Why is My Hair Falling Out? Triggers of Female Hair Loss

Each morning a woman will find a few hairs on her pillow, and that’s completely natural. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, this is called hair shedding and, on average, a person will ‘shed’ anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs in a day. However, when the numbers become much higher than that and you actually notice that your hair is thinning in volume or even have patches with no hair, that is cause for concern.

When not to worry excessively

According to the same article, excessive shedding can occur as an aftermath of numerous situations ranging from giving birth, undergoing surgery, during illness recovery, loss of 20 or more pounds or after you’ve stopped taking birth control pills (if you were on them). The shedding in those cases can be a little higher in volume, but there is no need to be overly concerned as the body usually takes care of things and in about six to nine months, your volume goes back to its normal state.

Cause number one

As Women’s Health Concern points out, women can experience major hair loss and even a lack of growth of new hairs during menopause. In some cases, women lose hair evenly, in the sense that the overall volume is not as high as before menopause, while in the worst case scenario they notice bald patches, particularly “at the crown of the head, the sides or more general hair thinning all over the head”. The worrying element is that this is simply something that comes with age, and even though estrogen, which dips during menopause, is there to help hair growth, baldness and major hair loss can still occur. The good news is that there are options for stopping or at least slowing down the hair loss process such as a change in diet, usage of strengthening hair products – specialized shampoos, as well as undergoing procedures such as a safe hair rejuvenation. Age is definitely a factor, and so is a potential hormonal imbalance that occurs in the pre and menopausal stage, but if you can’t stop hair loss altogether, you can at least take steps to keep it at bay for an extended period of time.

Cause number two

Unfortunately, genes are something we have no control over, and for some people, hair loss is a genetic predisposition. As Dr. Rogers states, it’s important to investigate family history – especially on the female side of the family, “and if they have similar, or greater amounts, of hair loss. Using magnification on the scalp can show if a woman’s follicles vary in size - with some thick and others thin.” You can resort to the same type of aid – hair strengtheners, rejuvenation, change in diet, but in the cases in which hair loss is hereditary, there is unfortunately not much you can do, as even if the hair on the bald patches does grow back, in most cases, it’s “finer and thinner – a more miniaturized version of itself”.

Cause number three

There is a variety of medical conditions that can cause significant hair loss, sometimes the illness itself and other times the treatments. Chemotherapy is a known culprit of hair loss, and as previously mentioned, serious surgeries, giving birth and other medical conditions can lead to hair loss. The good news, in this case, is that the hair will grow back on its own after half a year or so.

Cause number four

Many people aren’t familiar with female pattern baldness that goes by the official name of alopecia areata. This is actually an autoimmune disorder that causes your hair to fall out in chunks leaving you with highly noticeable bald patches. The thing about these kinds of diseases is that your own body is attacking you – which is why it’s called autoimmune. The bad news is that there is nothing you can do about this condition aside from shaving it all off, or let it all fall off, which happens in the case of alopecia areata totalis. Your only option is to purchase a good wig or several of them and make the best out of a situation by at least playing with different hairstyles whenever the mood strikes you. You can also resort to treatments such as corticosteroids, topical immunotherapy, and the often low-impact topical solution – Rogaine. However, you shouldn’t be overly concerned with this type of hair loss as it usually affects a very low percentage of the world’s population.

Cause number five

Just in case you were wondering, professionals have confirmed it – just like it affects everything else, excessive stress can affect the volume of your hair as well. There are three types of hair losses that come as a result of being under a huge amount of stress – telogen effluvium, Trichotillomania and the final and aforementioned alopecia areata. The bright side is that this kind of hair loss is completely reversible – as soon as you get rid of whatever is causing you those enormous amounts of stress, your hair will grow back. However, medical professionals do recommend that if you don’t notice an improvement in a reasonable amount of time that you definitely need to pay a visit to your doctor as there may be an underlying medical condition that you have not realized you have, so do not take this matter lightly.
We are sorry for the men in our lives, but also sort of relieved that baldness is an issue that affects men far more frequently than it does women. However, if you do notice any signs, do not hesitate to go to your physician, because, as you can see, hair loss can be the result of numerous factors and the sooner you figure out what’s causing yours, the sooner you can act and hopefully salvage your hair.

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