Female hair loss, thinning hair or baldness is very traumatic for women. One in every five women in the United States experiences hereditary hair loss, called female pattern hair loss. A woman does not have the role models the male has with hair loss and often feels as though she is the only one on earth with hair loss condition
The onset of hair loss -
With an average head of hair containing 100,000 individual hairs, most women do not notice their hair loss until they have already lost up to a third of the total number of hairs on their scalp. When it finally is noticed, the panic light often goes on.
Even though it is normal to lose up to a hundred hairs a day, each lost hair now noticed is often chipping away at self esteem.
One asks her self the following questions: Am I ill? Am I eating right? Have the products/appliances I'm using on my hair caused this condition? Why Me?????
Over twenty million females in the U.S. alone, lose hair due to the same reason as men. It is due to genetic predisposition and the medical term is androgenetic alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia is believed to be the effect of male hormone levels that both men and women have in their body. Androgenetic alopecia is the cause of over 90% of ALL hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia can be inherited from either parent. Female pattern hair loss exhibits different traits than the male. Most women are fortunate enough to be able to retain frontal hairlines. (Although no amount of hair loss is acceptable to most women.) Women do not usually exhibit the totally bald areas as does the male. Most pattern hair loss in women is a diffuse thinning which can reach further down into the temples and lower back of the head.
Other causes for women's hair loss is due to pregnancy and during menopause. At these times the male hormones tend to have more of an effect because there's less estrogen in a woman's body. Three to six months after delivering a child, many women will notice some degree of hair loss.
This can also occur quite commonly in women who are on crash diets and lose a great deal of weight over a short period of time, or after acute illnesses, such as an acute infection. In most cases except after menopause, hair re-growth will resume after patient returns to normal diet or health. Many medications may cause more hair loss in women who have genetic predisposition to hair loss.
Another hair loss type is a clinical condition called alopecia areata, sudden round bald spots will be noticed. Its cause is believed to be an imbalance of the immune system. There can be a total body hair loss, alopecia areata is the patchy form of hair loss. Alopecia totalis is total hair loss of the scalp. Alopecia universalis is loss of all body hair. For many, the hair will re-grow back by itself. For more information on these types of hair loss check with the National Alopecia Areata Foundation at http://www.naaf.org
Trichotillomania- A known obsessive compulsive disorder which involves the pulling out of one's own hair. This condition is usually seen in pre-teen and teenage girls and is often unconscious to the individual. The condition can effect women of all ages. To properly diagnose this condition a biopsy can be performed by a competent dermatologist. Trichotillomania can appear as alopecia areata and is in fact, often mis-diagnosed as such. New medications and treatments are available for the condition. For more information on these types of hair loss check with the Trichotillomania Learning Center, Inc. at http://www.trich.org
DIET- Top Dermatologists state that diet plays a minimal role in female pattern hair loss. Any normal diet will insure you of enough proteins and nutrients to adequately provide the nourishment needed for hair growth. Actual studies have been done on World War II concentration camp victims and even those near death from malnutrition did not experience any excessive amount of hair loss. Diet can however effect the condition of the hair such as dry, dull, shiny, etc.
AGE & HAIR LOSS- As women age, they lose estrogen which stimulates hair growth. More androgens are present as we age which again are the main cause of the hair loss. As women age, longer hair becomes less flattering and with it's increased weight, often makes hair appear thinner rather than thicker. Stylists usually recommend shorter styles to add a thicker look to the hair along with adding gels, etc. Unfortunately, even those without female pattern hair loss begin to see changes in their hair as early as their thirties. Grey hairs begin to sprout and hair begins to gradually get dryer and thinner in texture as we age. With hair loss it is especially important that precautions are taken to avoid excessive exposure to the sun. Hats, caps & scarves over much needed protection.
MYTHS- In recent years, just as ancient history, there have always been magic elixirs in many forms from cosmetic firms; herbal based concoctions that are supposed to assist you in "farming" a new full head of hair, products with impressive sounding ingredients such as polysaccharides and biotin. Almost all are produced naturally in the body in more than ample supply.
TIPS FOR HEALTHY HAIR-
When hair is wet is it at its most vulnerable stage.
Wide toothed combs are strongly suggested. In longer lengths always begin at ends and work up to scalp while hair is wet.
Avoid excessively hot showers. (They dry out the scalp and promote dandruff).
Avoid sharp, fine tooth combs when hair is wet.
Don't share combs and brushes with others.
Use the appropriate shampoo and conditioner.
Texture and condition are the two main essentials in determining your hair care products. Texture is usually divided in three stages: fine, medium and coarse. Hair that is chemically treated should be classified as dry.
Condition also is divided in three main categories: dry-normal and oily.
Many experts advise individuals to switch shampoo types periodically. One week use a conditioning/moisturizing shampoo to treat dry, dull hair. The next use a protein formula to add body to the hair.
Avoid using the highest heat settings on blow dryers.
Avoid hair weaving, tight pony tails or braids which keep a tension on the hair. (This too can cause permanent hair loss).
Don't use regular rubber bands in the hair.
Although chemicals such as perms and colors do not cause hair loss they do damage the hair. The less chemical usage the better for healthy hair. Consult with a professional for perms, color, bleaches, etc. Always use patch tests on the skin prior to chemical applications to insure against allergic reactions.
There are several options for hair loss in women in the market today. Finding the right treatment can be confusing. The following discussion on SOLUTIONS FOR WOMEN Hair Loss will guide you through this maze.