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What are the Causes of Female Hair Loss?

Naomi Traction Alopecia The Belgravia CentreA recent Huffington Post report claims that 60% of women will experience hair loss at some point in their lives. While the source of this statistic is not cited, the report does pay some much-needed attention to the issue of female hair loss.

With this in mind, we shall explore some of the possible causes of hair loss in women:

Styling

Modern hair care regimes are known to cause issues that can result in receding hairlines and patchy hairloss. Particularly “tight” hair styles, such as cornrows and braids, place additional tension on the scalp and hair follicles. Over time this tension causes the hair follicles to deform and the attached hair to fall out: a condition known as Traction Alopecia. The deformation also prevents new hair from growing, leading to the development of patchy hairloss.

The use of hair straighteners has also been identified as a potential cause of hair problems. Exposing hair to high temperatures on a regular basis weakens its chemical structure making it brittle and easy to break. Where hair is broken repeatedly, the scalp develops the appearance of thinning patches.

Genetics

Like its male equivalent, Female Pattern Balding (Androgenic Alopecia) is a genetic condition that causes balding on the scalp. This condition is caused by a genetic pre-disposition that converts the hormone into an androgen called dihydrotestosterone (DHT for short) which then attacks the hair follicles causing them to shrink, preventing normal regrowth. As more hair follicles are affected, bald patches begin to appear. Scientists still do not understand why the hair on the top of the scalp is affected in this way while other hairs on the head often remain unaffected, although there have been several recent news reports about a new theory that gravity may play a role in this phenomenon.

Stress

The relationship between stress and hair loss is not fully understood, but it is thought that neurotransmitters produced in the brain at times of stress could trigger certain responses that interfere with the hair follicles. Scientists are not in agreement about whether stress can cause the onset of hair loss conditions such as Female Pattern Balding or Alopecia Areata. Some experts believe stress may instead act as a trigger for a condition to which the individual is already pre-disposed to develop.

Some hair loss conditions, however, do have strong links to stress. Telogen Effluvium is one such condition that can be triggered by severe emotional stress. Often directly related to a traumatic incident, women affected by Telogen Effluvium find large chunks of hair falling out unexpectedly. The condition is caused by hair follicles prematurely entering a resting state, causing the attached hair to fall out. The loss of hair usually occurs three months or more after the traumatic event has taken place.

The Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our online diagnostic form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our hair loss success stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 0800 077 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

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