Women’s health; Hair loss

Rock Chick, Music, Woman, Bald, RockUntil recently, the issue of hair loss in women was believed to be uncommon. Recent research, however, has revealed it’s far more widespread than previously thought. Some estimates say as many as 25 million American women (or more) experience noticeable hair loss and the distressing effects that often go along with it. Female hair loss causes are somewhat different than those typically seen in men, and the emotional effects can be very different as well.
Appearance of Hair Loss in Women
The look of baldness in many females is generally different from its appearance in men. Women usually do not go bald or partly bald, and they generally don’t have bald spots on the crown of their head. In women, hair loss typically shows up as overall thinning of their hair, both the quantity of hair on the head and the thickness of every individual hair. Some women do have a receding hairline, but seldom as pronounced and noticeable as what many men experience.
A woman’s self esteem and sense of self are typically much more determined by the way they look than is normally the case for men. Of course, men find it painful to lose their own hair, but for females the psychological effects can be particularly devastating.
When you think of how much money and effort goes into marketing women’s hair care products, styling products, cosmetics and hair care appliances such as blow dryers and curling irons, it is not hard to understand why women find it so distressing to experience hair loss. Our society puts so much emphasis on looks, especially for women, that female hair loss can lead to a lot of emotional pain, anxiety, and even trigger episodes of depression.
Medical Causes of Hair Loss in Women
The most common female hair loss causes are related to medical conditions and hormonal changes. While many are similar to those experienced by men, many more are specific to women.
Hormones – Women experience far more hormonal problems than men do, and at a much greater frequency. Pregnancy, childbirth and menopause are all conditions unique to women that could impact the amount and permanence of hair loss and cause balding.
Medication – Many medications can cause or contribute to female hair loss, such as anti-depressants, blood thinners, birth control pills, anti-cholesterol drugs and chemotherapy drugs.
Illness/Surgery – Many common disorders can cause female hair loss, including diabetes and thyroid- or under-activity, as can conditions that put the body under stress such as high fevers or major surgery.
Other Reasons – Anemia, anorexia, bulimia, excess vitamin A, fungal diseases, and zinc or fatty acid deficiency may also be the cause of hair loss in women.
Genetic Causes of Hair Loss in Women
Female pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, is estimated to occur in 15% or less of American girls. The chemical process in the body is similar, because hormones and dehydrotestosterone (DHT) combine to cause hair follicles to shut down. Even though the chemical method is the same, the look of the hair loss in females is generally different, with women experiencing overall thinning of hair rather than the bald spots or pronounced receding hairline so common in men.
Some experts theorize that differences in hair follicles between females and males can contribute to differences in the appearance of baldness. In men, hair tends to grow up from the follicle, causing oil and other secretions on the scalp to build up and block follicles. In women, however, hair tends to grow from the follicle at an angle, allowing oil and secretions to flow more easily out of the follicle.
Everyday Causes of Hair Loss in Women
Women subject their own hair to many everyday stresses that can lead to hair damage and hair loss. A few such female baldness causes include:
o Hair coloring
O Frequent use of blow dryers, curling irons and other heated appliances
O Improper or harsh brushing and/or combing
O Frequent wearing of tight ponytails, braids, and other hair restraints
While these items typically do not cause immediate or permanent hair loss in females, they do often cause dry, damaged hair which is more likely to break off and consequently appear thinner and more brittle. In women whose hair is already thin due to hormonal changes that come with aging, activities such as these can have a massive effect on hair appearance.
Women experiencing baldness should consult their doctor for an accurate diagnosis of what is causing them to lose hair. In the event of an undiagnosed condition such as diabetes or thyroid issues, treating the medical condition can often stop and even reverse baldness issues. If the doctor finds that hormonal issues associated with menopause and aging are the cause, then he or she is the best source for information and advice on successful female hair loss solutions.
Topical Hair Loss Treatment
There’s only one topical female hair loss treatment approved by the FDA for use by women – minoxidil. This medication is marketed under the name Rogaine and is readily available over the counter in most drug stores, grocery stores, and online.
Rogaine is good at restoring hair growth and decreasing the appearance of thinning hair in women, but it often takes several months for results to become noticeable in most females. It’s quite easy and convenient to apply from the privacy of home, but have to be continued indefinitely in order to maintain hair regrowth. If Rogaine use is discontinued, any hair that has regrown will be lost once more.
Surgical Hair Restoration
Surgical hair loss treatments like baldness are quite effective for male pattern baldness, but since the nature of hair loss is different in women, females are usually not good candidates for such treatment. Hair grafting is a procedure of harvesting hair from actively growing parts of the head and transplanting them to areas of thinning and dormant growth. Because females have a tendency to lose their hair all over the head instead of in a concentrated location, grafting doesn’t normally have much effect. For those women who do have definite balding spots or stains, though, surgical treatment may be an alternative. It’s best to consult an experienced hair restoration surgeon that will diagnose the cause and suggest a suitable solution. You can Click Here for more information.

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