Although men are more prone to lose hair as compared to women, majorly due to male pattern baldness, hair loss and thinking hair are common concerns for women as well. A wide range of reasons and underlying conditions trigger hair loss in women. It can be temporary hair loss due to a vitamin deficiency or a more serious underlying health condition, like hypothyroidism. Here are some of the most common and major causes of hair loss in women:
When women go through any type of physical trauma, such as a surgery, an accident or a serious illness, hair loss is bound to be triggered. Even severe flu can cause temporary hair loss. Such type of hair loss is referred to as telogen effluvium. It should be noted that hair has a calculated lifecycle: a growth phase, rest phase and shedding phase. After a stressful event, this hair cycle is greatly pushed towards the shedding phase. This makes hair loss more intense and noticeable after three or six months after a physically stressful event. However, as soon as your body recovers from the trauma, hair will automatically start growing back.
Knowingly or unknowingly, millions of us, especially women, suffer from thyroid disease. When our bodies produce too much or too little thyroid hormone, which is accountable for maintaining heart rate and metabolism as well as our mood, the condition is termed hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid. The thyroid hormone is responsible for several things, from our basal metabolic rate to the growth of our hair, skin, and nails. However, the absence of the right amount of this hormone will mean there will be significant changes in our bodily functions. Consult your doctor who may prescribe a thyroid hormone test to determine if you need medication for restoring normal levels. Regular TSH tests will guarantee the right dosage for you to function properly.
Anemia or Iron Deficiency
Women experiencing heavy periods as well as those who do not consume adequate iron-loaded foods are more likely to suffer from iron deficiency, implying they don’t have enough red blood cells which supply oxygen to cells throughout the body. This will not provide the body the energy boost you require for proper functioning. For diagnosing an iron deficiency, your doctor can recommend a blood test to measure ferritin, which is the protein that accumulates iron in the body, and helps us diagnose iron-deficiency anemia.
It is highly recommended for women of all ages to consume as much as iron-rich foods as they can. An iron-rich diet comprises of beef, fish, fortified cereals, leafy greens and beans—particularly, in addition to foods rich in vitamin C, for enhancing the iron absorption process. Women require 18mg of iron every day, 8mg subsequent to menopause. Consult your doctor for recommendations on how to take an iron supplement. There are also many supplements to improve hair loss. However, only trusted and reliable supplements should be used to avoid any complications later.
An Unhealthy Scalp
Skin conditions of the scalp can also make way for inflammation, making it difficult for hair to grow. Skin conditions leading to hair loss also include seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff), fungal infections like ringworm and psoriasis. A physical scalp exam can also assist in evaluating what kind of skin conditions you have. Often a fungal culture and sometimes a scalp biopsy helps pinpoint any occurrences of ringworm. For every scalp condition, specific medicated shampoos or light therapy will help alleviate the mentioned conditions.
Hereditary Hair Loss
It is known by all that hair loss can be genetic. Termed as androgenetic alopecia, it is possibly the most common cause of hair loss, as declared by the American Academy of Dermatology. The gene can be inherited from any one of the parents, be it the mother or father. Females who suffer from hereditary hair loss tend to experience thinning at the hairline behind the bangs. Although this condition is likely to develop slowly, it can take place as early as 20s. Hereditary hair loss in women can be uncommon and rare. Although there is not much you can do about it, you can still ensure you eat enough iron-rich foods along with proper conditioning of your scalp to reduce the extent of the hair loss.
In a large number of cases, there are several ways to cure both male and female hair loss, depending on the cause. Consult your doctor before using any hair loss supplement or medication.