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Hair Loss in Women
Female Hair loss


Some Reasons for Female Hair Loss

Hair loss in Women is very common. Surprised to hear that? 30% of our users are females, and that number has steadily grown over the years. The discomfort and social factors surrounding a woman who is losing her hair can make the experience 10 times more difficult than for a man, and the complete lack of information on the topic out there only compounds the problem. That is why this guide was created.

The Philosophy of Women's Hair Loss

Treating and diagnosing Female hair loss is not as simple and straight forward as male pattern baldness. Many physicians subscribe to the theory that women should immediately begin a regimen of growth stimulants (whether it be Rogaine for Women, or other). Like men's hair loss however, there are underlying causes, and the good news is that a large percent of women's hair loss is completely reversible. The general idea behind diagnosing and treating it involves a responsible informed physician and a series of tests to rule out, or rule in, the causes.

The most common causes of hair loss in women are hormonally related. Whether it be an overactive thyroid, or the after effects of menopause or pregnancy, there usually is a "good" reason why women lose their hair. The key is to find out what the reason is, and to then evaluate your options in dealing with it. One of these options includes herbal hair loss remedies. If and when such options are not possible, we will give you the steps on how to proceed. First things first though, let's find out how to help your doctor diagnose your condition.

What are some reasons for female hair loss?

In no particular order, here is a list of possible causes for your hair loss:

Hair loss reason #1: Genetics (most common)
Hair loss reason #2: Immense stress
Hair loss reason #3: Physical trauma + scarring
Hair loss reason #4: Medication
Hair loss reason #5: Chemicals (perms, relaxers, etc.)
Hair loss reason #6: Pregnancy/hormonal changes

Reasons 1-3 can apply to men or women, although hair loss in men can most often be blamed on genetics. Women tend to experience hair loss caused by other factors, such as reasons 2-6.

Reasons 1-3 can apply to men or women, although hair loss in men can most often be blamed on genetics. Women tend to experience hair loss caused by other factors, such as reasons 2-6.

Female hair loss discussed

More widespread than was once believed, it is estimated that over 25 million American women suffer the effects of female hair loss and the emotional distress it causes. For many individuals, hair loss is not just a rather mysterious biochemical process, but an integral part of a positive self image.

The most common causes of hair loss in women are not related to inherited genes, but to temporary metabolic problems associated with pregnancy, unusual stress, chemotherapy, crash diets/anorexia, thyroid hormone deficiency, major surgery, severe infection or high fever. Certain drugs can also take their toll on once lush and healthy tresses. However, these conditions are usually temporary, and once the "trauma" is alleviated, the hair shedding stops and healthy regrowth occurs with time. There are also several natural herbal hair loss prevention products on the market to help curb or stop female hair loss.

"Female pattern" hair loss is another matter. Unlike men, women rarely become "bald" in the true sense, but many experience significant overall thinning and a reduction in hair shaft diameter, particularly around the forehead and crown of the scalp as they age. Most often, this pattern begins to develop at around age 40 or with the onset of menopause. In fact, before menopause about 13 percent of women experience hair thinning. After menopause, reporting of the problem from women increases to about 37 percent.

Estrogen levels decline in the skin with age. Before menopause, various forms of estrogen block or "oppose" the steroid hormone responsible for hair loss (testosterone) resulting in low levels of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) being produced in the skin and follicle region. Once females enter menopause, their levels of estrogen decline and more testosterone is then bio-available to be converted to DHT (the known cause of non-traumatic hair loss) in the root bulb and stem cell regions. This results in a shorter hair growth cycle, finer hair and eventually, general effluvium or shedding. As women enter their 80s and 90s, the follicle itself can shrink and stop producing hair completely.

The reason that women experience hair loss during and after menopause is that their estrogen levels decline. Various forms of estrogen can "oppose" androgens and thereby reduce their availability to the cell, by blocking androgen receptors.

Finasteride blocks circulating androgen, but there is also androgen made in the skin. This androgen is normally blocked, in part, by estrogens made in the skin.

Without the opposing estrogen in the skin of women, which declines dramatically at onset of menopause, more androgen remains bio-available to the the follicle root bulb and stem cell regions and is converted to DHT locally.

What causes hair loss and hair thinning in women?

There are many reasons why women could be experiencing hair loss:

1- Poor diet
2- Hormone imbalance
3- Low progesterone levels in the body
4- Stress
5- Thyroid dysfunction
6- Birth control pills
7- Pregnancy
8- Low iron
9- Excessive Vitamin A levels
10- Certain medications for high blood pressure, for gout and arthritis, blood thinners.

The most common reason for hair loss is reported to be the build up of what is known as DHT (DeHydro Testosterone) commonly known by the medical industry as "the bad testosterone" which is the leading cause of female pattern baldness. By decreasing the levels of DHT build up you increase the chance of maintaining your hair count as well as restoring lost hair and thickness. Some more hair loss reasons include the following:

Normal hair loss: Hair is constantly going through cycles of growth, resting, shedding. When hairs that are lost are not replaced, or when more hair follicles go into the resting phase, hair loss becomes noticeable. Normal hair loss can be dealt with using natural hair loss remedies.

While there is ongoing debate regarding hair loss reasons, the list below shows many of the common contibuting factors:

Ageing: The period for hair loss is between the 20 and 50 years of age. Some individuals arrive at the advance stages of hair loss sooner than others although it becomes increasingly evident as people advance in age.

Cosmetic chemicals: Particularly bleaching, permanents, coloring.

Drugs/Medications/Radiation: Included are anticoagulants, antidepressants, contraceptive pills, amphetamines, some arthritis medications, some antibiotics, some blood thinners, medicines for gout, drugs derived from vitamin-A, certain drugs for ulcers, beta blocker drugs for high blood pressure. Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy halt the growth phase of hair follicles which results in a sudden hair loss as those follicles all shed their hair at about the same time.

Heredity: Androgenetic alopecia is the term used to describe a genetic predisposition in men and women for pattern baldness or pattern hair loss. Although there is a dominant tendency for male pattern baldness, female members of a family can be transmitters as well.

Hormonal Imbalance: If the male and female hormones, androgens and estrogens, are out of balance, hair loss may result. Also an overactive or underactive thyroid gland can contribute to hair loss.

Illness and severe infections: These can include scalp fungal infections, Thyroid disorders, Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, Diabetes, Lupus.

Immune System Disorder: Alopecia areata is an immune system disorder which causes hair follicles to stop producing hairs. Advanced forms of the disorder are identified by the terms alopecia totalis when all head hair disappears, and alopecia universalis which results in all body hair disappearing.

Menopause: Due to hormonal changes after menopause, some women find their hair begins to thin. There are a variety of treatments available involving hormone replacement therapy (HRT). There may be side effects in some cases and experimentation may be necessary under the guidance of a physician.

Poor Blood Circulation: Poor blood flow to the scalp, insufficient nutrients in the blood, or poor drainage of waste products through the lymphatic systems can all contribute.

Pregnancy: Three to six months after delivering a child, many women notice a degree of hair loss as the hair goes into a resting phase because of the physiological impact of the pregnancy on the body.

Pulling: Traction alopecia is the term used to describe loss of hair from constant pulling, as with tightly braided hair styles such as pony tails. Also the improper use of curling tongs or rollers can tug the hair so it weakens.

Sebum buildup: Sebum buildup in the follicles attacks the hair bulb, the rounded area at the end of a hair strand which is rooted in the follicle. Sebum causes the hair bulb to shrink so the hair is not as well rooted. After the hair falls out the new hair strand growing in that follicle is weaker and thinner and the process is repeated until the hair follicle is so damaged it dies. (Sebum is a fatty substance secreted from the sebaceous glands most of which open into hair follicles.)

Stress and nervous disorders: Telogen effluvium is the term used for a slowing down of new hair growth because of sudden or severe stress. The stress triggers a large number of hair follicles to enter the resting stage, so a few months after the stressful event, those follicles shed hair at about the same time.

Further reasons for women's hair loss include:

* Pattern baldness for many of the same reasons as men
* Hormonal disturbances during menopause
* Birth control pills
* Childbearing

Most women will recognize some hair-thinning between the ages of 45 and 65. In women, however, it is not necessarily the quantity of hair being reduced, but the fact that individual hair shafts become thinner.

Childbirth: After pregnancy many women experience a loss of hair, this is caused many hair simultaneously entering the resting (telogen) phase. Within two to three months after giving birth, some women will notice large amounts of hair coming out in their brushes and combs. This can last one to six months, but resolves completely in most cases. This condition is caused by the hormonal changes that take place after a woman's body recovers from her pregnancy.

Birth control pills: Women who have a genetic predisposition to suffer from Androgenic Alopecia can have it occur at a much younger age by taking birth control pills. The hormonal changes that occur trigger the onset of the Androgenic Alopecia. If a woman has a history of female pattern loss in her family she should advise her doctor before going on the pill. After the discontinuation of the pill the woman may notice that her hair begins shedding two or three months later. This may continue for six months when it usually stops. In some cases the process cannot be reversed and the woman may not regrow some of the hair that was lost.


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