CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS IN WOMEN
By the age of 50, 50% of Women will have experienced some degree of Hair Loss or Hair Thinning. The cause of which can be due to many different things such as Female Pattern Baldness or Genetic Hair Loss, stress, diet, illness and hormonal changes such as in Pregnancy, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and the Menopause.
Female Pattern Baldness
Typical characteristics of Female Pattern Baldness are receding from the front of the hair line or temple area, along the parting and / or Thinning from the crown. As the Hair Loss gradually progresses, eventually the top of the scalp can become thin, however the hairs at the sides and back of the scalp will remain thicker.
By the time the characteristics of Female Pattern Baldness are noticeable up to 50% of the hairs within the Thinning area may be lost.
Female Pattern Baldness is caused by the male hormone Dihydrotestosterone, also known as DHT. Eventually, in most Women, the DHT hormone will cause the hair to thin at the top of the scalp in old age. However, Women that are susceptible to Thinning at an earlier age will inherit a sensitivity to the DHT hormone. FPB can be inherited from either side of your parents’ family history.
To find out exactly how the DHT hormone causes Hair Loss read on here.
If Female Pattern Baldness is common throughout your family history treating Hair Loss as a preventative measure may ensure that your hair doesn’t thin at all, or at the very least slow down the process which can delay it for a number of years.
Post-Partum Hair Loss is a common condition and is usually experienced 3 – 4 months following pregnancy.
While pregnant the Mother’s Oestrogen levels are higher and this causes less hairs than normal to enter the Telogen Phase and shed. The result of this is thicker, fuller hair during pregnancy. However, as the hormone levels return to normal, the hairs that should have shed during the pregnancy will start to fall and the hair will appear thinner due to having less actively growing hairs.
Over time, normal hair growth will resume and the hair should grow back, but the treatments we offer may help it grow back faster and in the best condition. It is important at this stage to ensure that you are not lacking in any essential vitamins and minerals, and to ensure you have a good intake of protein to encourage healthy regrowth.
It can be common for this type of Hair Loss to progress to Telogen Effluvium.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a condition that affects a womans Oestrogen and Progesterone levels. The inbalance in hormones known as Androgen hormones can cause facial hair growth and hair loss. Whether having PCOS will cause hair loss has a lot to do with your genetics and whether you have a sensitivity to the Androgens. To find out how male hormones cause Hair Loss click here.
Treatment may require a combination of medication from your GP to inhibit the Androgens, while having treatment with 360 Hair Clinic to stimulate faster hair growth and thickening.
Our clients are all offered a diet assessment to look specifically at protien intake. A diet lacking in protien can further accelerate the Hair Loss and result in slow growing and brittle hair. If a client is looking to dramatically change thier diet, to become vegan for example we will recommend that they ensure they are still getting thier daily requirement of protien from sources other then meat, fish or dairy.
Anemia (known as iron deficiency) results from having a low number of red blood cells. It can be caused by your diet lacking in iron rich foods, your body not absorbing the iron correctly or loss of blood, illness and pregnancy. iron optimises energy levels, nourishes your skin and keeps your heart healthy. It is essencial for your general fitness and wellbeing.
If Anemia is suspected to be a contributing factor in your hair loss our consultant may recommend that you have a blood test with your GP to check your iron levels and specifically your Ferriting levels. Ferritin is stored iroon and it helps produce hair cell protien. Having the correct levels of Ferritin also promotes the Anagen ‘growing’ phase of the hair growth cycle.If you are lacking in iron your body will utilise stored Ferritin from non-essential tissue and give it to essential tissue such as your heart. Anemia can be treated with iron suppliments prescribed by your GP.
Other types of Hair Loss in women include Telogen Effluvium, Alopecia Areata/Totalis, Universalis and Trichotillomania.
Telogen Effluvium is also known as diffuse thinning. When experiencing this type of Hair Loss up to 70% of the Hair Follicles may shed and remain in the resting phase for longer than usual before growing again. Due to there being significantly less active hairs growing to cover the scalp, it results in a finer layer of hairs and the scalp being more visible. This type of hair loss can be caused by stress, poor diet, illness or a change in hormone levels.
Alopecia Areata is thought to be triggered by an autoimmune disease, whereby the body attacks the hair follicles and disrupts normal hair formation and growth. As Alopecia Areata advances it is possible to result in complete Hair Loss on the scalp and in some cases loss of the eyebrows, eyelashes, facial hair and body hair too. This condition is known as Alopecia Totalis or Universalis.
The exact cause is still yet to be discovered so there isn’t a known cure, however, treatments such as Bespoke Wigs or Scalp Micropigmentation may help to manage the condition.
Trichotillomania is psychological condition that results in the sufferer developing an uncontrollable compulsion to pull hairs directly from the scalp, or in some cases the eyelashes or eyebrows. This condition is most common in children aged 9 – 13, however, if untreated it is sometimes carried on in to adulthood.
It is important to address the underlying psychological condition to stop further Hair Loss, then in some cases the treatments and services we offer may help to improve the density of hair, depending on how active the hair follicles are within the affected area.