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Did you know that one in four women in North America experience hereditary hair loss? Or that hair loss affects more than 32 million women alone?
It takes most women by surprise, and the effects can be embarrassing and depressing.
In our appearance-conscious society, hair is a huge issue. Hair can highlight a favourite outfit or make an ordinary event special. When women start to lose their hair, the results can be devastating. Female hair loss does not progress the same way it does with men. You do not see the same male-pattern baldness with all too familiar thinning at the crown and receding temples. It is more likely to be a diffuse thinning that could go unnoticed for years.
Depending on how you wash your hair, you can lose up to 100 hairs per day. This is within normal limits and is no cause for concern. Most women however, lose somewhat fewer hairs; around 20 to 30 hairs if they have a normal, healthy head of hair.
If hair loss remained between 20 to 100 hairs a day, the lost hairs would be replaced and everything would remain in balance. Unfortunately, all too often this isn’t the way it works out – in 32 million cases, to be precise. To make matters worse, once you start to notice hair on the pillow or in the shower, it’s as though you become super sensitive to every new hair you see.
Here are some of the reasons behind women’s hair loss:
This is a genetically-related hair loss. It is a very common form of hair loss for women. It’s called androgenetic because women inherit the genes for hair loss just as men do. This can affect a surprisingly high percentage of women, often in their 20s and 30s. Sometimes it is provoked by changes in delicate balance of male hormones that is disturbed during premenopausal stages. When this happens, women may experience some thinning, often most seen as a widening of the part area.
This means a flowing out. As I mentioned above, it refers to the natural process of shedding hair. These are the little hairs that you notice when you comb, brush or wash your hair. This is part of the normal lifecycle of hair growth. Hair grows for three to four years on the scalp, rests for three to four months, and then falls out to make way for new hairs that will take their place. This process can be exacerbated by post-partum stress, pregnancy, anemia, nutrition and diet, thyroid, and certain medications and environment.
This is an autoimmune, genetically-related disease that usually presents in circular patches. This type of alopecia can affect hair on other parts of the body, as well. A consult and treatment from a dermatologist is often required.
Pseudopelade or Follicular Degeneration
This is common in African American women who do a lot of relaxers and cosmetic treatments to their scalp such as cornrows, braids and weaves. With years of perming (relaxers), using strong colourants and harsh chemicals on the scalp, the result can have a negative effect on the hair follicles deep in the scalp and cause the hair to scar, and eventually loosen the hair follicle.
Trichotillomania is a nervous habit where one pulls out their hair compulsively, causing long-term damage to their hair follicles.
Stress and Trauma
Stress causes poor vitamin and nutrient absorption to the hair follicles, making the hair follicles weak and vulnerable.
Nutrition and Diet
Rapid weight loss, liquid protein diets and high consumption of foods that are over-processed, low in nutrition and high in animal fats can negatively affect the body’s level of amino acids and vitamin absorption.
Health and Medications
Conditions such as Lupus – or Malfunction of the thyroid gland – which cause hyperthyroid and hypothyroid disease are the only known health-related causes of thinning hair. Thinning hair can be a side effect to taking certain medications, specifically hormone replacement therapy drugs, birth control and estrogen pills, chemotherapy treatments, cranial radiation, thyroid disease treatments, even blood pressure, diabetic, heart disease and acne medications.
Lupus causes the immune system to become overactive and create antibodies that attack healthy tissues, including hair follicles. If hair replacement is something you want to consider, the highly-experienced consultants at Ultra Hair Solutions & Esthetics will help you find the best solution.
Note: If you believe that you are suffering from one of the above, it is strongly suggested that you consult your family doctor or a dermatologist, and then a hair replacement clinic to determine your options. You may consider masking these symptoms with a natural hair replacement solution. Today’s sophisticated hair systems can be designed to compensate for your hair loss while you are undergoing treatments.
Contact us with any questions about your hair loss.