What is hair loss in women?
Hair loss is common in women. Every day the normal hair loss count in women ranges from 50-100 hair. The excessive hair loss can occur due to the hereditary, medical conditions or styling issues. The unexpected causes of hair loss need to be addressed to prevent baldness.
Normally, the normal hair shed is 50-100 per day. It is a natural hair cycle that maintains the balance as some hairs fall while others grow in. When more hair falls occur than hair growth, hair loss happens which is known as Alopecia.
Hair goes through three cycles:
- Anagen phase (growing phase)
- Catagen phase (transition phase)
- Telogen phase (resting phase)
How common is hair loss in women?
It is often believed that hair loss only affects men not women. But the truth is that more than 50% of women experience hair loss in their life span. The hair loss in women is known as female pattern baldness that usually affects the scalp causing the baldness.
What causes hair loss in women?
Top causes of hair loss in women are:
- Family history (heredity): Female pattern baldness causes thinning on the top of the head.
- Hair style: Styling hair can weaken the roots of hair and causes hair fall. This type of hair loss is called traction alopecia.
- Extreme stress: Some shocking or stressful events such as surgery, illness can cause temporary hair loss which is called telogen effluvium.
- Toxic substances including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and some medications: Various chemicals or medications from therapy can cause sudden hair loss which is called anagen effluvium.
- Medical conditions: Alopecia areata is an autoimmune skin disease that causes patchy hair loss on the head or other places on the body.
What are the symptoms or signs of hair loss in women?
- More hair fall on daily basis
- Patches of thin hair
- Reduced Hair density
- Hair break off
How a doctor diagnose hair loss in women?
The doctor will ask about the medical history such as:
- Which family members might have had hair loss
- What kind of hair styles you tend to have and what hair care products you have used
After reviewing this information, the doctor might recommend for certain tests, including:
- Gentle hair pull to check how many hairs come out
- Blood tests to test for vitamin and mineral levels and hormone level
- Scalp examination & biopsy
How is hair loss in women treated?
Treatment depends on the cause of the hair loss.
- If hair loss occurs due to stress or hormone changes, there might be no treatment needed.
- Hair fall due to styling practices or certain chemicals can be treated on not doing the things that caused the damage.
- Hair loss due to nutritional deficiencies can be prevented by taking supplements or multivitamin daily.
- Minoxidil (Rogaine) and Finasteride are approved for treating female pattern baldness. However, these drugs are are not safe for pregnant women or women who want to get pregnant.
- Hair transplant surgery is good option to treat hair loss. The hair follicles are taken from the back of head and moved to slits in the areas of baldness.
- PRP injections promote hair growth. The process involves taking the blood made from a patient, then the platelets are removed and concentrated and added back to the blood for injection.
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