Hair loss is a problem that plagues many women, and it’s clearly no longer just a men problem. Although hair loss in women is frequently a transitory phenomenon, in some cases, it may not be, and it may be necessary to consult a specialist who can identify exactly the cause of the problem in order to suggest possible treatments. In recent years, there’s been an increase in the number of women suffering from hair loss. Stress and daily tensions, environmental pollution, and aggressive cosmetic treatments are some of the causes. Hair loss in women has even more worrying psychological effects because the hair affects facial aesthetics and also due to the fact that female baldness is less culturally accepted than that of men. For a woman, losing her hair can often mean seeing her femininity compromised.
Many women underestimate the signs that herald a typical hair loss and rely on coarse remedies with the help of commercial products and ambiguous hair lotions that only worsen the delicate balance of the hair tissues. Therefore, in the presence of persistent itchy head or scalp pain, oily hair, or dandruff, it is recommended to contact your trusted trichologist or dermatologist to carry out the hair test in the correct manner. Undergoing a hair analysis does not require much effort: the exam is short and allows you to act on the hair in a healthy and dedicated way.
It is normal for a woman to lose some hair on the scalp with aging. The problem is when an equal number in growth does not replace the number of hair that falls off. Some individuals who genetically have stronger hair may remain immune to this age-related loss.
Hormones can also make women lose their hair. This type of hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) affects both men and women, although it’s mostly affects men. However, the difference in the effect of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in women is different. Instead of undergoing a sudden loss of hair, the woman undergoes a general thinning on the whole head with loss of quality and body of the hair. In the long run, this causes baldness. This is normal, but sometimes the pattern of baldness is the same as the male one.
Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and some medications can cause sudden loss of hair and even body hair. This type of hair loss is anagen effluvium, which happens to the hair in the growing phase. In some cases, hair loss can be permanent if the hair follicles are damaged.
Particularly extreme events for the body can cause temporary hair loss. It can be a huge and sudden loss of weight, surgery, illness, even childbirth. This type of hair loss is called telogen effluvium and typically affects the hair in its resting phase. Stress-related hair loss is usually not permanent and stops as soon as the stress is brought under control. It does not need special treatment, even though some hair supplements might speed up the recovery.
Aggressive Hair Products
Sometimes, the shampoos we purchase contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate or other ingredients that are too aggressive for our hair. When washing your hair, you should use only gentle and non-aggressive products even though they may be more expensive.
Excess Of Vitamin A
Too much vitamin A in your body is bad for your health, body, and hair. Some drugs contain large doses of vitamin A, such as Accutane, which treats acne but has a side effect which is hair loss. Also, vomiting, dry skin, blurred vision, and irritability are side effects of a megadose of the vitamin aside from hair loss. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that can build up in our body and lead to overdose if taken continuously.
Cigarette smoking can affect hair health in multiple ways. The toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke can impair circulation, constrict blood vessels and obstruct blood flow to the follicles, thus, disrupting the life cycle of the hair. Smoking can also damage the immune system, thereby increasing the chances of fungal or bacterial infection on the scalp, both of which can prevent the follicles from producing healthy hair or even trigger diseases that can cause hair loss. Finally, it is not only the inhalation of smoke that can damage the hair follicles: smoke in the rooms (in the house or the car with the windows closed) create environmental pollution, exacerbating genetic hair loss. At the same time, carcinogens in the smoke-filled air can hinder the keratin-producing mechanisms that hair is made of.
Hair loss can be caused by the abuse of hairstyles that tend to pull the hair from the roots, such as very tight ponytails, braids, or buns. This hair loss, called traction alopecia, is insidious because it can be permanent when it damages the follicles. Excessive pull from different hairstyling techniques can lead to hair loss or shaft breakage. Also, too much heat, pressure, and other substances applied onto the hair can equally be harmful.
One of the most recognized but least known causes of hair loss in women, especially at a young age, is a nutritional deficiency. The habit of often aggressive and unbalanced diets, common among younger women, can lead to vitamin and iron deficiencies, depriving the hair of essential nutrients to grow and stay healthy. A healthy and balanced diet favors the strengthening of the hair; on the other hand, food imbalances and the absence of particular nutrients lead to the weakening and loss of the hair. In these cases, it is necessary to intervene with an appropriate hair supplement.
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