Hair loss (in women)

Definition

Hair loss or alopecia in women is the total or partial loss of hair. It can take different forms depending on its origin. The most frequent is androgenic hair loss or alopecia, also called common hair loss. Caused by abnormal hair growth, which promotes hair loss in women and hair growth that is thinner and shorter. Exhausted by this overproduction, the follicles are likely to form a downward point before completely stopping producing hair.

There is also temporary and diffuse hair loss. This occurs over a short period, between 2 to 3 months, but is characterized by immediate regrowth of hair.

Durable and diffuse hair loss, in turn, has the same characteristics as temporary hair loss, but differs only in its extension over time, until the factor that triggers the hair loss is controlled.

There is another type of hair loss that is durable and localized to a specific area. This is not a common hair loss, but androgenic hair loss caused by excessive traction (braiding, bun), called traction alopecia.

In some cases, hair loss is temporary and is due to incorrect handling or frequent use of cosmetics. Hair growth is immediate and then it returns to being healthy. It’s simply a false fall. If the hair still continues to fall out and looks very weak, then it will be necessary to identify other causes of hair loss.

Every day a woman loses an average of between 50 and 100 hairs, especially after the age of 50.

From the age of 50, the age of menopause, about 50% of women complain of hair loss.

See also:  hair loss in men

Causes

In addition to the causes most attributed to hair loss, such as anemia, the absence of certain nutrients or lack of vitamins, lack of iron, fever, emotional disturbances, stress, menstrual problems, problems related to certain organs such as the kidney, thyroid, liver and chemotherapy, the origin of hair loss can be more specific and focused on the type of hair loss in question.

Hair loss or androgenic alopecia

Androgenic hair loss originates in most cases from family history.

As this is a temporary and diffuse hair loss, it can be caused by:

1 – Change of season in early autumn and spring;

2 – Hormonal changes: after childbirth or menopause;

3 – A psychological shock such as the death of a loved one;

4 – An abortion;

5 – End of estrogen pill-based contraceptive treatment;

6 – A major surgical operation;

7 – A prolonged period of general anesthesia.

Diffuse and durable hair loss

Diffuse hair loss can be durable in some cases. The source is usually:

1- The use of certain medications;

2 – Iron, calcium, zinc or magnesium deficiency;

3 – A permanent state of stress that can also lead to depression;

4 – Anorexia or a very strict diet;

5 – Endocrine diseases and thyroid problems;

6 – Diabetes.

Shedding or Traction Alopecia

Long-lasting hair loss located in a specific area of ​​the head is often due to hair pulling, such as when pulling a ponytail. A mania or a simple hair-pulling tic can also cause a lasting fall. Traction increases the distance of the roots from their irrigation area and thus promotes hair loss.

false remains

False hair loss is the result of excessive hair manipulation. Curling, coloring, and perming can cause brittle hair that falls out easily. In this case, the hair follicle remains intact and the damaged hairs are replaced by healthy new growth.

Also note that celiac disease (gluten intolerance) can lead to nutrient deficiencies (iron, calcium…) and can cause hair loss.

Symptoms

Hair loss in women can take many forms. Each type of fall has its symptoms, its origin and treatment.

The fall occurs gradually and is characterized by the appearance of thinner hair. In general, this hair loss starts at the midline and gradually spreads to the top of the head if left untreated.

Androgenic hair loss affects women of all ages from 14-15 years old. While some times like puberty, pregnancy and menopause are favorable for the disease to worsen, it generally remains slow and gradual, but durable if no action is taken.

Temporary Fall

Temporary, diffuse shedding rarely lasts longer than three months. It is not located in a well-defined area and only appears 2-4 months after the triggering event. Although hair loss can be profuse, up to 50%, regrowth occurs immediately. In the case of an extension of hair loss or less hair production, try to analyze other possible causes of your hair loss. The temporary fall may in fact be androgenic alopecia.

Durable and diffuse fall

It is a bit difficult to recognize durable and diffuse hair loss as it has the same symptoms as temporary hair loss. However, it lasts as long as the triggering factor persists. The appearance of finer hairs may appear and the fall may be partially or totally reversible.

With age, a woman’s hair becomes thinner.

Complications

Some factors can contribute to aggravating hair loss in women. This is the case of stress that favors the secretion of androgens and, therefore, androgenic alopecia. The patient can find himself in a vicious circle of stress and hair loss, as the more stress, the more the fall will get worse. You should know that research has shown the important role played by stress in hair loss, which puts it at the top of the aggravating factors for this type of hair loss.

During certain seasons such as autumn and spring, the secretion of androgens increases in an inexplicable way and thus increases the risk of hair loss.

Hormonal and contraceptive treatments can increase shedding due to the metabolism of progesterone into androgens.

Polycystic ovary syndrome can also cause excess ovarian androgens and intervene in worsening hair loss.

Note that, excess bad cholesterol is not only dangerous for your health, but also for your hair.

Hair loss can easily get worse and factors that favor hair loss can interact and result in further loss. A simple magnesium deficiency, for example, will favor hair loss due to heredity. For this reason, consultation with a specialist is essential, in order to distinguish between the factors that triggered the fall and the factors that have aggravated it, in order to obtain a better treatment.

Durable and localized fall

To distinguish a fall whose origin can be a strong pull on the hair, it is necessary to be attentive to the replacement of the hair that becomes thinner, in this case. Scalp irritations may also occur. Eventually, hairless areas form preceded by a hairline, which progressively becomes lighter.

Treatments

The treatment of hair loss in women mainly depends on the factors that triggered the fall. Sometimes, a change in behavior and dietary hygiene is enough to stop hair loss.

When hair loss occurs after childbirth, you can apply a specific lotion designed to reinforce keratin and provide your hair with more vitamins. By choosing a product whose action focuses on the root, you will have stronger hair. Attention, the result is rarely immediate, you have to be patient, as your hair can take up to eight months to regain all its shine and vigor. Treatment based on vitamins B5, B6 and B8 reinforce the hair fiber. For faster growth, stimulation of the microcirculation of the scalp is essential.

In order to mitigate hair loss in women during chemotherapy treatment, the use of a mild shampoo is necessary. Use a cooling cap during sessions if it is not contraindicated in your case. When you wash your hair, let them dry naturally and use a soft brush to brush them.

Vitamin B1 facilitates protein production and gives your hair health, shine and volume. Other vitamins also help prevent hair loss; this is the case of biotin or vitamin B, vitamin E, niacin and inositol.

In case of deficiency, taking food supplements can be prescribed by the doctor.

Minoxidil

Minoxidil is a frequently used externally treatment for hair loss in both men and women.

Minoxidil-based treatments should last about 12 months to see some effectiveness. In general, after a few months it is already possible to observe significant differences. After stopping treatment with minoxidil, hair tends to fall out again.

hormones

Some women who take hormones (birth control or menopausal) experience less hair loss.

hair transplant

If no treatment works for the woman, she may also have a hair transplant. Talk to a doctor.

Herbal medicine

– Nettle and millet are among the best plants known to stop hair loss.

– Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, green vegetables, potatoes and green peppers help maintain healthy hair.

– A diet rich in minerals such as magnesium, zinc or iron can also prevent hair loss among women. This also occurs with the consumption of green vegetables, certain fruits such as kiwi, pineapple and strawberries, citrus fruits, cereals, vegetable oils, red meat, fish, chicken, rice and milk. Soy, beans and eggs are also among the foods that should be preferred for this purpose.

If you prefer, you can resort to aromatherapy; cedarwood oil, jojoba oil, rosemary, chamomile, lemon, thyme and orange are most commonly used to massage the scalp and promote hair growth.

Good advices

– Whatever the manifestation of your hair loss, remember to consult a specialist before it gets worse;

– If possible, avoid tying your hair back with barrettes or elastics so as not to pull the roots;

– From time to time, perform a cranial massage that can stimulate the microcirculation of the scalp. When you wash your hair, practice a gentle scalp massage;

– If you use hair dyes choose a moderate application;

– Wash your hair with warm water and avoid applying shampoo directly to your hair;

– Washing should be abundant to eliminate product residues in your hair;

– When you comb wet hair, prefer combs with wider teeth to remove knots without damaging the hair.

– Since stress is a possible cause of hair loss, it is important to manage it well. Regular physical exercise is good advice to fight stress.

See also: hair loss in men

Questions and Answers (Create health Forum)

“I just found out that I have esophagitis. Could this inflammation in the intestine be related to my recent hair loss?”

Pharmacist’s response (by Adriana)

Esophagitis is an inflammation of the stomach and esophagus (the tube that takes food from our mouth to our stomach).

It is possible that inflammation located in the digestive tract, such as the stomach and intestines, is related to hair loss, as inflammation can hinder the absorption of nutrients and the deficiency of certain nutrients can cause hair loss.

Inflammation can lead to the formation of mucus that stays on the surface of the esophagus, stomach and intestine, physically making it difficult to absorb some substance, in addition to also affecting the release of enzymes that alter digestion.

Nutrients that may be related to hair loss are: iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc.

We recommend that you have blood tests to check if you have a deficiency.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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