Women lose their hair just like men do. Most of the time they lose their hair for health reasons but sometimes it’s also a genetic component just like with men and male pattern baldness.
In fact, hair loss affects about 30 million American women. About 40 percent of all women suffer some form of hair loss or thinning of their hair by age 40. Even though in many cases it’s a normal part of aging, women (more than men) suffer unnecessary embarrassment due to their hair loss. Let’s look at some common causes of hair loss in women.
* Mental and Physical Stress – Any time you’re not getting enough sleep or you’re stressed out, whether it’s mental or physical, there is a chance your body will respond by shedding hair. Usually, if you can get back to homeostasis you’ll grow your hair back.
* Pregnancy – When you’re pregnant, you produce a lot of specialized hormones that help your baby grow. But the result can be a thick full hair while you’re pregnant that seems to all fall out after you have the baby and your hormones fluctuate. For women who suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum (which is a condition that causes very severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and other issues), deficiencies this condition causes can lead to hair thinning and hair loss.
* An Overdose of Vitamin A – Many people think more of something is better. But an overdose of vitamin A can cause hair loss and other problems. It’s important to make sure you’re only taking vitamins that you really need according to blood tests, and not just because someone else said to take it.
* Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency – Iron deficiency (anemia), vitamin B, protein deficiency and nutritional deficits can cause hair loss and hair thinning. It’s always a good idea to get your blood tested to find out what’s going on if you’re experiencing thinning of hair or hair loss.
* Heredity – There is a thing called “female pattern” hair loss that affects some women. You will know if your elders also have hair loss issues. The best course of treatment for this type of hair loss is to use something like Rogaine or a doctor prescribed treatment to help.
* Autoimmune Illnesses – There are a whole host of autoimmune illnesses that can cause hair thinning or hair loss, such as lupus. But there is an autoimmune illness called alopecia areata that causes straight-up hair loss, because it attacks the hair follicles. It’s characterized by scarring and can sometimes be mistaken for ringworm.
* Losing Weight Fast – Whenever you lose weight fast, your body may react by shedding hair. If you had a gastric bypass or do anything to limit your calories to the point that you’re losing more than a couple pounds a week, hair loss is a potential side effect. If you realize that you’re losing your hair as you shed the weight, consider whether you need to add vitamins to your day or add more calories to slow the weight loss.
* Chemotherapy – Hair loss is a well-known side effect for anyone undergoing chemotherapy. The best thing to do is understand that once your treatments are over your hair will grow back. Try finding cute wigs, try different styles and colors, and don’t forget if you’re hot you can just let your bald head shine because even though it’s dramatic, traumatic, and hard – it’s temporary.
* PCOS – Polycystic ovary syndrome is an imbalance in your hormones that can cause both weight gain, cysts, diabetes, period problems, infertility, and hair thinning. If you’ve not changed much in your diet or life but are experiencing any of these symptoms, ask your doctor to rule out PCOS. Not all people with PCOS experience pain.
* Drugs – Prescribed drugs used to treat depression, blood thinners, and others can cause hair loss in some individuals. If you note that you’re losing your hair after starting these types of drugs, be sure to report that to your doctor.
* Over-styling – Tight braids, weave, chemical treatments, even hot-oil treatments and harsh chemicals found in perms and hair color can damage the roots of your hair and cause it to fall out. Sometimes it falls out in patches where the hair was weaker. The trick is to avoid over-styling and try to use fewer chemicals on your hair. In addition, don’t use your hot styling equipment every single day.
These are all possible reasons why you’re losing your hair. No matter the reason, there are usually things you can do to lessen the problems associated with hair loss.