Hair defines many things for a woman – personality, attractiveness, success, health and social status, just to name a few. Losing it can have a dramatic effect on both self-esteem and social life. Many women feel that with their hair loss, they've lost a large part of who they are. The good news is that CHANGES can help.
So Why Does it Happen to Us?
It's true what they say, life isn't fair. We have enough battles to fight as it is, but for some of us, why is hair loss one more? There are many reasons why women lose hair. Hormonal imbalances, postpartum/stress, chemotherapy, and disorders such as trichtilliomania are just a few. Female hair loss can also be induced by certain prescription drugs or result from the use of harsh chemical relaxers and extremely tight hair braiding that can cause permanent damage to the hair follicle.
But the most common type of hair loss among women is female pattern thinning, or Androgenetic Alopecia. For this we can blame a chemical called Dihydrotestosterone or DHT. DHT builds up around the hair follicle and eventually kills both the hair follicle and the hair. The hair follicle's resistance to DHT is genetic, so if there are others in your family with thinning hair, there's a pretty good chance at some point you'll experience the same. That is, unless you decide to experience more
The American Hair Loss Association lists the most common causes of hair loss, thinning hair and baldness among women as follows:
Female Pattern Baldness / Androgenic Alopecia
This is the most common cause of hair loss in women. Androgenic alopecia in women is due to the action of androgens, male hormones that are typically present in only small amounts. This balding condition can result from the effects of hormones, birth control pills, pregnancy, and menopause. Just as in male pattern baldness, the hormone DHT appears to be partially to blame, as well as heredity, for this hair loss condition.
Hormonal Stress / Telogen Effluvium
When the body experiences a traumatic event like child birth, malnutrition, a severe infection, major surgery, or extreme stress, the hair can shift from a growing phase to a shedding phase. This type of hair loss begins typically about 6 weeks to 3 months after the stressful event occurs. Dramatic hair loss is possible, and remission of hair loss is probable as long as severely stressful events can be avoided.
Chemotherapy & Radiation / Anagen Effluvium
Cancer treatments target the body's rapidly dividing cancer cells. As a result, rapidly dividing cells such as hair follicles in the growing phase are also impacted. Fortunately, most of the time hair loss from chemotherapy and radiation is temporary. Hair will typically regrow in six months to a year after chemotherapy is completed, though hair may temporarily turn a different shade or texture.
Tight Hairstyles / Traction Alopecia
This hair loss condition is caused by localized trauma to the hair follicles from tight hairstyles that pull at hair over time. If the condition is detected early enough, hair will regrow. Braiding, cornrows and tight ponytails are the most common styling causes.
Hair Pulling / Trichotillomania
This hair loss disorder is caused by compulsive hair pulling and or twisting until it breaks off. The hair is often pulled in round patches or diffusely across the scalp. Other hairy areas may be plucked, such as the eyebrows, eyelashes, or body hair. Behavior therapy can help gain awareness about hair pulling habits and provide techniques to avoid pulling
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