Why Do Women Experience Hair Loss?
We all shed hair, up to 100-250 strands a day, in fact. However, when this casual hair loss becomes excessive hair loss, it can be incredibly alarming. While oftentimes avoidable, losing your hair, whether in patches, through thinning or completely, can devastate your self-confidence and you can find yourself seeking out the cost of hair transplant. While this is a perfectly acceptable solution for permanent hair loss or thinning, understanding why you might be experiencing this is the first step to solving the problem. Below, we’re exploring exactly that.
Stress can have a more prominent effect on your body than you might initially think and one of the ways this can manifest is in hair loss. When you’re stressed, your body produces increased levels of a male hormone called androgen, which can cause hair loss in women. Additionally, many women suffer from a lack of appetite when they’re stressed, which in turn messes with the digestive system and can go on to cause a number of nutritional deficiencies which affect the hair and can result in hair loss.
Hormone imbalances can cause a number of changes in our bodies, and hair loss is no exception. We all know the pain of our ‘time of the month’ and you may notice that your hair either gets greasier much faster or seems to be coming out at an accelerated rate. This tends to settle very quickly, however, but is one sign of how a change in hormones can affect you. Similarly, pregnancy is renowned for causing hair loss even though this is also a ‘temporary’ problem; however, those 9 months can be extremely stressful on women who are beginning to shed hair on top of the already significant stress of carrying a child.
B12 is a vitamin that drastically affects the amount of red blood cells we have and how healthy they are and as high school biology taught us, these carry oxygen around our bodies. Without the right levels of B12, you may find yourself feeling sluggish and low on energy, and perhaps even tired. For your hair, the lack of this vitamin can lead to the insufficient blood supply to your scalp and therefore, unhealthy hair follicles. Vegans are particularly prone, as B12 is only found in proteins from animals, so make sure you’re supplementing this where possible!
Menopause – It’s a word that strikes fear into growing women and understandably so. Our bodies go through some significant changes during this period of our lives and while thinner hair strands are natural as we get older, you can find that you lose a lot of hair in the run-up to, and in the months after menopause. This is entirely normal, however, so it’s best not to stress too much about this. If you’re concerned, feel free to visit your GP or a dermatologist to be sure.
Finally, genetics can play a part in hair loss too and in some families, losing your hair is just a fact of your genes. Female pattern hair loss is also known as androgenetic alopecia and affects millions of women throughout their lifetimes – 50% in fact. There isn’t much to be done about alopecia, but by paying attention to your family history where possible, you can often prepare in advance and know what to expect as you grow older.
Hair loss in women isn’t something to be ignored, but more times than not, it’s a natural part of growing up. We all lose hair every day and during hormonal changes, this is particularly prevalent. If you are losing hair and think it could be more than a temporary situation, visit your GP or a dermatologist to discuss your options.