On average, we all lose around 50 to 100 hairs every day. But many people — including 30 million women in the U.S. alone — lose much more than the average in their hairbrushes and shower drains.
If you are a woman experiencing thinning hair, you are not alone! Though balding and thinning of the hair is often perceived as an exclusively male issue, women make up 40% of Americans who suffer from hair loss.
The truth is, this percentage is probably low, as many women are too embarrassed to seek medical treatment or support for their hair loss.
Causes of Hair Loss in Women
There are many causes of female hair loss. Some causes are temporary, while others are more permanent. While some daily shedding is normal, if you are experiencing large amounts of shedding after brushing your hair — or excessive thinning of the hair overall — it is important to talk to a dermatologist to get to the bottom of what is causing your hair loss.
Some of the most common causes of female hair loss include:
Female Pattern Baldness
The most common cause of excessive or abnormal hair loss is alopecia. Androgenetic alopecia, also known as female pattern baldness, is a hereditary condition that causes hair to shed as you get older, though it can happen at any age. Unlike male pattern baldness that tends to affect certain areas of the scalp in distinct patterns, women with female pattern baldness tend to experience thinning all over the scalp.
Underlying Medical Conditions
In addition to genetics, hair loss can also be a symptom of something else going on in your body, whether it is malnutrition, a thyroid disorder, hormone imbalance or some type of underlying disease. If you suspect your hair loss is a result of a medical condition, contact your doctor right away to get an accurate medical diagnosis.
Sometimes, hair loss in women is caused by a short-term event such as surgery, infection, pregnancy, menopause, weight loss or stress. After a traumatic event, sudden and extreme hair loss can occur. This type of hair loss can occur gradually or even a handful at a time, and can generally (though not always) be tied to a specific stressor.
Some medications and birth control pills can even cause temporary hair loss. Certain prescription drugs including blood thinners, antidepressants and high blood pressure medications have been known to cause hair to thin and shed. Chemotherapy is also a common cause of thinning hair for women. Chemotherapy targets the body’s rapidly dividing cells, which includes cancer cells, as well as your hair follicles. It is typical for as much as 90% of hair to fall out during chemotherapy.
Your hair loss could also be a result of the way you style your hair. Over time, tight hairstyles such as braiding, ponytails and extensions that pull at your hair can traumatize the hair follicles, causing them to shed. Excessive brushing or use of styling products, as well as perms and dyes, can also cause your hair to break or fall out.
Hair loss in women can be triggered by many underlying conditions. For some women, hair grows back after the underlying cause has been diagnosed and treated or when the short-term event has passed. But for others, hair loss is an ongoing lifetime struggle.
Psychological Effects of Hair Loss in Women
Hair loss in women can be particularly devastating, as hair is often directly tied to a woman’s identity. Women also face more social pressure to be attractive, which can make hair loss especially painful emotionally.
Thinning hair can take a psychological toll on your overall self-confidence, body image and self-esteem and can negatively impact your quality of life. Hair loss and thinning hair can even lead to depression, which can cause you to retreat socially and avoid doing the activities you enjoy with others.
The good news is that there are many options to treat your hair loss that can restore your self-confidence and get you back to feeling beautiful again!
Want to learn more about how you can replace your hair naturally and regain your confidence? Contact NeoGraft Dallas to schedule a consultation today.