Women’s Hair Loss Explained: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

posted in: Hair Loss in Women | 0

How common is hair loss in women?

Hair loss is more common in men than in women, but it still affects a significant portion of the female population. The exact prevalence of hair loss in women can vary depending on factors such as age, genetics, and overall health.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, female pattern hair loss affects about 30 million women in the United States. Additionally, other forms of hair loss, such as telogen effluvium and alopecia areata, also contribute to hair loss in women, although they may not be as common as female pattern hair loss.

Overall, while it’s challenging to pinpoint an exact number due to the variability in causes and classifications of hair loss, it’s clear that many women experience some degree of hair loss during their lifetime.

What are the main causes of hair loss in women?

Women’s hair loss can stem from various factors, ranging from genetic predisposition to hormonal fluctuations, medical conditions, and lifestyle choices. Here’s an overview:

Genetics: Just like men, women can inherit genes that make them more susceptible to hair loss, particularly androgenetic alopecia, commonly known as female pattern hair loss. This type of hair loss typically presents as thinning on the top of the scalp.

Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormones, such as those that occur during pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or thyroid disorders, can contribute to hair loss. Androgens, including testosterone, can affect hair follicles, leading to miniaturization and eventual hair loss.

Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions can cause hair loss in women, including autoimmune diseases like alopecia areata, which causes patchy hair loss, as well as conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can lead to hormonal imbalances and hair thinning.

Nutritional Deficiencies: Inadequate intake of essential nutrients, such as iron, vitamin D, and certain B vitamins, can contribute to hair loss. Iron deficiency anaemia, in particular, is known to cause hair shedding.

Stress: Emotional or physical stress can lead to a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. This condition disrupts the normal hair growth cycle, causing more hairs to enter the resting (telogen) phase and eventually fall out.

Hair care Practices: Overly aggressive styling, excessive use of heat tools, tight hairstyles (like ponytails or braids), and chemical treatments (such as bleaching or perming) can damage the hair shaft and lead to breakage and hair loss.

Medications: Certain medications, such as those used to treat cancer, high blood pressure, depression, or thyroid disorders, can cause hair loss as a side effect.

Age: As women age, the rate of hair growth slows down, and the diameter of individual hairs tends to decrease. This can result in overall thinning of the hair.

Poor Scalp Health: Conditions like dandruff, scalp psoriasis, or fungal infections can compromise scalp health and contribute to hair loss.

Best treatment options for hair loss in women

    It’s important for women experiencing hair loss to consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment options, which may include topical medications, oral medications, lifestyle changes, or procedures like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy or hair transplantation.

    Here are some other, non-medical and non-surgical treatment options for women with hair loss:

    Essential Oils

    Several essential oils are believed to promote hair growth and improve overall scalp health. While scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness is limited, some people find them beneficial when used as part of a comprehensive hair care regimen. Here are some essential oils commonly used for hair growth:

    Rosemary Oil: Rosemary oil is thought to improve circulation to the scalp, which may promote hair growth. It also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help maintain a healthy scalp.

    Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil has a cooling sensation and may help improve blood flow to the scalp. It’s believed to stimulate hair follicles and promote hair growth.

    Lavender Oil: Lavender oil has calming properties and may help reduce stress, which can be beneficial for hair health. It’s also thought to promote hair growth and improve the thickness of hair follicles.

    Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help maintain a healthy scalp and prevent conditions like dandruff, which may contribute to hair loss.

    Cedarwood Oil: Cedarwood oil is believed to balance oil production in the scalp and improve circulation, which may promote hair growth.

    Thyme Oil: Thyme oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help keep the scalp healthy and free from infections, potentially promoting hair growth.

    Clary Sage Oil: Clary sage oil is thought to regulate oil production in the scalp and improve hair strength and thickness.

    Jojoba Oil: While technically not an essential oil, jojoba oil is often used as a carrier oil for essential oils. It closely resembles the natural oils produced by the scalp and can help moisturize and nourish both the hair and scalp.

      When using essential oils for hair growth, it’s essential to dilute them with a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, or almond oil, to prevent irritation. Additionally, it’s advisable to perform a patch test before applying any essential oil to the scalp to check for allergic reactions or sensitivity. If irritation occurs, discontinue use immediately.

      Keratinocyte Growth Factor (KGF)

      Keratinocyte Growth Factor (KGF), also known as Fibroblast Growth Factor 7 (FGF7), is a protein that plays a crucial role in the growth and development of various tissues, including the skin and hair follicles. It belongs to the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family, which comprises signaling molecules involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, and tissue repair.

      KGF specifically targets epithelial cells, such as keratinocytes, which are the primary cells found in the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) and hair follicles. It binds to specific receptors on the surface of these cells, activating signalling pathways that promote cell growth, survival, and migration.

      In the context of hair growth, KGF has been studied for its potential role in stimulating the proliferation of hair follicle cells and promoting hair growth. Research suggests that KGF may contribute to the maintenance of hair follicle stem cells, which are essential for the continuous regeneration of hair follicles and the production of new hair.

      Overall, while KGF holds potential as a therapeutic target for hair loss, further research is necessary to determine its practical applications and optimise its use in hair regrowth treatments. It is most commonly (and effectively) used as a topical serum.

      Specialist Hair Supplement

      When selecting a specialist multivitamin hair supplement for hair growth, it’s essential to look for one that contains a comprehensive blend of vitamins, minerals, .extracts and other nutrients specifically formulated to support healthy hair growth.

      HR23+ is a hair restoration supplement marketed to support hair growth and combat hair loss. It contains a blend of vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts, and other nutrients that are purported to promote hair health and stimulate hair growth.

      This leading specialist hair supplement has a high success rate. More than 9 out of 10 women reported visible improvements in their hair within 12 weeks of using HR23+.

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