“But I’m a woman, what happened to make my hair fall out?”
If you’re a woman who has lost her hair or you notice a receding hairline forming, you may have already gone through the many stages which are frequently involved. For instance, when you noticed more than the usual amount of hair in your brush, did you convince yourself it was just your imagination?
Perhaps while taking a shower one day, you noticed the tub was filling up with water. Upon closer inspection, you found it was due to a massive amount of hair in the drain, which was undeniably yours
A woman losing her hair is a traumatic experience. Therefore, you may have tried just to brush it aside (no pun intended). Unfortunately, like the rest of us, you eventually had to come to the realization that you are indeed losing your hair, which most likely sent you into a mild state of panic. “I’m a woman, and this is not supposed to happen to me,” you scream at the mirror
Just know that you’re not alone, 40% of women will have noticeable hair loss by the age of 40. I’ll just go ahead and throw this out there as well; a receding hairline is more traumatizing for women than for men.
Before you guys flip out…think about it. Matters of vanity and appearance are much more a part of life for women. Looking our best has been expected of us all our lives, and our hair is a huge part of our personal style and identity.
Additionally, people are more accepting of a man with receding hairline than they are of a woman with a receding hairline. You know it’s true. A guy with hair loss walking down the street would draw no attention at all, but a woman with hair loss can turn many heads and not in a flattering way. The emotional trauma can be intense and can take an extreme emotional and physical toll on many women.
If this is you, know that in most women, this hair loss is temporary. But, before you begin thinking about how to deal with it, you should first ask why it is happening to you.
What are the causes of hair loss in Women?
The first step you should take is to see your doctor for blood and other tests to determine if it’s a physical condition that can be remedied such as autoimmune disease, your thyroid gland, or something as simple a vitamin deficiency.
Let’s take a closer look at what happened. Hair goes through a particular growth cycle and if anything interferes with that cycle, it prevents the hair from forming correctly. There are a significant number of factors that can cause this disruption, which we’ll talk about later.
Below are the four phases that each hair on your head goes through during the growth cycle.
- The anagen phase is a growing phase. About 90% of the hairs on your head are in this phase, which can last up to seven or eight years.
- Catagen Phase – This is when the follicle of the hair begins to shrink, it lasts only a couple of weeks. About 1% or less of your hair is in this phase.
- Telogen phase lasts about three or four months, and hair is just resting.
- Hair falls out in the final phase known as the Exogen phase.
Most hair grows approximately six inches a year. Typically, we lose as many as 100 hairs per day and on days when it’s washed, blow dried, or any of the tortures we inflict, we can lose more than twice that amount. However, we don’t notice because when some of the hairs are approaching the end, new hairs are growing.
The problem begins when the hairs go into the resting phase before their time. Something interferes and prevents the body from absorbing necessary nutrients for healthy hair growth.
What Causes the Disruptions in the Cycle?
There could be any number of reasons. Below is a general overview.
- Menopause – If you’ve been through menopause, I don’t have to tell you about the horrors inflicted on your body by hormones
- Another culprit that can cause hair loss in women is elevated male hormones. That figures…right?
- Post pregnancy – have you ever noticed that a woman’s hair is fuller and lustrous during pregnancy? That’s because increased estrogen prolongs the growing phase, there are fewer hairs in the resting phase, and fewer hairs are falling out. When the pregnancy is over, the growing cycle returns to normal and more hair than usual may fall out initially. Fortunately, it’s usually a temporary situation.
- Hereditary – Women sometimes get woman-pattern-hair loss, which is a heredity form of hair loss. If one of your parents lost their hair, there’s a good chance you can blame yours on them.
- Stress – No surprise here. Stress is the culprit in an abundance of our body’s disruptions. Thinning or loss of hair can certainly be one of them. It’s a Catch-22 situation, stress causes hair loss and losing our hair gives us stress.
- Unhealthy diet – Low protein can be one of those reasons that can be rectified by eating a healthy diet. It makes sense because hair is made from about 85% protein.
- Hair loss can be caused by low iron as well, which is more prevalent in women.
- Chemotherapy – These are incredibly powerful drugs that attack cancer cells, however, they also attack other cells in your body, such as those in your hair roots.
- Age – Unfortunately, there’s absolutely nothing we can do about this one; however, there is plenty we can do towards slowing the aging process. A healthy diet and getting enough exercise are essential.
As you can see, there are facets of hair loss that you can control and other’s you can’t control. Knowing why it’s happening is essential to the cure. The good news is that hair loss in women is usually temporary.
There is a great deal you can do towards slowing and even stopping hair loss. Many products for the regrowth and thickening of your hair have proven to be incredibly effective.
Don’t delay beginning a treatment regimen due to embarrassment or denial. The sooner you start; the less hair you’ll lose.