Hair loss or Alopecia affects millions of men and women worldwide. Women are much luckier than men in some ways in that women will lose some of their hair over time but they rarely develop bald spots. If their hair gets thinner, they can disguise the changes with different hairstyles or use hair products like shampoos and conditioner to make the hair look thicker. Also when a women’s hair gets thin, her hairline isn’t lost as the receding hairline that men experience. Continue reading, how to prevent thinning hair to help lead you in the right direction and get the help you need.
Hair loss is a very common condition and affects many people at some time in their lives. Everyone’s hair changes over time, especially if there have been major life events such as menopause or illness which makes it much harder to have that lovely head of hair you had before. Hair loss can range from mild hair thinning to total baldness and can fall out for many different reasons. I will focus more on thinning hair in women in this article.
Thinning hair can be a very devastating experience for many people especially women as it may be more of a trauma for them because it is less socially acceptable. Many men and also women may notice hair thinning starting in their thirties and forties. This can be very hard for anyone who is having this problem especially if you don’t understand the reason for losing your hair. I can relate to this, and it is not a nice feeling especially when you have to be in public most of the time.
Causes of thinning hair in women
While the majority of hair loss is caused by genetics, there are many other reasons men and women lose their hair. Only a medical doctor can determine the exact cause of your hair loss but get to understand common triggers can help with your decision making to find the right way to see improvement and get your hair back.
A number of different factors can contribute to hair loss in women, such as common medications, and treatments for medical conditions, acne medications, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, cholesterol-lowering medications, epilepsy medications, beta blockers for blood pressure, blood thinners, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants, chemotherapy and radiation, lithium, thyroid medications, immune-suppressing drugs, weight loss drugs and bariatric surgery.
According to research, both emotional and physical stress such as a serious illness or recovery from surgery has been associated with hair loss. Other causes are thyroid disease, anemia, protein deficiency, and low vitamin levels may cause loss. Hair may simply get thin as a result of genetic factors and the overall aging process.
Things to watch out for
People normally lose about 50 to 100 hairs from their scalp each day. You can notice a difference if more than this is falling out. You may find large amounts of hair in your hairbrush, on your clothes, and in the drains of sink and tubs, and especially when washing your hair. You may also notice that your hair is generally thinner, that your part is getting much wider, that your hairline has changed or you have more bald patches than before.
When hair loss is the result of medication side effects, the hair loss occurs all over the head, but in fungal infection of the scalp and autoimmune disease, the hair loss occurs in small patches. Traumatic hair loss depends on the method of hair injury and usually follows the pattern inflicted by using hot rollers, braiding or chemical treatments, and tight ponytails. In males, the hairline usually begins to recede at the temple first, then followed by thinning at the top of the head. The crown of the head gradually becomes totally bald, and only leaves a small amount of hair at the back and sides of the head.
Hair loss in pregnancy
Pregnancy may cause many changes in the scalp and hair. As hormone fluctuates during pregnancy, a large number of women feel their hair gets thicker and much fuller. This could be related to the change in the number of hairs cycling in the growth phase of hair growth, but the exact reason is not known. Most often a loss of hair after delivery will be normal a couple months later.
What should you know about thinning hair
Your hair is very important for your self-esteem and can be very stressful if you begin to lose it. We regularly shed hair daily but this gets worse as we get older in life. Our hair grows much slower than before so the thinning spots are not so easy to fill in. Age-related hair loss is different from a female pattern of hair loss. It is a general shedding of hair throughout the scalp. It is a slow, gradual thinning without increased shedding of hairs which makes you wonder what is happening to your hair.
Anything that stresses your body can make you lose hair but this is a temporary hair loss. Years of perming, coloring your hair, blow drying and straightening with a hot iron, can weaken the hair, causing it to break and get thin.
When to see your doctor.
It is suggested that if you are premenopausal and your hair is thinning, you will have to see a dermatologist (skin specialist) as younger women who experience hair loss may have medical problems, such as hypothyroid disease or dermatological problems. If you are taking a new medication and you are losing your hair, a number of medications and over the counter drugs such as diuretics, thyroid medication, and ibuprofen, may trigger hair loss in some people. If your hair loss occurs suddenly and you develop patches, you could have a condition called alopecia areata, which is thought to be linked to family history as well as stress. This condition is usually temporary and your hair may begin to grow back within a few months. The stress that some women experience due to thinning hair problems, can also contribute to increased hair loss.
Getting help and other solutions for hair loss
If you are concerned about losing your hair, see your doctor or specialist who can help you to find out what is causing the problem. Your doctor will treat the condition that might be the cause of your hair loss, such as thyroid disease. Therapies are also available for age-related or female-pattern hair loss but these are not cures, as they can only help to restore some of the hair you lost. It is suggested that the only FDA approved treatment for female hair loss is minoxidil (Rogaine), this is a cream or foam that you rub directly on your scalp which can slow the rate of hair loss and can even regrow some hair. It is available without a prescription, but it also can cause side effects such as skin irritation and unwanted hair growth near the area where it’s applied, like on the forehead.
It is suggested that Finasteride (Propecia), is an oral medication that is only approved to treat hair loss in men to help promote hair growth.
For good nutrition, eat a well-balanced diet. Women who go on crash diets, or those with eating disorders or other conditions that affect the body’s intake of nutrients, may experience hair loss. Protein and iron are important for the hair to grow normally. The best sources of protein include lean meats, low-fat dairy foods, legumes, and whole grains. For your iron, you can have lean meats, fish, and fortified cereal.
Losing your hair can be very stressful and can affect your self-esteem. Solving hair loss problems involves addressing the underlying medical problem as well as caring for your hair to minimize the impact of your condition. Get professional advice from your therapist, your doctor, and your hair stylist to find solutions that will help you feel much better about yourself. Your doctor can tell you what vitamins are good for your hair loss. You will have to try to accept the situation that you are losing your hair and you are going to do everything you can to make it better. Whatever concerns you have about your hair, a trip to your stylist could be just the remedy, as he or she will be able to help you solve your problem. I do hope how to prevent thinning hair will help you in some way to achieve success with your hair. Think positive and don’t stop trying to look your best.
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