Hair loss or thinning is a common condition and can strike anyone at any time. Although men are more likely to lose their hair than women, mostly due to male pattern baldness, hair loss is also quite common amongst women. In fact, it’s not just women in their forties or fifties who face hair loss, it can also strike a younger lot.
No one wants to lose their hair and you feel great when your hair is healthy and voluminous. But, if it’s not, you may end up feeling traumatic.
Why is my hair falling out?
Hair loss can be caused by a number of factors, including diet and health conditions. Medical conditions that can cause hair loss include thyroid disease, alopecia areata (an autoimmune disease that attacks hair follicles), and scalp infections like ringworm.
Hair loss can also be a result of certain medications, such as drugs used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, high blood pressure and birth control. Excessive intake of vitamin A may cause hair loss as well. Here are some of the most common causes of hair loss in women.
Poor diet: In order to be in their best shape, women these days indulge into dieting, which on the flip side can lead to lack of nutrition in their body, resulting in massive hair loss.
Lack of protein: Intake of nutrients, like protein, is essential as it helps make new hair cells. But, if your body doesn’t have enough of it, it won’t be able to replace your old hairs with the new ones.
Emotional or physical stress: When you’re going through a stressful phase, you may experience hair loss as your body puts its resources towards getting you through that sad event. Also, overexerting yourself physically can also result in losing strands.
Pollution: Sudden hair loss is imminent if the contaminants of air, including particulate matter, dust, smoke, nickel, lead and arsenic, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ammonia and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons settle on your scalp and hair.
Lack of sleep: Not having enough sleep can also cause and thin down your tuft.
Changes in birth control pill: Going off the pill or changing to a different type of hormonal contraception is also one of the causes of hair loss in women.
Pregnancy: Owing to the estrogen hormones, women during pregnancy notice their hair going into rapid growth mode. But, once estrogen levels go back to normal after delivery, hair starts shedding again.
The continuous styling of hair or wearing too tight hairstyles: Rigorous styling and hair treatments over the years can thin the bunch on your head. Constant application of chemicals on hair weaken their roots. Wearing too tight ponytails is also one of the causes of hair loss among women.
Hormonal changes: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) symbolises imbalance in female sex hormones. An excess of androgens results in ovarian cysts, a higher risk of diabetes, changes in menstrual period, which ultimately affects the hair growth. Hypothyroidism is another big reason for hair loss.
Anaemia: Almost two in 10 women between 20 and 50 years of age suffer from iron deficiency, which is an easily fixable cause of hair loss.
Heredity: If your family trend has always been in a way where women suffer from hair loss at a certain age, then you might be more prone to the same.
According to Prerna Taneja, Medical Director Clinic Eximus, most cases of increased hair shedding gradually resolve on their own without treatment. But, if your hair doesn’t return to its normal fullness after 6 to 9 months, then you may require hair treatments.
How is hair loss treated?
Here are some treatments for hair loss:
Hair transplant: This treatment restores hair by transplanting new follicles into balding or thinning areas. Healthy follicles are taken from other areas of the body; mostly the back or the sides of the head.
Mesotherapy: It involves imparting a combination of various nutrients and medication that boosts hair growth naturally.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP): In this treatment, the patient’s blood is drawn and is then processed. The platelet-rich blood is inserted via an injection into the problem areas of skin to organically support hair growth.
How to prevent hair loss?
There are many things you can do to prevent further hair loss. These include
- Eating a balanced diet, ensuring that you’re getting adequate amounts of iron and protein
- Not wearing tight hairstyles – pony tails, buns, or braids
- Avoiding styling products or harsh treatments such as hot rollers, curling irons, hot oil treatments
- Not brushing hair while it is wet.
In case you’re currently losing hair, use a mild shampoo, preferably a herbal product, to wash your hair as certain beauty regimens, including hair products, contain harsh chemicals and can actually worsen or cause hair loss.