Hair Loss Advice


Womens Hair Loss

Hair loss for a woman can be devastating. The problems seems to be increasing every year. It is estimated that six out of ten woman will suffer some degree of hair loss.

Most people assume that it is only men who suffer from hair loss, but nothing could be further from the truth. Although it is basically true with regards to heredity, millions of women the world over suffer from some form of hair loss and the number appears to be rising each year.

The overwhelming cause is a hereditary condition called androgenetic alopecia or female-pattern hair loss.

womens hair lossOne of the least engaging facts about getting older is that a significant number of women also experience hair loss.

All women have some of the male hormone testosterone in their bodies, but women with androgenetic alopecia are more sensitive to the hormone.

This sensitivity causes hair to thin all over the head, and some women develop thinning patches similar to male-pattern hair loss.

Sudden hair loss may not be painful or even dangerous in itself, but for the six out of ten women who suffer from it at some point in their lives can find, it a devastating blow to their confidence - to their confidence - marital break up, career problems, social isolation and even suicide has been known to follow in its wake.

One of the most traumatic experiences a woman could endure in her life would be baldness. Hair thinning or slight hair loss is bad enough but total baldness can be completely heartbreaking. To see one's hair fall out in clumps and be able to do nothing about it is something no woman ever contemplates.

Sadly there is a hair disorder that affects women for no reason, which causes the hair to fall out in handfuls.

There is no known cure for the problem and many women with the disorder sadly spend vast sums of money with the so called "hair specialists" on wonder shampoo's which they claim will restore their crowning glory.

Society may mock men suffering from baldness, but at least it is tolerated. However a woman suffering from baldness is just not acceptable by society. Until people can actually accept one another as they are and not judge them by their looks, then we shall always have the problem, with bald women being virtually treated as outcasts.

hair loss in women For a woman hair loss can be devastating, in our society hair is regarded as a symbol of beauty and desirability, without hair some women feel complete failures and the effects can be disastrous. Hair loss can be seen to some women as losing their femininity.
female hair loss
Baldness occurs when the hair falls out but a new hair does not grow in its place. The cause of the failure to grow a new hair is not well understood, but it is associated with genetic predisposition, aging, and levels of endocrine hormones.

Changes in the levels of the androgens can affect hair production. For example, after the hormonal changes of menopause, many women find that the hair on the head is thinned, while facial hair is coarser. Although new hair is not produced, the follicle remains alive, suggesting the possibility of new hair growth.

Genetic hair loss and moult or increased hair shedding (chronic telogen effluvium), accounts for by far the majority of all hair loss complaints in women - up 95% in fact before menopause. Unlike men who tend to lose a lot of hair in particular areas, like the temples and crown - Male pattern baldness - women are more likely to thin diffusely from behind the front hairline to the crown.

The most common type of hair loss seen in women is androgenetic alopecia, also known as female pattern alopecia or baldness. This is seen as hair thinning predominantly over the top and sides of the head. It affects approximately one-third of all susceptible women, but is most commonly seen after menopause, although it may begin as early as puberty.

Normal hair fall is approximately 100-125 hairs per day. fortunately, these hairs are replaced. True hair loss occurs when lost hairs are not regrown or when the daily hair shed exceeds 125 hairs. Genetically, hair loss can come from either parent's side of the family.

There are two different types of hair loss, medically known as anagen effluvium and Telogen effluvium.

Anagen effluvium is generally due to internally administered medications, such as chemotherapy agents, that poison the growing hair follicle.

Telogen effluvium, is due to an increased number of hair follicles entering the resting stage.

The most common causes of telogen effluvium are:

  • Physical stress: surgery, illness, anemia, rapid weight change.

  • Emotional stress: mental illness, death of a family member.

  • Thyroid abnormalities.

  • Medications: High does of Vitamin A -- Blood pressure medications -- Gout medications.

  • Hormonal causes: pregnancy, birth control pills, menopause.

  • Causes of temporary hair loss include:

  • Medication - Drugs used to treat cancer, blood thinners, antidepressants and high blood pressure medications, as well as birth control pills and high doses of vitamin A, may cause hair loss.

  • Diet - Too little protein and too little iron in your diet can lead to hair loss.

  • Stress or illness - You may begin losing hair one to three months after a stressful situation, such as major surgery. High fevers, severe infections or chronic illnesses can result in hair loss.

  • Childbirth - You may lose large amounts of hair within two to three months after delivery.

  • Alopecia areata - A condition in which hair loss occurs only in certain areas, resulting in hair loss patches the size of a coin or larger.

  • Thyroid disease - An overactive or underactive thyroid can cause hair loss. More information on thyroid problems:-

  • Ringworm - If this fungal infection occurs on your scalp, it can cause small patches of scaling skin and some hair loss.

  • When the above causes of telogen effluvium are reversed or altered you should see the return of normal hair growth.

    The typical pattern of female-pattern baldness is different than that of male pattern baldness. The hair thins all over the head, but the frontal hairline is maintained. There may be a moderate loss of hair on the crown, but this rarely progresses to total or near baldness as it may in men.

    Hair loss can occur in women for reasons other than female-pattern baldness. These may include temporary shedding of hair (telogen effluvium), breaking of hair (from such things as styling treatments, and twisting or pulling of hair), patchy areas of total hair loss (alopecia areata--an immune disorder causing temporary hair loss), oral medications, as well as certain skin diseases.

    The hair loss of female-pattern baldness is permanent. The hair loss is usually mild to moderate. No treatment is required if the person is comfortable with her appearance.

    The only drug or medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat female-pattern baldness is minoxidil, used topically on the scalp. It may help hair to grow in 40% of the population, and in 90% it may slow the loss of hair. Hair loss recurs when its use is stopped.


    Hair loss may also occur due to dieting. Diet programs which are designed or administered under the direction of a physician with prescribed meals, dietary supplements and vitamin ingestion have become popular.m

    Sometimes the client is told the vitamins are a necessary part of the program to prevent hair loss associated with dieting.

    From a dermatologist's standpoint, however, the diet and hair loss vitamins cannot prevent hair loss associated with rapid, significant weight loss.

    Furthermore, many of these supplements are high in Vitamin A which can magnify hair loss.
    Vegetarianism and dieting can result in hair loss if they cause iron deficiency.

    Iron and zinc supplements should be taken if the diet does not produce enough on it's own.

    If someone is anaemic this can cause excessive hair loss. A doctor should be consulted as a course of iron tablets may be all that's needed to sort the problem out.

    Physical And Emotional Stress

    Surgeries, severe illnesses and emotional stress can cause hair loss. The body simply shuts down production of hair during periods of stress since it is not necessary for survival and instead devotes its energies toward repairing vital body structures. In many cases there is three month delay between the actual event and the onset of hair loss.

    Furthermore, there may be another three month delay prior to the return of noticeable hair regrowth. This then means that the total hair loss and regrowth cycle can last 6 months or possibly longer when induced by physical or emotional stress. There are some health conditions which may go undetected that can contribute to hair loss.

    These include anaemia or low blood count and thyroid abnormalities. Both of these conditions can be detected by a simple, inexpensive blood test.

    In woman some hormonal preparations may produce hair in places where it is least desired, such as on the face.

    Hormonal Change

    Hormonal changes are a common cause of female hair loss. Many women do not realize that hair loss can occur after pregnancy or following discontinuation of birth control pills. It is important to remember that the hair loss may be delayed by three months following the hormonal change and another three months will be required for new growth to be fully achieved.

    It is estimated that up to 45% of women suffer considerable hair loss after the birth of a baby, although hair may not fall out till three months later. A small number of woman suffer severe or even complete hair lose after pregnancy.

    The reason for this is hormonal. When a woman is pregnant the levels of the hormone progesterone are unusually high and this has the effect of forcing hair into the resting phase prematurely.

    After pregnancy when hormone level's re-balance, new hair begins to grow and eventually pushes the resting hair out. When the hair begins to fall it is usually a good sign that new growth is on the way.

    However the fall can last up to six months and few women find their hair never regains its former luxurious thickness. All you can do is eat a well-balanced diet to ensure that the hair has all it needs for healthy growth and treat it with care.

    An underactive thyroid, a problem which is related to auto-immune disease, also leads to increased hair loss and this may be one of the first symptoms noticed. Many women suffer thyroid dysfunction after childbirth, that coupled with post-pregnancy hair fall, sometimes confuses the issue.

    A treatment of thyroid hormone prescribed by your doctor will usually clear up the problem up. More information on thyroid problems:-

    High fevers or a local skin problem with the scalp are two more possible causes of hair loss. In fact persistent hair fall can be a symptom of such a wide variety of underlying health problems that it's always advisable to consult a doctor if you are worried in the slightest.

    Hair transplants consist of removal of tiny plugs of hair from areas where the hair is continuing to grow and placing them in areas that are balding. This can cause minor scarring in the donor areas, and carries a modest risk for skin infection. The procedure usually requires multiple transplantation sessions and may be expensive.

    Suturing of hair pieces to the scalp is not recommended as it can result in scars, infections, and abscess of the scalp or brain. The use of hair implants made of artificial fibers was banned by the FDA because of the high rate of infection.

    Hair weaving, hair pieces, or change of hair style may disguise the hair loss and improve the cosmetic appearance. This is often the least expensive and safest method of treating female-pattern baldness.

    Myths Related To Hair Loss

    Frequent shampooing contributes to hair loss.

    Hats and wigs cause hair loss.

    100 strokes of the hair brush daily will create healthier hair.

    Permanent hair loss is caused by perms, colors and other cosmetic treatments.

    Women are expected to develop significant hair back thicker.

    Shaving one's head will cause the hair to grow back thicker.

    Standing on one's head will cause increased circulation and thereby stimulate hair growth!

    Dandruff causes permanent hair loss.

    There are cosmetic products that will cause the hair to grow thicker and faster.

    Stress causes permanent hair loss.

    Hair loss does not occur in the late teens or early twenties.

    Hair loss affects only intellectuals.

    There is a cure for androgenetic Alopecia.

    These are only a few of the common myths heard by physicians and other hair loss specialists on a daily basis.

    The AHLC suggests that you first have your hair loss diagnosed by a competent dermatologist who sees hair loss patients on a regular basis. Once you know the diagnosis you will have a better understanding of exactly which treatment option may be best for you.

    Treatment Options

    The most common treatment for hair loss is a 2 percent solution of minoxidil (Rogaine). It is successful for 44 percent to 63 percent of women. A 5 percent solution of Rogaine for women is expected to be available soon and may produce more dramatic results.

    rogaine women

    In addition, with the FDA approval of the first antibaldness pill, Propecia.

    At this time, the drug is only available to men because testing on women is not complete, and there is concern that it may cause birth defects.

    However, Propecia could be available to postmenopausal women by prescription within the year.

    Hair Replacement Surgery - Modern surgical techniques have made transplantation for females a viable treatment option providing they are qualified candidates and have realistic expectations.

    Hair Additions -- Modern forms of hair additions have also made recent improvements in simulating a natural appearance. A consultation with a skilled specialist to discuss your options is advised.

    If you are experiencing hair loss, ask your physician about these options:

  • Accepting and learning to live with hair loss. Professional counseling may be of help.
    Wigs - If your hair loss is widespread, wigs may be a relatively inexpensive and easy option.

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine) - Now sold over-the-counter, minoxidil may help stop hair loss in some people. Effectiveness varies and you need to keep using it to maintain benefits.

  • Hair transplants - Results are not as good in women as in men. However, a new method, called micrograft hair transplantation, uses single hair grafts and has been successful in selected patient.

  • Aromatherapy and hair loss

    Further Reading

    Rapunzel Envy - Hair Loss in Women

    A 1999 study published in the Journal of Women's Health and Gender-Based Medicine found that hair loss in women was associated with self-consciousness, jealousy and a feeling of powerlessness about hair loss.

    Womens hair loss

    Hair loss for a woman can be devastating. The problems seems to be increasing every year. It is estimated that six out of ten woman will suffer some degree of hair loss.

    Womens hair loss - Thyroid

    Where hyperthyroid people make too much thyroid hormone, hypothyroid people don’t make enough.

    Hair Loss in Women - Why Does It Happen?

    Hair Loss takes most women by surprise. For some, the effects can be embarrassing and depressing. Here to explain the causes and warning signs of hair loss are two experts in the field.

    Cause of Hair Loss in Women

    Though hair loss can be embarrassing and unpleasant for anyone, our society considers hair loss in women a sort of cosmetic disaster.

    Women Lose It, Too

    One out of every four women in the United States experiences hereditary hair loss, and for that one woman, hair loss can feel like a first class cosmetic disaster.

    Womens Best Selling Hair Loss Products

    A listing on the sites best selling hair loss products for women

    The Heartache of Hair Loss in Women

    "For most people, hair is an integral part of themselves, so hair loss really represents losing a part of themselves and their self image," says Jerry Cooley, MD, of the Carolina Dermatology Hair Center in Charlotte, North Carolina

    Hair Transplantation for Women - Understanding the Procedure

    When we think of hair transplantation, we often think of balding men. But women lose their hair too, and more and more of them are turning to hair transplants.

    Medical Treatments for Hair Loss in Women

    Although hair loss can seem a permanent condition, and devastating to many women, there is hope, and there are treatments out there for women, even if you never do see the ads.

    Eating Well for Hair Health

    "What you eat or do not eat can affect your hair and skin," says Doug Kalman, RD, a nutritionist with Miami Research Associates. This is important for dieters to keep in mind, Kalman says, particularly those who choose diets that severely restrict calories or eliminate groups of food.

    Rogaine for Women - A Snapshot

    For years, only men were acknowledged when it came to hair thinning and hair loss, but now we know that hereditary hair thinning is almost as common for women. In fact, one in four women in the United States experiences hair thinning.