Have you ever noticed how clumps of hair stick to your hairbrush every time you run it through your hair? Hair loss or thinning is often associated with men, but did you know that there are a number of women who go through the same ordeal?
Yes, a woman’s crowning glory is not exempted from this after all. If you are worried about going bald, calm down. Hair experts say that going bald due to hair thinning only happens to men. Good news, right? Here’s another: you can actually get treatments to save your head from losing your precious locks.
Why do we lose hair?
Before diving in to know about hair loss treatments, it is important to understand the nature of hair loss.
Hair loss is a natural phenomenon as new growths appear on our heads. A person can lose 50 to 150 strands per day and that is considered normal by doctors. However, if the amount of hair that falls away is more than what you think is average and you start noticing thinning at some parts of your head, then this may raise the red flag that something is wrong.
As reported on Foxeny.com, a health and beauty portal, hair growth undergoes three phases and it is in one of these phases that hair loss occurs. The first part of the hair cycle process is called the anagen phase. This phase can last from two to eight years and this is the period when the strands of hair start and continue to grow.
Next is the quick transition stage, called the catagen phase. During this time, the hair stops growing and readies to shed. The telogen phase is the final step in the hair growth process and this is the stage where the follicles release the hair strands from their hold. Follicles that shed hair become inactive for a few months until new strands of hair begin to grow.
What are the causes of hair loss?
Hair loss in women can be caused by various factors. These include:
- An underlying medical condition or disease (e.g. autoimmune conditions)
- Certain medications
- Hairstyles that cause the hair to be pulled tightly
- Hair products and tools
- Hormonal imbalance
- Poor nutrition
A hair loss condition that is rampant among women is known as androgenic alopecia. This condition usually occurs among women who are in the 40 to 50-year-old bracket. It is usually handed down through genes or is triggered by hormonal changes in the body due to menopause.
Also known as female-pattern hair loss, this condition progresses as thinning of the hair starts to develop at the top of the head and begins to be noticeable as this part widens over time. New hair growth may take longer and the strands that eventually sprout from the follicles are not as tough as the previous growths.
Hair loss from STD’s
While infections such as chlamydia and herpes have treatments that often cause temporary hair loss due to STDs, syphilis is capable of causing hair loss as a direct symptom. This normally occurs during the secondary stage of syphilis and can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin.
What are the treatments for hair loss?
One type of alopecia, known as frontal fibrosing alopecia, is another cause of hair loss in women. This condition is characterized by hair loss, followed by the scarring of the scalp close to the forehead. The effects of this condition may be permanent. What causes this condition is yet to be discovered, but medical experts say that genes, as well as the environment, may contribute to the development of this rare condition.
Other conditions that can lead to hair loss also include skin diseases that affect the scalp, such as eczema and psoriasis.
With the advancement of medical technology, more and more hair loss treatments have become available to the public. Hair loss can be treated by either of the following:
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections
- Cosmetic options
Treating your hair loss will depend on its cause. Hair loss caused by certain diseases can be managed by applying treatment to the underlying condition with medication first. For some, this is usually done the trick as new hair begins to grow back. If hair growth remains stubborn, then it may be time to explore other options to regrow your locks.
Medications, such as Minoxidil (Rogaine) and Spironolactone (Aldactone) are two popular treatments that doctors prescribe for women who suffer from hair loss. Minoxidil is a topical medicine that is applied to the scalp. While this medication is highly effective, it is not without side effects.
Answer to your hair loss problem
Some patients who used Minoxidil have experienced hair growth in unwanted places, as well as skin and scalp irritation. The other medication, Spironolactone, is frequently given to patients whose hair loss is not caused by hormones.
A more advanced way of treating hair loss uses your blood by separating its platelet-rich plasma away from the rest of the blood components with the use of a machine. The platelets are then reintroduced into the scalp’s target area by injection. Doctors have mentioned that this process is still not perfect and continues to be studied, but they have found that the platelets are able to stimulate the reconstruction of tissues in the scalp and hair follicles.
When all else fails or you are in search of an answer to your hair loss problem that does not require much from your pockets, then you can always turn to cosmetic options. A cheaper way to conceal those bald or thinning spots on your head is to purchase a wig.
Hair transplantation is another cosmetic option with a high success rate. This procedure, however, requires surgery and comes with a hefty price tag. Aside from being costly, hair transplantation is more effective for balding issues and may not address hair thinning among women in general.