Female hair loss is an upsetting, yet surprisingly common condition. Women rarely lose hair to the extreme that men do; however, many experience a significant reduction in the diameter of the hair shaft leading to overall hair thinning.
This pattern most often develops around the onset of menopause but some women in their 20’s and 30’s are beginning to notice hair loss too. What does it mean and what can you do to reverse the hair loss?
Weight loss, low iron levels, poor diet and stress, along with thyroid and hormonal imbalances, can all cause hair to fall. Hair needs a healthy diet and a well-functioning endocrine system to flourish.
The good news is hair shedding linked to weight, anaemia, diet or thyroid problems is temporary. The hair follicle isn’t damaged and the hair grows back automatically or once the imbalance is addressed.
Below are 10 common causes of hair loss in women:
Many commonly prescribed medications are associated with hair loss in women. These range from anti-depressants, diabetes medication, the contraceptive pill and chemotherapy.
2) Hormonal changes
Childbirth – it is common to lose hair around 3 months after childbirth. This is a result of hormone levels adjusting after pregnancy. This is a temporary problem and hair should return to its pre-pregnancy state within 6 – 12 months. Menopause – Decreased oestrogen levels have been linked to significant hair loss and thinning.
3) Anxiety and stress
Usually hair loss to do with stress is limited to extreme life changing events such as death, divorce and financial stress. But prolonged periods of anxiety and stress can deplete you nutritionally, which could potentially lead to your hair thinning.
If hair loss runs in your family then you are at a higher risk of having thinning hair yourself.
5) Nutritional deficiencies
Low levels of Iron (Ferritin) and Vitamin B12 have been linked to female hair loss.
6) Thyroid disease
When your body produces too little thyroid hormone, the hormone responsible for metabolism, heart rate, and mood, you are said to have hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid. If your body makes too much of the hormone, you’re said to have hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid. With hypothyroidism, hair frequently becomes brittle, coarse and dry, while breaking off and falling out easily. There is often an unusual loss of hair in the outer edge of the eyebrow. With hyperthyroidism, severe hair loss can also occur, and skin can become fragile and thin.
7) Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
This condition, which can begin as early as age 11, is caused by a hormonal imbalance in which the ovaries produce too many male hormones. PCOS can cause facial hair growth, irregular periods, acne, and cysts on the ovaries. And while you may experience hair loss on your scalp, you may notice more hair elsewhere on the body.
8) Skin conditions of the scalp
An unhealthy scalp can cause inflammation that makes it difficult for hair to grow. Skin conditions that lead to hair loss include seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff), psoriasis, and fungal infections such as ringworm.
9) Excessive styling
Yes, too much shampooing, styling, blowing drying and dyeing your hair can have a detrimental affect on its ability to grow healthy and strong.
10) Alopecia Areata
This is an autoimmune disease and another common cause of hair loss in women. It is caused by white blood cells attacking hair follicles, which drastically reduces hair growth. The hair loss appears in various degrees of severity, from small round patches to chronic extensive hair loss of the entire scalp or body.
If you suspect you are losing a lot of hair then it is advisable to consult your Doctor to rule out anything serious.
There are a number of homeopathic medicines which are helpful for hair loss. Treating the underlying cause, whether it is emotional or linked to an organ not functioning at its peak, is of vital importance. A full homeopathic consultation would be required to ascertain when your hair loss started and what other symptoms you have in order to find the right remedies to help.
Until next time, have a happy, healthy week!