There’s so much information available on baldness but women lose hair too. Generally not to the extent that men do but hair loss is still a common complaint and with doctors rarely taking it seriously, we think it’s about time we set the record straight and gave you the facts about women’s hair loss.
* Women can inherit genetic hair loss and it can be passed down from both the mother’s and father’s side of the family.
* Male hormones are responsible for female pattern hair loss, specifically dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
* Female pattern hair loss is the most common type of women’s hair loss and is most commonly seen after menopause, although it may begin as early as puberty.
* Minoxidil is the only licensed and approved treatment for women’s hair loss, despite a number of other hair loss products being marketed as ideal solutions.
* Some common causes of hair loss in women are childbirth, contraceptive pills, menopause, or any other factor that leads to hormonal fluctuations.
* Stress can cause hair loss. In fact, some experts site this as one of the reasons why women’s hair loss is one the increase.
* It is the normal to experience hair loss on a daily basis. Experts suggest that losing roughly 100 hairs a day is normal but any more than 125 a day and the excess may not be getting replaced with new hair growth.
* Illness, disease and surgery can cause thinning hair. Diabetes, an underactive or overactive thyroid, lupus, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may cause diffuse hair loss and should be individually addressed as well.
* Certain hairstyles can cause baldness. Hair extensions, braiding and weaving all put extra tension on the hair follicles and effectively pull the hair from the root causing traction alopecia. This can lead to patches of baldness or a receding hairline.
* Hair should be brushed 100 strokes a day – Unless you’re talking about the HairMax LaserComb, a personal, FDA-cleared hair growth device – spending 20 minutes brushing your hair isn’t going to improve its appearance. Use a brush with soft balls on the end of the bristles on dry hair to avoid scalp irritation and only comb hair with a wide toothed comb when it’s wet as this is when hair is more elastic and prone to breakage.
* Hair colouring will make your hair fall out – Chemicals to straighten, perm or colour hair and over-use of heat to dry or style hair can cause dryness which results in hair breakage. This can lead to an appearance of thinning hair but unless the scalp is actually burned by chemicals or heat appliances, hair growth shouldn’t be permanently affected.
* Nutritional supplements for hair growth will prevent hair loss – Manufacturers of food supplements can market their products as they wish, providing they don’t cause any physical harm with normal use. Even though some claim to, there is no firm evidence that any hair supplement, even Belgravia’s Hair Vitalics, can prevent thinning hair or make hair grow faster.
*Women’s hair only starts to thin after menopause – Age and hair loss are not proportional in any manner imaginable. Alopecia areata is a hair loss condition that affects both men and women of all ages, particularly children and young adults.
* Dandruff causes hair loss – One embarrassing problem doesn’t cause another. Dandruff is simply an increased turnover of skin cells and doesn’t affect hair growth. However, an itchy scalp is sometimes a side effect and constant scratching can damage the hair follicles. To avoid hair loss as a result of this, find a mild anti-dandruff shampoo that doesn’t irritate the scalp and see your doctor if the itchiness persists.
If you’re experiencing thinning hair or want to know more about hair loss in women, contact the Belgravia Centre on 020 7730 6666or send an email. You can also arrange a free consultation with a hair loss specialist or, if you aren’t able to visit the London centre, you can fill in the online diagnostic form for a personal hair loss analysis and access to expert advice and treatments.