Hair loss is distressing and may lead to low self esteem.

Think of the  expression,” it is a bad hair day”.

Facts About Hair Loss

  • The earlier you seek treatment the higher the chance of promoting hair regrowth as the hair follicle may become too damaged to repair itself.
  • 1-1266749272l5XNIt is expected that a third of women will sustain hair loss during their life. This number goes up in post menopausal women.
  • It is estimated that 3.5 billion dollars are spent on products to help with hair loss.
  • Hair normally grows a half inch a month.
  • There are 3 hair growth phases which include anagen, catagen, and telogen.
  • At any given time 90% of the hair is in anagen which is the growth phase and lasts for a few years..
  • Anagen is followed by catagen that lasts several weeks, the hair follicle will shrink during this time.
  • The last phase is telegen where the hair rests. This phase lasts 2 to 4 months. 

Causes of hair loss

  • The most common type of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia. It is thought to be caused from too much Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of the male hormone testosterone which attaches to the hair follicle. 
  • Thyroid disorders and anemia have all been shown to cause hair loss.
  • Medical conditions such as autoimmune diseases and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which causes increased androgens (male hormones) have been shown to cause hair loss.
  • Skin conditions such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis can affect the scalp and cause hair loss.
  • Iron deficiency anemia can cause hair loss.
  • Hormonal imbalance that is seen in pregnancy and menopause can cause hair loss.
  • A crash diet can cause significant hair loss from the lack of protein. The hair growth phases can change quickly where the hair is no longer in the anagen phase or growing phase.
  • Severe stress can cause hair loss as well. This is sometimes referred to as hair shedding or telogen effluvium.
  • Avoid placing tight bands in your hair as they can pull and cause damage to the hair follicle.
  • Some medications such as those used to treat blood pressure and inflammation as well as some birth control pills (high androgen) have been shown to cause hair loss.
  • Anabolic steroids used for muscle bulking can cause hair loss

Diagnosis of hair loss in women

  • A complete history and physical as well as blood tests which include iron, ferritin, thyroid studies and blood count to ensure no anemia is needed. The doctor may may pull at your hair to determine if it is loose.
  • If there is significant female pattern baldness hormone levels need to be checked to ensure that there is not a tumor secreting androgens which is rare but should be investigated.

Treatment of hair loss in women

Observation if you  and your doctor decide to do nothing there are some things that can help hide the hair loss. Consider trying  hair products such as mousse Matrix Total Results Amplify Volume Wonder Boost Root Lifter 8.5 oz
and hair fibers Natural Hair Fibers – Cotton Hair Fibers Makes Hair Thick for a Day- Easy Quick Application – Amazing Temporary Hair Loss Treatment For Both Men and Women – Makes Thin Hair Very Thick – (Dark Brown)  I have used hair fibers they can be a bit messy but they are quick and can really help build up volume as well as fill in areas to help cover the scalp.

A new hair cut may help, layering at the top can help give body to the hair which can help cover the hair loss. Massaging the scalp and avoiding chemicals as well as heating devices can help prevent hair breakage. Try to get your hair trimmed every 12 weeks to cut of the dead ends and keep your hair healthy.

  • Natural products such as neem and argan oil have been used to increase hair growth.
  • Minoxidil-is an over the counter medication  tat comes in a liquid form, it will not work on everybody. It can help treat women with androgenetic alopecia. The 2% version has been FDA approved for women’s hair loss. The 5% has not had been vigorously studied but some dermatologists will recommend it. Studies do show that the  higher strength resulted in more hair growth. The results will not last once you stop minoxidil. Side effects include hair growth where you do not want it and  skin irritation, if you notice this you should stop it and contact your doctor.

Minoxidil studies show that 19% of women reported moderate hair growth after using minoxidil for 8 months (19% had moderate regrowth; 40% had minimal regrowth).

Some blood pressure medications (Spironolactone) as well as medications used to treat  an upset stomach have shown to help with hair loss as they are anti androgenic but they have not been studied in depth. Low dose birth control can help increase hair growth but there are risks if you are older such as increased blood clots.

Alopecia areata- Is a condition where the hair falls out in patches. Steroid injections may help improve decrease the hair loss. Minoxidil and Anthralin which is tar like substance may help reduce inflammation.

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