According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most people lose 50 to 100 hair strands each day. We talk about hair and reasons for female hair loss.
Hair loss, hair thinning, and pattern baldness are not only a nuisance for men; in fact, many women also encounter the challenge of hair loss.
While the tragedy mostly hits middle-aged women, hair loss can occur at any age.
Hair loss is a setback for women; it shatters their self-confidence.
It is devastating to see your hairline receding every day.
However, you cannot control the damage and reverse hair loss without understanding its root causes.
The Hair Growth Cycle
Have you ever wondered if there is a science behind hair growth?
It is a complete cycle with three different stages.
Understanding the hair growth cycle will help you understand the causes of hair loss more clearly.
Anagen –The Growth Phase
Anagen is the first phase of hair growth; at this stage, your hair grows at a rate of 1 centimeter per month.
How long your hair stays in the anagen phase depends on your genes.
Usually, it can last anywhere between 3 and 5 years.
The duration of the phase also tells how long your hair can grow.
85-90% of the hair is in the growth phase at any given time.
Catagen –The Transition Phase
It is the transition phase, which lasts for 2 weeks.
At this stage, the hair follicles prepare to grow new hair.
During the transition, the follicles shrink to one-sixth of its original size.
It is during this phase that the hair follicles “die” and fall out.
Telogen –The Resting/Shedding Phase
This is the final stage where the hair follicles remain at rest.
The telogen phase lasts anywhere between 1 and 4 months.
By the end of this phase, hair follicles begin to regenerate new hair, pushing out the old hair.
As a result, the old hair is shed from the head.
As you can imagine, individuals whose hair spends the majority of its life in the telogen phase will be those who experience balding and thinning.
Factors responsible for Hair Loss among Women
Women can experience hair thinning or hair loss due to many reasons, including stress, hormonal change, certain medications, and alopecia.
Let’s discuss each of the “culprits” in detail.
Alopecia or pattern baldness is the leading cause of hair loss in both men and women.
While it’s a permanent condition, the effect differs between males and females.
Men with pattern baldness lose hair from the top and front of their heads.
Women, on the other hand, experience hair thinning on the top and crown of their heads.
Alopecia is the biggest genetic cause of hair loss.
It is a by-product of a combination of genetics and a hormone called DHT.
Some women experience hair loss after delivering a child.
This hair loss can be known as postpartum hair loss.
This typically occurs either immediately after childbirth or within the months to follow.
The reason for postpartum hair loss is because women’s hormones change during pregnancy, producing large amounts of estrogen.
Estrogen levels influence the hair growth cycle, and the higher the estrogen level, the more hair women will grow.
With that being said, pregnant women oftentimes go the full pregnancy term with their hair continuously growing in the anagen phase of the hair growth cycle.
This is often why new moms report having noticeably thicker hair.
However, once estrogen levels return to their normal levels after delivery, the hair begins to fall out.
This is because the hairs on the scalp are finally transitioning into the telogen (resting) stage of the hair growth cycle for the first time in quite some time.
Hair loss after pregnancy can be slight or sometimes extreme.
Women with uniform hair follicles can also fall victim to hair loss.
You are likely to experience sudden hair fall due to certain medical conditions.
While there are many conditions that can contribute to hair loss in women, some common conditions include anemia, pregnancy, and thyroid disorders.
In addition, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), autoimmune diseases, and certain skin conditions also lead to hair thinning and hair loss.
The list does not end here; iron deficiency, diabetes, eating disorders, and lupus also affect hair growth.
However, hair loss in such cases lasts for a couple of weeks to six months.
Treatment of the condition helps in reversing hair loss as well.
Extreme stress, intense illness, and physical trauma can also lead to a hair recession. When you are dealing with emotional or physical distress, you may also encounter severe hair thinning.
Stress forces hair follicles into the resting phase.
As a result, more hair strands fall out than are produced.
Many people neglect their diet when they are in a stressful situation.
Poor dietary habits work as a catalyst and fuel the hair loss.
Lack of nutrients, particularly proteins in the diet causes ferritin deficiency.
Protein supports hair growth.
Hair loss due to stress is reversible and stops after several months.
In the case of hair thinning, you can opt for Low-Level Light Therapy (LLLT).
It is a non-invasive, non-chemical treatment for women and men.
LLLT is a scientifically studied treatment for promoting hair growth.
Low-level light therapy is one of the top treatments used to reverse or slow down androgenetic alopecia.
Devices that emit this light therapy have made their way into the hair loss industry with the evolution of technology.
These devices are a laser cap for hair growth that is worn in the comfort of your own home every other day for 30-minutes.
They have been scientifically proven to regrow the hair follicles on the scalp by stimulating blood flow and encouraging new cell growth in problematic areas.
Users will typically see new hair growth results in 4-8 months of religious use.
Laser caps are relatively affordable and are FDA-cleared to be safe and effective.
Hair loss amongst women can be terribly life-altering.
Fortunately, many causes of hair loss can be cured with the appropriate treatment.
Make sure you are staying properly nourished and that you are taking care of your existing, healthy hair strands.
Also, make sure you are staying educated about what potential causes might be contributing to your hair thinning.
This way you will be able to easily pinpoint a solution to get your hair back on track!