Hair loss occurs when a woman’s hair falls out in unusual amounts. The American Academy of Dermatology revealed that most individuals shed between 50-100 hair strands daily. When you wash your hair, you will shed close to 250 strands. Hair loss and hair shedding are two different concepts. Hair shedding is a natural balance. When some of your hair falls out, others grow in. However, it becomes hair loss when less hair grows in to replace the hair lost. Hair loss seems prominent in men, but women also experience it. Although most women notice the issue in their 50s, it can also happen at any stage due to various reasons. One cause of women’s hair loss is when the hair growth cycle becomes awry. Things like medications, chemicals, and certain infections also interfere with the cycle preventing the proper formation of hair. Read on to learn more about the causes and signs of hair loss.
Signs of Hair Loss in Women
It is impossible to count your hair every day to know whether it is being lost or thinning at an unusual rate. There are several ways to give you a cue. If you wake up in the morning and find large amounts of hair in your bed, it could indicate hair loss. Secondly, you may also notice more than usual hair on your brush or floor when combing it. Other signs of hair loss are visible patches of thin hair, mainly on top of your head, or seeing more scalp than usual through the hair.
Why Women Experience Hair Loss
Women lose hair due to several reasons outlined below.
Medical Condition and Medications
There is a myriad of conditions that cause hair loss, including anemia, skin diseases like seborrheic dermatitis, and thyroid disorder. Autoimmune disease like alopecia areata leads to patchy hair loss on your head and other body parts. Pregnant women may also experience hair loss. Medical conditions cause sudden hair loss, and the fall-out hair follicles will have a uniform size. Anagen effluvium hair loss occurs due to toxic substances like chemotherapy and radiation. The loss happens during the growth stage, and it can damage hair follicles, leading to permanent hair loss. Additionally, surgeries, extreme stress, intense illnesses, and excess intake of Vitamin A could cause hair loss. Note that the hair may fall out weeks or months after these experiences.
You can also be the cause of your hair falling out. Hairstyles including tight braids and cornrows pull on the roots of your hair resulting in traction alopecia. If the styles damage the follicles, the loss could be permanent. Moreover, if you like manipulating your hair by applying dyes and treatments or frequently using blow dryers and flat irons, they could damage your hair. Plus, brushing hair too much and drying wet hair aggressively with a towel result in hair breakage.
Genes are another possible explanation for why women lose hair. If your family’s gene causes hair thinning at the top of the head, you will likely experience female pattern hair loss. You may experience the loss in your teenage years or your 50s or 60s. When the hair follicles fall out in these women, thinner hair grows. Meaning their follicles are gradually shrinking and will eventually stop growing. Further, aging and menopause can also cause balding.
Fortunately, a range of medical treatments can help reverse hair loss for most of these issues. Only a few cases will the hair follicles be damaged, resulting in permanent hair loss. You need to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist once you notice hair thinning or loss. Early treatments present better chances of improving your hair growth.