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What Causes Hair Loss in Women?

What Causes Hair Loss in Women?

If you notice that your part in your hair is widening, find bald spots, or unexpectedly shedding more than 125 hairs per day, then you are more likely suffering from hair loss. There are a couple types and several possible causes for losing your hair. Even though it is hard to prevent hair, early treatment is the best to prevent even more hair loss.

The medical term for hair loss is called alopecia. Normally, humans shed between 50 and 100 single hairs per day with some hairs falling out while others grow back in. But hair loss is different than hair shedding. Also, hair can grow on almost all of the skin surfaces except the lips, palms of your hands, soles of your feet, or eyelids. Vellus hair is known to be light, fine, short hair that can grow on the face. Then there is terminal or androgenic hair that is thicker, darker and longer.

What are the signs of hair loss in women?

·      Seeing more hair fall out daily either on the brush, floor, in showers, pillows, or in the sink.

·      Noticeable patches of thinner or missing hair, including a part on the top of the head that gets wider.

·      Seeing scalp skin through hair

·      Smaller pony tails.

·      Hair breakage

What are the hair growth cycles?

The hair goes through three cycles:

The anagen phase (growing phase) can last from two years to eight years which is to about 85% to 90% of the hair on your head.

The catagen phase (transition phase) is the time that hair follicles shrink and takes about two to three weeks.

The telogen phase (resting phase) takes about two to four months. At the end of this phase, the hair falls out.

Your shorter hairs like eyelashes, arm and leg hair and eyebrows have a short anagen phase — about one month. Your scalp hair can last up to six years or even longer.


What are the different types of hair loss?

There are three different types of hair loss:

·      Anagen effluvium is due to medications that poison a growing hair follicle (ex. chemotherapy).

·      Telogen effluvium is caused by an increased number of hair follicles reaching the telogen phase, which is the stage where hair falls out.

·      Androgenetic alopecia/female pattern or alopecia/female pattern hair loss (FPHL)/baldness is the most common and is where the hair thins over the top of the head and on the sides.

Is hair loss common in women?

Most people believe that hair loss is something that only affects men. But it is projected that more than 50% of women will experience hair loss. About one-third of women in the United States (about 30 million) have hair loss due to female-pattern hair loss (FPHL).

Who is more likely to experience hair loss?

Unfortunately, any woman can be affected by hair loss, but it is usually more common due to:

·      Over the age of 40

·      Postpartum

·      Chemotherapy

·      Certain medications

·      Tight hair styles

·      Harsh chemicals used in the hair

·      Menopausal women

What are the myths about hair loss?

There are a lot of myths about hair loss but none of these are true:

·      Using too much shampoo, colored, or received a perm

·      Dandruff

·      Stress causes permanent hair loss

·      Shaving the head will make it grow back thicker

·      Brusing hair with 100 strokes a day that will make hair healthier

·      Hats and wigs cause hair loss in women

What are the common causes of hair loss in women?

·      Androgenetic Alopecia: This is the female counterpart of male pattern baldness. It's often hereditary and is related to the presence of androgens(male hormones) in both men and women. Androgenetic alopecia in women typically results in diffuse thinning, especially on the crown of the head, rather than the receding hairline or bald spots seen in men.

·      Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels, such as those that occur during pregnancy, postpartum, menopause, or due to conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can lead to hair loss. In these cases, it is often due to hormonal imbalances, especially involving androgens.

·      Stress and Illness: Physical or emotional stress, as well as significant illness or surgery, can lead to a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. This condition causes more hair follicles to enter the resting (telogen) phase, leading to increased shedding. Hair typically regrows once the stress or illness is resolved.

·      Nutritional Deficiencies: Poor nutrition, particularly a lack of essential nutrients like iron, zinc, biotin, and certain vitamins, can lead to hair loss. Eating disorders and crash diets can also cause nutritional deficiencies.

·      Aging: As women age, the natural hair growth cycle may slow down, and hair may become finer and less dense. This is a normal part of aging, but it can result in reduced hair volume.

·      Thyroid Disorders: Both an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) and an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can contribute to hair loss. Thyroid disorders can disrupt the hair growth cycle.

·      Medications: Certain medications, including some used for cancer, depression, heart conditions, and blood pressure, can lead to hair loss as a side effect. If you suspect medication is causing hair loss, consult with your healthcare provider.

·      Autoimmune Conditions: Conditions like alopecia areata and lichen planopilaris are autoimmune diseases that can cause hair loss. The immune system attacks hair follicles, leading to hair loss in specific areas.

·      Chemical Treatments and Hairstyles: Excessive use of hair treatments (e.g., perms, straightening), tight hairstyles (e.g., braids, weaves), and the use of hair extensions can lead to a type of hair loss called traction alopecia.

·      OtherMedical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as lupus and diabetes, can be associated with hair loss as a secondary symptom.

What can I do if I’m experiencing hair loss?

At Be Whole we can test for the possible underlying reasons you’re experiencing hair loss with:  

·      Gently examine and pull on your hair to see how many hairs come out.

·      Blood tests to check for vitamin/mineral and/or hormone levels such as vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc, iron levels, thyroid, and sex hormones.

·      Scalp examination with our Gro Track technology (coming very soon)

·      Refer to a dermatologist for a scalp biopsy to remove and examine a very small piece of scalp skin.

Management and Treatment

You are in luck! At Be Whole, we have the Alma TED hair restoration device! Alma TED is a ground-breaking hair growth treatment that is entirely non-invasive, no down time, and painless. The Alma TED utilizes acoustic sound waves combined with air pressure to drive a powerful topical hair care formula deep into the dermis layer of skin. It is designed to increase blood flow to the scalp, optimize scalp health, and stimulate hair follicles to produce thicker, stronger, and healthier hair follicles. It basically bypasses all the reasons most people have hair loss and stimulates the hair follicles to grow. We have had such amazing results with this new technology!

Other options include:

·      Hairstyling practices: stop tight braids or ponytails or certain chemicals

·      For nutritional deficiencies: a multivitamin and three to five milligrams of biotin daily.

·      Minoxidil (Rogaine®) is approved for treating FPHL. (Don’t use this product if you’re pregnant, if you plan to get pregnant, or if you’re breastfeeding).

·      Lowlight treatments/caps: HairMax Laser comb® or Theradome LH80 PRO®

·      Medications such as spironolactone, finasteride, bioidentical hormones, steroids, low light treatments, rosemary oil, and copper peptide shampoos.

·      Hair transplant

·      Injections of protein-rich plasma (PRP) with microneedling (only works in 3 out of 10people)

The best thing you can do is get in early to figure out the root cause and getting treatment to prevent any further hair loss. Let us know at Be Whole Wellness Center if you have any questions, want to orderl ab work, or schedule a consultation for the Alma TED.