Female hair loss
Good morning/afternoon all, Late last year i was working in a hair loss clinic. When i started i was guessing the clients would be mostly men. How wrong was i!? the split was 50:50. I was shocked. Hair loss in women is just as common as men. But perhaps the problem is more "silent" when it comes to women and certainly less visible.
Female hair loss- common causes
Unfortunately, there is a lot myths and fairy tales around hair loss in general and particularly female hair loss.
So let me list the top 3 PROVEN causes of female hair loss; in plain simple language.
- Genetic causes
Simply, you inherit hair loss from your family. This can be from your parents or grandparents. There is evidence hair loss can skip generations. There is a hormone called DHT (Dihydrotestestorone) which is a more potent form than testosterone which causes the hair follicles to become weaker and weaker till they dissapear all together. So i have seen females present with typical male pattern hair loss, focused on the vertex and top of the head. Although commonly i see females with more diffuse hair loss across the whole scalp. It's quite interesting that someone can carry the gene for hair loss but never actually develop thinning hair. It is not known exactly how this happens but it is thought that there are environmental triggers playing a role.
2. Medical causes
Sometimes there is a medical cause for hair loss. For example some medications have side effects which cause hair to fall out. Certain conditions such hypothyroidism and anaemia may also cause hair loss. Some types of hair loss, such alopecia areata may be caused by autoimmune disorder. This is when the body's own immune attacks hair follicles. In females particularly, hormone imbalances can cause sudden or gradual hair loss.
3. Mechanical or physical causes
Hair can literary be pulled away through repetitive physical and chemical trauma such as constant braiding or chemical treatment (with a dye or bleach). This doesn't mean that you shouldn't do any of these things but if you are having them done then go to a professional. A good stylist will easily spot signs of traction alopecia (posh name for hair loss due to the pulling effect of braiding) and will advise you accordingly. Don't go to "aunt betty" who braids hair in her living room on sunday afternoons. I hope that was enjoyable. Next week we will look at the BEST treatment options for different types of female hair loss. I made a post about Marula oil a few weeks ago, a new potential wonder oil for skin and hair; which i think is worth a read.
Till next time