The Causes of Hair Loss in Women

Many women are embarrassed by hair loss, even though it affects only 5% of the under 30’s. 60% of women in their 70s try to cover up any noticeable bald patches that may be present.

Hair loss – is it temporary?

Women’s hair loss may be long term or temporary. It is easy to fix temporary hair loss once the reason for it happening has been identified, but it may be more difficult when it is not immediately clear what the cause is. It is important not to conceal hair loss as a diagnosis could be delayed which could lead onto more permanent hair loss.

When unusual hair loss takes place it may be due to something called alopecia but if you are in good health you should maintain a good head of hair unless you have a predisposition for hair loss, such as the possession of a gene that means you are more susceptible to female baldness.

What is alopecia?

Alopecia is the term given by the medical community for an abnormal hair loss event.  When hair loss takes place whether it’s men or women who are affected, it’ always related to hormone imbalance, disease, or some other condition. That condition could be something as simple as the possession of a gene that means you are more susceptible to female or male baldness. Disease, stress and chemotherapy can cause hair loss too. If there is a short-term event, such as an outbreak of stress, pregnancy, or the use of particular medications temporary hair loss may be inevitable. Normally, hair will grow back once the reason for the hair loss has been diagnosed and the person has been treated and recovered from the event.

Telogen effluvium can lead to significant hair loss

Telogen effluvium is a hair loss condition that takes place following pregnancy, significant weight loss, major surgery or undue stress. Every day huge amounts of hair are lost normally while washing your hair styling, or brushing it. It may also be related to known medications, like antidepressants, non steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs and beta-blockers Telogen effluvium moves hair faster than is usual from its growing stage to its “resting” phase and then it is shed. Women will typically experience hair loss 6 to 12 weeks following a stressful event which could amount to handfuls at any one time.

Telogen effluvium cannot be identified through a test but a doctor may look for barely noticeable “club- shaped” bulbs that appear on the roots of the lost hair. The existence of these bulbs indicates that the hair has completed a full growth cycle. Sometimes there is not much that can be done about an outbreak of telogen effluvium caused by major surgery or pregnancy but just wait until recovery takes place. If medication appears to be the cause of the hair loss then you should consult your doctor about decreasing the dosage or changing drugs.

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