Women and Hair Loss
Why Women Lose Their Hair and How to Overcome It

Women and Hair Loss - women and hair loss is usually a subject that isn't discussed openly or at great length. But, the fact is, the American Academy of Dermatology reports that as many as 30 million women in just the United States alone are affected by some form of hair loss, making it a far more common problem than many of us may have first realized.

It's also true that many women are panic stricken at the thought of losing their hair as for some of us, it is our crowning glory.

Why Women Lose Their Hair...

  • Today in the medical community, the generic term "androgenic alopecia," which was once thought to be the only cause for female baldness, has been replaced with the broader term "female pattern hair loss," to include a variety of possible reasons for the loss.
  • More women than ever before are experiencing hair loss and for reasons that are very different than those responsible for baldness in men. In men, baldness typically occurs on the crown, near the temples, and perhaps a spot in back near the top of the head, but in women, hair loss may occur around the entire top of the head.
Hair Brush
  • Men also usually lose their hair as they age or when genetically predisposed to balding whereas women can lose their hair at any age and the condition is sometimes the result of an underlying medical problem, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, a rather common hormonal condition.
  • Alopecia areata is another medical reason women might lose their hair. This inflammatory condition will cause the hair to fall out in clumps resulting in bald patches on the scalp. Other reasons for hair loss include the temporary condition known as telogen effluvium, which usually occurs after things such as childbirth, surgery, losing a lot of weight while crash dieting, or even an emotionally traumatic event.
  • Even conditions such as anemia and some thyroid disorders as well as the long term use of certain medication may cause hair loss in women. And with some women and hair loss, a genetic predisposition to the condition is to blame. In this case, androgens, which are primarily hormones, interfere with the natural cycle of hair growth causing some of the follicles to die.
  • Because there are so many different reasons why women may lose their hair it is extremely important to get to the "root" of the problem before expecting success from treatment. In many cases, when the underlying condition that's causing the hair loss is corrected, no additional treatment or medical intervention will be necessary.

If you or your primary care doctors aren't sure what may be causing your hair loss, you may want to consider seeing another physician who specializes in female pattern balding 

How Women Are Overcoming Hair Loss

  • As we know, women and hair loss can be a touchy subject that causes a myriad feelings ranging from anger to confusion to sadness. However, we must remember that there are many ways of coping including medication, counseling if need be, and of course, wigs and hair pieces that look so much more realistic today than in years past.
Dog with Wig
  • Wigs are an inexpensive option to consider if the hair loss is wide spread and considered to be a permanent condition. And while hair transplants for women aren't as successful as they have been for men, new methods using single, solitary grafts of hair called micrograft hair transplantation have shown great promise.
  • If your hair loss is minimal or sporadic, remember that clever hairstyles or hair weaves and extensions are simple ways of camouflaging the problem. And, depending on the extent of your hair loss, a few dietary changes along with the addition of certain vitamins and minerals may be all that's needed to stop and reverse balding.
  • Foods with essential fatty acids like those found in fish, walnuts, soy products, and canola oil are recommended for maintaining a healthy head of hair. Other foods that promote the growth of healthy hair include vitamin B12 and iron rich foods such as meats, as well as poultry, eggs, and vegetables like broccoli. Taking zinc supplements may be another option if your hair loss is due to high levels of androgens as this nutrient has been shown to affect the hormones.

While it's true that some may mistakenly equate beauty with external features, such as hair, countless others are empowered by their hair loss and choose to be open about their conditions, as well as proud of their appearance and as a result, are happy and content.Women and hair loss can definitely be a personal, private issue, but it certainly doesn't have to mean the end of your femininity or self esteem.

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