Why Do Women Lose Their Hair?
Hair loss is not a male disease. Women make up a significant percentage of hair loss sufferers. “Forty percent of women have visible hair loss by the time they are age 40,” according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Unfortunately, society has forced women to suffer in silence.
It is considered far more acceptable for men to go through the same hair loss issues. Unfortunately, the medical community pays little attention to women’s hair loss. As we well know, sadly many resorts to masking their hair and/or scalp challenges with hair units (wigs) or extensions, in some cases exacerbating the issue.
Since hair loss is not life-threatening, some physicians often overlook a woman’s complaint about hair loss. This oversight offers very little hope for recovery.
Comprehension of hair loss is one thing, however, the solution is entirely different.
First let’s discuss the word Alopecia, which is often misunderstood and often a taboo word. According to Melloni, B. J., Eisner, G. M., & Dox, I. (2001). The HarperCollins illustrated medical dictionary, “Alopecia is the medical term for excessive or abnormal hair loss.”
What all hair loss has in common, whether it’s in men or women, is that it is generally indicative of unbalances within your body system(s). Healthy hair and scalp start from within.
Your hair will remain on your head where it belongs if hormone imbalance, disease, or some other condition is not occurring. That condition may be as simple as having a gene that makes you susceptible to male or female pattern baldness or one of the forms of alopecia, or it may be as complex as a whole host of diseases.
Fortunately, hair loss may also be a symptom of a short-term event such as Chronic or Traumatic stress, Pregnancy, and the taking of certain medications.
What’s The Culprit
In these situations, the hair will often (though not always) grow back when the event has passed. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) “there are approximately 30 conditions that cause hair loss in women, and many can be resolved with proper treatment.”
To name a few; hormones, medications, poor nutrition, improper hair management, and diseases can cause a change in hair growth and shedding phases.
When growth and shedding are out of sync hair loss will become visible. Once the cause is dealt with, many times hairs will go back to their random pattern of growth and shedding, and the hair loss problem stops.
Unfortunately, for some women, hair loss becomes a lifelong struggle.
Hair cells are one of the most rapidly growing cells in the body and require an ample supply of nutrients. Proteins, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals nurture healthy hair.
Prolonged anxiety increases cortisone levels. High levels of this hormone can cause the same problems as testosterone.
Low Iron Levels
Iron deficiency, with or without anemia, can lead to hair loss. Do not simply start taking an iron supplement without having your iron checked by a physician because too much iron can also lead to health problems.
Both an overactive and an under-active thyroid can lead to hair loss.
If you are currently experiencing hair loss and scalp concerns, please review Hair and Scalp Therapy FAQs.
Low Estrogen Levels
Many women experience hair loss during and after menopause when estrogen levels begin to drop.
Menopause or a full hysterectomy can send the male hormone, testosterone, into overdrive, wreaking havoc on your hair.
Other hormonal changes – changes in oral contraceptive use, can also trigger hair loss.
Post-pregnancy Hormonal Changes
Similarly, new moms may find that they’re shedding a lot of hair in the first one to six months after delivery when their estrogen levels return to normal.
Actually, what seems like excessive hair loss is really hair’s natural growth cycle regulating itself, as high hormone levels tend to keep women from losing normal amounts of hair during pregnancy.
This is the general term for sudden, temporary hair loss as a result of recent stress or surgery, which typically occurs around two months after the causative event or illness.
It may also be used to describe sudden hair loss as a result of other factors on this list, such as post-pregnancy hormonal changes.
Men aren’t the only ones who should look to dad for their hairline future. Genetic baldness can be inherited from mom or dad and passed on to women, too.
Many medications may lead to hair loss. Medications, such as blood coagulants, chemotherapy drugs, blood pressure, and heart condition pills, and some cholesterol-lowering drugs, are often behind a sudden onset of hair loss.
If this is a concern, talk to your doctor about potential alternatives.
High Levels of Vitamin A or Selenium
There is rarely any reason to take more of these nutrients than you’d find in a good multivitamin.
If you have been experiencing hair loss for 10 years or longer our Health Coaching services may be a good place to start.
We can support with the following
- Releasing Weight
- Pantry makeovers
- Prevention Lifestyle
- Healthy shopping store tours
- Mood/Mind/Sleep Management
- Hormonal Balance/Women’s Health
- Natural Skincare, Natural Cleaning
- Managing Occasional Aches and Pains
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