Women of all ages often spend a fortune keeping their hair looking great, yet there are an estimated eight million women in the UK affected by some form of hair loss. Today we look at five reasons why women lose their hair.
1. Genetic baldness
You may think that genetic baldness and thinning hair affects only men; in fact, tens of thousands of women in the UK experience female pattern hair loss. This usually starts around age 30, although it can affect women in their 20s and younger. Women affected generally notice diffuse thinning, where hair thins all over the crown or the top of the head. This thinning gradually becomes more noticeable around the age of 40, and by 50, half of women will experience hair thinning due to genetic baldness or other factors.
The latter causes hair shedding to increase as follicles prematurely enter the telogen (resting) phase, where they stay for around three months before they are shed. The good news is that hair loss caused by stress is usually temporary, and hair should soon begin to grow back.
Alopecia Areata can affect women of any age and around one in 1,000 people will develop the condition, which is characterised by sudden, patchy hair loss. Nobody knows what causes the condition, but it is considered an autoimmune disorder and can be brought on by chronic stress, shock, physical trauma, viral infection, even pregnancy!
However, the extreme stress pregnancy and childbirth puts on the body can lead to the development of conditions such as Postpartum Alopecia. This affects between 20% and 45% of women after childbirth, and whilst hair growth will usually return to normal eventually, it can take between 9 and 12 months for this to happen. If these stresses continue, they can perpetuate the otherwise temporary hair loss problems following childbirth and cause a more longstanding condition called Diffuse Thinning. During pregnancy, hormonal changes activate all of your hair follicles. Once you give birth, hair growth returns to normal, which means around 10% of your follicles re-enter their resting phase. This causes the extra hair grown during pregnancy to shed and is perfectly normal.
5. Tight hairstyles
We’re all guilty of pulling our hair into a tight up-do when we’re pushed for time, but did you know that wearing tight hairstyles regularly could damage your follicles?
Tension on the hair shaft from tight hairstyles or extensions can cause Traction Alopecia, characterised by bald, shiny patches of hair loss on the scalp. The constant tension on the hair shaft damages hair follicles, so the hair growth cycle slows down. Avoiding tight hairstyles and extensions will usually mean that some or all of your hair will grow back, however, it is important to take action quickly as once the hair follicles cease functioning, the damage is irreversible.
If you are or think you may be suffering from any of the above, seek advice from a hair loss professional at the earliest opportunity as there are effective treatments available for women’s hair loss conditions. Your treatment specialist will be able to recommend the course that is best-suited to your condition and stage of hair loss. Visit our Women’s Hair Loss Treatment Success Stories to see a selection of Belgravia’s female patients’ Before and After images, extracted from our larger Hair Loss Success Stories gallery which features over 1,000 patients’ results and feedback.
Visit our photographic Hair Loss Success Stories gallery to browse our constantly updated collection of over 1,000 male and female patients’ progress images, alongside their feedback. If you are worried about hair loss and would like to speak to one of our experts, call us now on 020 7730 6666 or send us a message to book your free, discreet one-on-one consultation at either of our Central London clinics. Alternatively, if you are unable to visit us, you can complete our Online Consultation Form instead.
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