HAIR LOSS IN WOMEN
Female hair loss usually consists of a more diffuse, overall thinning of the hair, which leads to increased scalp exposure. Women’s hairlines are usually maintained while the part line and top area behind he bangs experience the most loss. The back and sides of the head may also be affected.
(50% of women will experience female pattern baldness by the age of 50)
Up to 50% of Women Experience Hair Loss at Least Once in their Lifetime
Hair Loss Can’t Be Reversed, but it Can Be Covered!
“Hairpieces look quite natural, sometimes better than your own hair,” says Dr. Wexler, a dermatologist and past-president of the Canadian Dermatology Association, (Reader's Digest, Best Health). "Hair extensions are lighter in weight than hairpieces and a good option if there is enough existing hair to work with. Women can also fill in thin spots with a hair-fibre powder or thickener, available in some drugstores, online and from salons. Shake or spray the fibres over your scalp and they are supposed to stay in place until the next shampoo."
COMMON CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS
Genetics: The most frequent cause of female pattern baldness is genetics, a predisposition for hair loss inherited from both biological parents. It is not uncommon to see hair loss or thinning in women as they enter their 50's. The medical term for genetic hair loss is androgenetic alopecia.
Over-styling: Vigorous styling and hair treatments, including use of hot styling tools over the years can cause hair to fall out. Examples of extreme styling include tight braids, hair weaves or corn rows as well as chemical relaxers to straighten hair, hot-oil treatments or any kind of harsh chemical or high heat. These practices can affect the hair root and hair may not grow back.
Hypothyroidism: Or underactive thyroid. When your thyroid is not working properly and pumping out hormones you can experience hair loss.
Autoimmune-related Hair Loss: This is also called alopecia areata or alopecia universalis (total hair loss on body) and basically is a result of an overactive immune system. “The immune system sees that hair as foreign and targets it by mistake.”
Lupus: Other autoimmune diseases such as lupus can also cause hair loss. Unfortunately, hair loss of this type is “scarring”, meaning the hair will not grow back.
Trichotillomania: Trichotillomania, classified as an “impulse control disorder” causes people to compulsively pull their hair out, resulting in alopecia. The mean age of onset is 12 for girls and 8 for boys. This condition is 7 times more common in children than adults. But among adults, it is ten times as common in women as in men. The prevalence of trichotillomania is estimated to be approximately 2% of the population.
Physical Stress: Any type of physical trauma – surgery, car accident, severe illness, even the flu, can cause temporary hair loss. This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium. With the stress, you hair cycle is shocked into the shedding phase. Hair loss often becomes noticeable three-to-six months after the trauma.
Pregnancy: Pregnancy is one example of the type of physical stress that can cause hair loss, along with hormones. The hair loss is seen more commonly after the baby has been delivered rather than actually during pregnancy.
Female Hormones: Just as pregnancy hormone changes can cause hair loss, so can switching or going off birth-control pills. This can also cause telogen effluvium, and it may be more likely if you have a family history of hair loss. The change in the hormonal balance that occurs at menopause may also have the same result.
Emotional Stress: Emotional stress is less likely to cause hair loss than physical stress, but it can occur during divorce, after the death of a loved one, or while caring for an aging parent. Usually emotional stress won’t precipitate the hair loss but will exacerbate a problem that’s already there.
Anemia: Almost one in 10 women aged 20 through 49 suffers from anemia due to an iron deficiency.
Diet and Nutrition: A lack of protein and iron can contribute to hair loss, as can eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia. Sudden weight loss is a form of physical trauma that can result in thinning hair. Although relatively uncommon, low levels of vitamin B are another correctible cause of hair loss.
Prescription Drugs: Certain medications can trigger hair loss, including blood thinners, blood pressure drugs known as beta-blockers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen, and possibly antidepressants.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: This syndrome is an imbalance in male and female sex hormones. An excess of androgens can lead to ovarian cysts and hair thinning among other things.
Anabolic Steroids: Anabolic steroids, used by some athletes to bulk up muscle, can have the same impact on the body as polycystic ovary disease.
Chemotherapy: Some chemotherapies and radiation therapies cause hair loss. The drugs destroy rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells and also hair.
The Ludwig Scale
Designed to categorize female pattern baldness. There are 3 categories of hair loss:
Right Hair Piece for Hair Loss
- Thin or fine hair: Women’s Toppers
- Thinning at the front or templates: Clip-in Bangs and Fringes
- Moderate Hair Loss at the Part or Crown: Small or Large Base Toppers
- Substantial to Complete Hair Loss: 100% Hand Tied Wigs