Hair loss is a traumatic experience which affects millions of people across the globe. Studies have shown that losing 50 to 100 hair strands per day is normal as this amount of hair loss doesn’t cause any noticeable difference. But unexplained, excessive hair fall can be worrying and scary thought. There are several reasons why you may be seeing more hair in your brush than normally. Some of the most common causes of hair fall are:
1. Hair thinning can be due to predetermined genetic factors, also known as androgenetic alopecia. Androgenic or androgenetic alopecia is basically the female version of male pattern baldness. The gene can be inherited from either your mother’s or father’s side of the family. You are more likely to acquire this gene if both your parents suffered from hair loss. Women suffering from androgenetic alopecia develop thinning at the hairline behind the bangs.
2. Hormonal changes and imbalance can cause temporary hair loss. This could be due to pregnancy, childbirth, puberty, discontinuation of birth control pills or the onset of menopause. During pregnancy, the level of estrogen hormone increases with the growing fetus. After child birth, the hair comes out in clumps because the estrogen level drops back to normalcy. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is another hormonal imbalance which can cause hair fall in women. It is a condition in which the ovaries produce too many male hormones. It causes facial hair growth and hair fall.
3. Telogen effluvium is a phenomenon in which hair shifts faster than normal from its growing phase to resting phase before moving into the shedding phase. It occurs after pregnancy, surgery and drastic weight loss. It can also happen due to side effects of certain medications such as antiperspirant, beta blocker and anti-inflammatory drugs. Cancer treatment and immune suppression medications including chemotherapy also lead to hair fall. Hair loss is most common after major surgeries as during the healing period; the body devotes its energies to repairing the body and shuts down the production of hair. The period may last from 4 weeks to 3 months after the surgery or illness.
4. Notably, several health conditions are also responsible for hair loss in women. These include:
· Thyroid: Thyroid glands help to regulate hormone level in the body which is critical for the proper growth and development of the body. When the body produces too little thyroid, you are said to have hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid. If the body produces too much of the hormone, it is called hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism causes hair and nails to become brittle which breaks easily.
· Lupus: Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks healthy tissues. This causes hair loss in women, especially in their childbearing years.
· Infection: An unhealthy scalp can cause infection which can invade the skin of the scalp leading to hair loss. Skin conditions that lead to hair loss include: seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis and fungal infection such as ringworm. Diseases like lichen planus can even result in permanent hair loss.
5. Psychological factors like stress and emotional strain can lead to severe thinning of hair, regardless of whether a person is predestined to lose hair or not. Stress inhibits androgen production which shrinks hair follicles leading to hair loss. This kind of hair loss is not permanent, but can be detrimental for women who suffer from genetic hair loss issues.
6. Ageing is another cause for hair thinning. It is not uncommon to see hair loss or hair thinning in women as they enter their 50s or 60s.
7. Vigorous use of hair styling products and hair treatment can weaken the hair from the shafts, causing it to break and fall out. Extreme styling like tight braids, hair weaves and pulling your hair too tightly can cause traction alopecia in women. Frequent use of blow dryer also damages the hair. The high heat from blow dryer can leave the hair brittle and prone to breakage. Brushing or combing wet hair can also lead to hair breakage as hair is more elastic when it is wet, it breaks easily.
8. Nutrition deficiency like lack of protein, iron, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin C starves the hair follicles which results in hair fall. Your hair may thin out if you do not include good dietary sources of iron and protein such as nonfat dairy products, meat and iron fortified cereals in your diet.
9. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition. Usually, the immune system attacks the root cause of an infection, but in the case of alopecia areata, it damages the hair follicles instead. But the hair follicles are not permanently damaged and grow back within a few months.
The above mentioned reasons are a few causes of hair fall in women. With early treatment, it is easy to control hair fall and minimize it. Don’t forget to leave us a comment below. Stay fit, stay healthy!
This is Chetana, an Amateur Makeup artist from India and Founder of StyleCraze.com – India’s largest beauty network. I am completely addicted to Makeup & beauty especially the Colour play and the process involved.