hair loss in women

Hair loss can be quite startling if you start to notice more hair on your hairbrush, or on the floor of the shower.  Hair loss can be temporary or permanent.  Hair loss affects both men and women.  There are lots of things that can cause you to have hair loss, hereditary, hormonal, or even certain medical conditions.  Your hair loss can be just secluded to your scalp or it can affect your entire body. 

Normal amount of hair loss is about 50-100 strands a day.  Hair loss is defined as when you are losing more hairs than new ones are growing in.  The medical term for this is alopecia.  There are a few first signs that you may notice, smaller ponytail, larger amounts coming out in hair brush, bald spots on scalp, or seeing your hair break.  


Causes Of Hair Loss

There are a lot of different causes of hair loss.  It is not always just hereditary hair loss.

  • Hair loss can be caused by hormonal changes.  This can be from after pregnancy you may notice your hair thinning, birth control pills, childbirth or menopause can all cause hair thinning.
  • Vitamin deficiencies can also cause hair loss.  If you are deficient in iron, vitamin D, zinc or selenium you may notice your hair start to fall out more.
  • Rapid weight loss or having a restrictive diet can also cause hair loss.
  • Other causes are severe stress, surgery, or abnormal thyroid.
  • Certain medications can cause hair loss as well.  Medications that treat cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression, and heart problems.
  • Physical or emotional shock such as a death in the family or a high fever are also causes.
  • Chemotherapy can cause hair loss.
  • What hairstyle you are wearing could be the culprit to your hair loss as well.  Wearing tight hairstyles such as a tight ponytail, tight braids, or having extensions can cause damage to your hair.


Diagnosis & Treatment

If you start to notice your hair loss you will want to be seen immediately.  The sooner you are seen the better outcome for treatment.  Some hair loss cannot be prevented.  Your doctor will do a few tests to try to find the cause of your hair loss.  A blood test may be done to check your vitamin levels.  If your doctor assumes you may have an autoimmune disease that could cause hair loss they may take a biopsy of your scalp.  A hair pull may also be done to check the strength and health of your hair.  Your regular physician can help treat your hair loss or a dermatologist.  

Finding the cause of the hair loss will be key to treating your hair loss.  Some types of hair loss are not treatable or preventable, like hereditary baldness.  There are some things you can do at home to help your hair.  Reduce stress.  Make sure you are eating a nutritious diet.  Add in supplements for any vitamin deficiencies you may have.  Make sure you are using lightweight shampoo and conditioners.  Avoid tight hairstyles.  Massage your scalp to help promote blood flow, and hair growth.  Limit the amount of heat on your hair, such as curling, straightening or blow drying.  Stop smoking.  

There are some medications that can help with hair loss.  Rogaine, and Propecia have been approved for hair growth medication.  Spironolactone is another medication oral choice as well as other anti-androgens.  Steroids or estrogens can also help promote hair growth.  Hair transplants are also an option.  This is when your doctor will take hair from a fuller part of your hair and move them to a bald section.  

Hair, nail and skin supplements may also be an option.  These help provide crucial vitamins and nutrients for you to have healthy cell and tissue growth, structure and longevity.  These hair, nail and skin supplements usually contain Vitamin A, C, D, and collagen.  They also usually have Vitamin B7 or Biotin.  Biotin deficiency and hair loss go hand in hand.  The key to these supplements is to make sure you aren’t getting over 100% of your daily value of any of these vitamins.  Since you will still be getting these in your diet.  A healthy diet is also key to make sure all these vitamins are being absorbed appropriately.  

Hair loss though scary at first can be easily diagnosed.  After diagnosis your doctor will have a treatment plan in hand for you.  If it is long term you can try different hairstyles to help volumize your hair, wear wigs or hats if you are self conscious about your hair.  There are lots of different options on how to treat your hair loss.  Temporary hair loss may not always have a treatment either, just waiting it out for your hair to get back to normal.  



Hair loss is defined as when you are losing more hairs than new ones are growing in.

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