Hair loss is a unique phenomenon that affects the scalp and the entire body. It can either be permanent or temporary. It can occur due to the individuals’ hereditary and medical conditions, hormonal changes, and even as a result of aging.
Humans shed an average of between 50 and 100 single hairs per day. A natural balance causes the hair shedding, as hairs grow in to take the hairs that have fallen out. Although hair shedding is similar to hair loss, it is different, as the medical name for hair loss is “Alopecia.”
Now, although common in men, hair loss can also affect women, which most notice in their 50s or 60s, but it can occur at any age and for any reason. It is estimated that more than 50% of women are going to experience noticeable hair loss.
So, are you wondering what causes hair loss? In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know.
Types of Hair Loss
Overall, there are four major types of hair loss.
It refers to the female-patterned baldness or hair loss. It is as a result of genetics or family history. This is the leading cause of hair loss in women, and it usually begins from around the age of twelve to forty years. The hair loss in women usually appears to be more as overall thinning.
Alopecia Areata refers to the patchy loss of hair that occurs suddenly on your body or head. It usually begins with one or more patches that may or may not overlap.
It is a group of situations resulting in irreversible loss of hair through scarring. This occurs when scar tissues take the place of hair follicles after the hair has fallen out.
This condition results in hair loss due to hairstyling practices; the hair shaft may break after the usage of combs, straighteners, blow dryers, and chemicals to straighten or dye the hair.
Issues Arising Pre-Hair Loss
Before hair loss can become prominent, it presents itself in various ways based on the cause of the loss. These various ways include:
It represents the most prevalent hair loss type; it affects all individuals, especially as they get older. In men, it is in the form of a receding hairline around their forehead. On the other hand, women suffer a broadening of parts around their hair. Notably, an increasingly prevalent hair loss type suffered by older women involves a receding hairline.
They may be patchy or circular and usually appear on the beard, scalp, or eyebrows. The skin becomes itchy and can become very painful before such a person experiences their hair falling out.
Some medical conditions and treatments, like cancer and chemotherapy, can lead to full hair loss. However, the hair eventually grows back.
Sudden Loss of Hair
This type of hair loss can occur as a result of a sudden physical or emotional shock. A handful of hair may come out during washing or combing of the hair. This usually causes the hair to undergo an overall thinning but is usually temporary.
Factors Leading to Hair Loss
Different factors can lead to hair loss in women. They include:
It represents the most prevalent factor causing hair loss in ladies; this usually is a consequence of aging. Precisely, this condition gets referred to as Androgenic Alopecia, also known as female-patterned or male-patterned baldness. It occurs in gradual and predictable patterns, usually the thinning hair and the scalp’s crown in women.
Usually, when normal hair follicles get shed, it gets replaced by a new hair that’s equal when it comes to size. Still, for women experiencing female-patterned baldness, this new hair remains thinner and finer, leading to the shrinking and later the eventual cease of hair growth altogether.
Hormonal Changes & Medical Conditions
Many conditions can cause temporary or permanent hair loss. This includes hormonal changes, which can be because of pregnancy, thyroid problems, menopause, and childbirth. The medical conditions can involve Alopecia Areata, which is tied to the immune system and can cause patchy hair loss, a hair-pulling problem referred to as Trichotillomania, and scalp infections like ringworms.
Medications & Supplements
Certain medications and supplements for various illnesses can lead to hair loss, such as cancer, depression, arthritis, blood pressure, gout, and heart problems.
Radiation therapy for the head, usually applicable to cancer, can lead to hair loss. The hair loss can either be permanent or temporary.
Stress is an easily overlooked cause of hair loss, as loads of people experience the thinning of their hair months following a stressful event that caused them either emotional or physical shock. This hair loss is typically temporary.
Hairstyles & Treatments
Many ladies overlook this factor of hair loss most of the time, as most are not aware that too many hairstyles or hairstyling that pull tightly at the scalp, like cornrows or pigtails, can result in a hair loss type referred to as Traction Alopecia.
Similarly, hot-oil hair permanents and treatments can also cause hair loss. In the case of scarring, the loss can be permanent.
Prevention and Treatment of Hair Loss
Using Cooling Caps
This process is to be used when being treated with chemotherapy. The cap reduces the risk of experiencing hair loss during chemotherapy. It can be provided for when asked by the doctor in charge of the treatment.
Some studies have shown an association between smoking and hair loss in both men and women. Stop smoking enhances the chances of not experiencing hair loss by a significant degree.
Before taking any new medications and supplements, you must consult a qualified physician to prevent any unwanted side effects from the medications and supplements.
Stable Hair Care Routine
Avoid tugging at the hair when combing and brushing, especially when wet. Also, you should avoid harsh treatments like hot rollers, hot-iron treatments, permanents, and curling irons. You should also place limitations on the tension on your hair from hairstyles that utilize rubber bands and braids.
To avoid damaging the hair, protect the hair from direct sunlight and any other ultraviolet light sources.
Hair loss in women is due to several factors that may be medical or not. However, they are usually for a short period. In this post, we have discussed what causes hair loss. We have also discussed the types of hair loss. We then ended with their treatments. So, read up and enjoy!