Causes for hair loss in women, and tips for female hair loss treatment
Posted Oct 15 2012 4:04am
A vast amount of women of all ages experience problems with hair loss before menopause, and a much larger percent after that, reaching to about 75% after the age of 65, which is why we are offering a perspective on the causes, as well as the various types of female hair loss treatments available. Apart of being purely cosmetic, this condition, in many cases affects a woman’s self confidence, social life, and life as a whole.
Female hair loss treatment: Reasons for female hair loss
In the majority of cases, female hair loss is stress-induced. Stress resulting from hormonal changes, physical stress or certain types of medication usually causes this rather unpleasant and even distressing condition. Although, such sudden stress-induced hair loss usually stops by itself in about six months, in some case it may become chronic. The reason for this side effect of stress is that at times of stress, the organism might cause a larger number of follicles and hairs than usual to remain in their “resting” phase, which lasts for about three months. If this is the case, in time these follicles will eventually “wake up” and the hair will return to its normal density and growth.
Another common reason for women to seek female hair loss treatment is because they experience hair loss caused by hormonal imbalances, also called “androgenetic alopecia”. Such imbalance may occur during puberty, the menopause, after childbirth or could be caused by eating disorders, thyroid problems, polycystic ovaries, anemia and other factors affecting the normal hormonal balance of the body. The reason for this type of hair loss is a chemical resulting from the production of androgen – a male hormone present both in men and women. It is the reason for male balding, and the thinning and loss of hair from the top and side of the head by women.
The genetic predisposition to androgenetic alopecia is one of the most common reasons for hair loss in women. This type of hair loss especially affects those who have parents and grandparent with the same problem, or in other words are genetically predisposed. In these cases, the hair loss is irreversible because the hair follicle is actually “melted down” and gradually destroyed altogether.
A rarer cause of female hair loss is an autoimmune condition, which causes the body’s white cells to attack the hair follicles, which logically slows down and stops hair growth. Only two in a hundred women are affected by this autoimmune condition known as “alopecia areata” . There is no known cure for this condition, but since the follicles aren’t fully destroyed, in the majority of cases the hair starts growing back in months or years. A study has found that women who suffer from androgenetic alopecia also have lower and insufficient iron levels.
Female hair loss treatment: the types of treatments available
A common treatment of the hormone induced hair loss in women is the use of anti-androgen oral contraceptives, which may stop the destruction of the follicles. The trick is to ‘catch’ such a condition while there are still live hair follicles and take steps to protect them, because the dead ones will not grow back. Of course, it is up to the Doctor to decide if prescribing hormone replacement therapy for a cosmetic condition such as hair loss is really a necessary and safe female hair loss treatment for the specific case.
Applying the appropriate conditioners and supplements to the hair and scalp is also crucial- there are various female hair loss treatment lotions, many based on natural and safe products. Also, women experiencing hormonally–induced hair loss should be careful to use dyes containing ammonium and peroxide, but rather choose to use the semi-permanent ones.
In order to spare your body from further effects which any hormone therapy medication may have on it, women with hair loss should try improving their diet, so that they consume more iron and zinc, especially during menopause. The best sources are green leaved veggies, which will improve your iron and zinc levels, and hopefully diminish and stop hair loss.
Another excellent source of Vitamin B and Vitamin H, which are great for strengthening the hair follicles and inducing the hair growth, is found in red meat, or in Biotin supplements. The reason for Biotin deficiency is usually caused by pregnancy or liver disease. The good news is that the Biotin you intake will take care not only for your hair, but for your fingernails as well.
Iron and Vitamin C taken together will help fight anemia, which is another known cause for hair loss. Since, during their monthly period, women loose blood and many of them suffer from some level of anemia during that time, it is a good idea to take the iron and Vitamin C supplements then. Red meat, egg yolks, spinach, lentils, beans and liver are just some of the foods which contain largest amounts of iron.
Eating foods which contain zinc, or taking zinc supplements will improve hair loss. Dark chocolate, oysters, crab, lamb, pumpkin seeds and toasted wheat germ are the foods with the highest zinc content.
Eating more cooked poultry white meat, fish, egg whites and low fat cottage cheese and game meat will increase the Lysine in your body, and improve hair growth and hair strengthening.
Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent for hair care; a spoonful of fish oil will keep your hair and fingernails healthy, as well as including more fish such as salmon in your diet will too.
Make sure you eat enough vegetables and fruits, such as carrots, green and red vegetables, as well as lemons and other citrus fruits in order to intake enough Vitamin A and C essential to enhance hair and cell growth as well as the antioxidants necessary for the body and hair follicles.
Other essential vitamins you should take are Vitamins D and E. Vitamin E can even be applied directly to the hair and scalp for a better effect on restoring the hair’s health and growth.
Of course, always go to your doctor before taking any steps in any kind of female hair loss treatment, in order to make sure the proper reason for your problems with your hair are diagnosed, so the appropriate treatment is prescribed.