Hair Loss in Women
Losing your hair as a woman, especially if you’re young or at a vulnerable time in your life, can badly affect your confidence.
Jackie McKillop, Alopecia UK spokesperson and junior nursing sister at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, says society considers hair to be an important part of how you look:
“For women, there is a social stigma attached to going bald,” she says. “Hair loss can affect your sensuality and how you perceive yourself. There are usually emotional trials and tribulations when it happens.
“Some women question whether their partner will still love them. I’ve known others become socially reclusive and give up enjoyable activities like swimming and going to the gym, because they can’t bear using the communal changing rooms for fear of their hair loss being discovered.”
Hair loss, known medically as alopecia, is common. It’s estimated, for instance, that around 50% of women over the age of 65 experience female-pattern baldness – the most common type of hair loss, which is thought to be inherited.
Causes of Hair Loss in Women
A variety of conditions can cause hair loss, including:
- Hormonal changes.Hormonal changes and imbalances can cause temporary hair loss. This could be due to pregnancy, childbirth or the onset of menopause. Hormone levels are also affected by the thyroid gland, so thyroid problems may cause hair loss.
- Patchy hair loss.This type of nonscarring hair loss is called alopecia areata (al-o-PEE-she-uh ar-e-A-tuh). It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles — causing sudden hair loss that leaves smooth, roundish bald patches on the skin.
- Scalp infections.Infections, such as ringworm, can invade the hair and skin of your scalp, leading to scaly patches and hair loss. Once infections are treated, hair generally grows back.
- Other skin disorders.Diseases that cause scarring alopecia may result in permanent loss at the scarred areas. These conditions include lichen planus, some types of lupus and sarcoidosis.
- Hair-pulling disorder.This condition, also called trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh), causes people to have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair, whether it’s from the scalp, the eyebrows or other areas of the body.
Treatment of Hair loss in Women
- Avoid hairstyles that pull on the hairline. …
- Ditch hair tools that use high heat. …
- Be wary of chemical processing. …
- Peruse your pantry. …
- Use hair products targeted to restore hair growth. …
- Consider a topical medication. …
- Don’t skip the scalp massage. …
- Consider essential oils.
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