Hair loss is very common and it happens on a daily basis. We lose a couple of hair strands just by brushing alone or even surprisingly by running our fingers through our hair. On average, we lose nearly a hundred hair strands. This is a natural process in which our body makes way for newer and stronger hair to grow. It shouldn’t be any cause for alarm, however sudden and excessive hair loss can be pretty upsetting for most women especially when they happen for no apparent reason.
Thinning hair or hair that falls in patches leaving smooth and round bald spots on the scalp is not natural. This condition is called alopecia. In this case, your body is telling you that something else is going on. Alopecia is, for the most part, incidental to other bodily conditions. Thankfully, it is a temporary condition which resolves once the cause has been treated. Here are just 11 causes of hair loss in women no one told you about.
1. PHYSICAL TRAUMA
Any situation (an accident, illness or surgery) which causes you physical stress triggers telogen effluvium to occur. This is a type of hair loss in which the physical stress interrupts the natural life cycle of hair and promotes an increase in shedding phase to ensue. Noticeable hair loss is seen three to six months after a traumatic or physically stressful event.
Treatment: No treatment is necessary because once you’ve recovered from the event, excessive hair loss will cease.
2. EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
Emotional stress hits us rather unexpectedly in life and in most situations it tends to worsen an already existing condition like for example hair loss. The effect is not nearly as pronounced as in physical stress but it is equally undesirable.
Treatment: As with physical stress, hair loss will abate once you overcome your emotional stress.
3. DRAMATIC WEIGHT LOSS
The effect of sudden or dramatic weightless is two-fold. First, it causes unexpected physical trauma to your body which as we’ve mentioned before leads to hair loss, even in cases of favorable or warranted weight loss. Secondly, dramatic weight loss may be secondary to a nutritional deficiency (in cases of eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia) which has been proven to result in thinning of the hair or alopecia.
Treatment: If you’re in the process of losing weight then expect hair loss in a matter of 6 months which will resolve on its own. However, if you have an eating disorder or a nutritional imbalance, see a doctor.
Pregnancy itself does not cause trauma. Child birth on the other hand does. It is a physically stressing event which can lead to hair loss.
Treatment: No treatment is required because once you’ve recovered it will ultimately resolve.
5. PROTEIN DEFICIENCY
Lack of protein in the diet may cause your body to shut down certain functions – hair growth being one of them – to be able to distribute what protein reserve it has to those processes which require it most.
Treatment: Include protein rich foods in your diet like fish, eggs and meat. Vegetarians or Vegans may need to look to other sources of proteins.
Certain medications precipitate hair loss such as antidepressants, blood thinners, pain meds like Ibuprofen and many others.
Treatment: Consider talking to your physician for an alternative drug or possibly decreasing doses.
7. IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA
Iron deficiency anemia is common in women due to the onset of menarche (monthly visitor). Iron deficiency anemia is a reversible condition which can result in hair loss.
Treatment: Taking iron supplements will help treat the anemia and the ensuing hair loss.
Your thyroids are small butterfly-like glans located in your neck area. They are responsible for producing hormones which promote growth and metabolism. In hypothyroidism, your thyroid is not working up to code and is not producing the right amount of hormones needed by your body. This results in increase hair loss among other things.
Treatment: If you suspect that you do have hypothyroidism, consult your doctor about possible medication.
9. POLYCISTIC OVARY SYNDROME
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance particularly in female and male sex hormones. Too much androgens cause a number of things to occur such as ovarian cysts growth, weight gain, infertility, and hair thinning. In PCOS, there is also an over pronounced number of male sex hormones which may result in increased facial and body hair in women.
Treatment: Birth control pills may help treat the hormonal imbalance.
Lupus is a kind of autoimmune disease. This means your immune system attacks your own body and inhibits certain bodily functions including hair growth. Lupus affects a great number of people particularly women in their childbearing years.
Treatment: Lupus can be treated by medication so if you suspect that you have it, go see a doctor.
Hair loss is an unfortunate side-effect of aging especially in women who are undergoing menopause. Extreme hormonal changes occur during menopause like a sudden drop in estrogen levels. This causes hair to either dry out or fall out.
Treatment: Since the aging process is irreversible, you cannot prevent hair loss from occurring. Instead, you can look to other cosmetic treatments to strengthen an nourish remaining hair.