Long, short, bouncy, sleek — for most women, hair is more than just hair. It’s how women express their personality and style. Self-image and hair are closely intertwined, many studies have shown. If a “bad hair day” can ruin the whole day, imagine the distress hair loss can produce!
Hair Loss is Common In Women, Also
Men aren’t the only ones who encounter this issue– 40% of people who experience long term or temporary hair loss are women. Although, unlike men, women rarely develop the receding front hairline…
How Does Hair Grow?
Each follicle produces a single hair that grows at a rate of 1/2 inch per month. After growing for 2-6 years, hair rests awhile before falling out. New hair replaces is and the cycle begins again. 85% of the hair is growing and the remainder is resting, at any given time.
How Much Hair Loss is Normal?
Since resting hairs regularly fall out, you can shed about 50-100 strands every day. Abnormal hair loss can happen in several ways. You may notice dramatic clumps falling out when you’re doing your hair. Or your hair may thin slowly over time. Schedule a doctor’s visit if you’re concerned.
Why Does Hair Loss Happen?
There are about 30 different medical conditions, as well as several lifestyle factors; sometimes no specific cause can be found. As a starting point, hair loss experts recommend testing for thyroid problems and hormone imbalances, wherein hair can grow back.
Triggers For Hair Loss
- Throid Problems
- Hormonal Imbalances (polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS)
- Alopecia Areata
- Birth Control Pills
- Crash Dieting
- Tighter Hairstyles (cornrows, tight ponytails, tight rollers)
- Cancer Treatments
Extreme physical or emotional stress can cause a sudden shedding of one-half to three-quarters of the hair on your head. Examples include:
- Serious illness or major surgery
- Trauma involving blood loss
- Severe emotional trauma
The shedding may last six to eight months.
Treatments for Hair Loss
There are professional products that help to re-grow hair by removing DHT (a derivative of testosterone) from the scalp to elicit new hair growth by creating a healthy environment for it to do so. This system is called Redken Cerafil. It’s as simple as your routine with your hair anyway– shampoo, condition and put styling product in before you blowdry or air-dry.
Minoxidil (Rogaine) is approved by the FDA for female pattern hair loss. It can slow or stop hair loss in most women and may help hair grow back in up to a quarter of those who use it. The benefits are lost when you stop using it. For women with Alopecia Areata, Corticosteroids can help regrow hair. And if you have an underlying medical problem or a nutritional deficiency, hair usually grows back on its own once that condition is under control.
Devices that emit low-energy laser light may stimulate hair growth to help fight thinning hair. They’re available in some clinics and as hand-held devices to use at home.
This procedure involves moving hair to thinning scalp areas from donor sites. The trouble is, female pattern baldness causes thin hair all over, so good donor sites may be limited. The exceptions are women with male pattern baldness or hair loss caused by scarring.
Coping with Thinning Hair
Adjusting to permanent hair loss is challenging for most women. If thin areas are very obvious, consider a weave, a hairpiece, a scarf, or a hat to cover bald spots. Good quality wigs are more comfortable than ever — and they rarely have bad hair days. If hair loss interferes with your job or social life or makes you reluctant to leave the house, think about talking with a counselor.
Ask your stylist for tips — a short cut, change up your part, maybe a gentle body wave. A styling product such as Pureology Levitation Mist or Redken Full Frame 07 mousse for thin hair can help hide hair loss. You apply it to the root area and gently blow dry and lift the hair up, to build volume. Special cosmetics can camouflage visible areas of scalp. And keratin fiber hair cosmetics may be worth a try. They’re sprinkled over the thinning patch, where their static charge makes hair appear thicker.