, affecting nearly 1 in 10 women who are postmenopausal. An abnormal response to testosterone causes a gradual thinning across the top of the head. Family history can increase your chances of female pattern hair loss.
- Pregnancy and Childbirth
Again, hormones can play a strong role in hair growth cycles. Increased estrogen can thicken the hair during pregnancy, but once childbirth occurs, the hair that has remained in the growth phase will fall and your body will use any extra resources to replenish other systems in your body first. Hair loss after childbirth is very common and temporary.
- Certain Medical Conditions and Drug Treatment
Cushing syndrome, coeliac disease, diabetes, thyroid disorders and polycystic ovarian syndrome have all been associated with hair loss. In addition, there are certain drugs that produce hair loss as a side effect. Hair loss related to a medical condition or prescription should be discussed with your physician.
Stress takes a toll on the entire body, including your hair. Women who are under chronic stress or in a high-pressured career may experience hair loss. Emotional stress causes increased cortisol levels which in turn induces the hormone changes that contribute to hair loss.
- Poor Nutrition and Extreme Dieting
A nutritional deficiency or an extreme dieting plan can lead to hair loss in women. Iron deficiency is a leading cause of hair loss and one that can be rectified easily with supplements. If your recent weight loss plan has resulted in a fast drop in pounds, your hair growth system may slow down or even shut down in response.
- Hair Styling
While it may sound silly, your favorite hairstyle could be the reason you are losing hair. Among hairstyles that contribute to damaged hair follicles are braids, dreadlocks, tight ponytails and hair extensions. Be careful about using tight rollers as well!
- Alopecia Areata
This type of hair loss is an autoimmune disease. Alopecia areata is often genetic and can present itself with small patches of hair loss throughout the scalp. In this condition, the immune system overworks and inadvertently attacks healthy hair follicles.
Treating Your Hair Loss
At Olansky Dermatology, we want women to know that there are treatments available for hair loss, including shampoos, topical therapies and other more advanced methods to stimulate new hair growth and help women regain the full and confident head of hair they deserve. We have the skill and knowledge to accurately determine the cause of your hair loss so that you can take advantage of the most effective, long-term treatment option. Call our Atlanta office today.