When you think of hair loss, men usually come to mind. You don’t see a lot of women walking around with receding hairlines or shaved heads as a result of hair loss. However, nearly 40% of women experience some form of hair loss by age 60. This hair loss is usually triggered by every woman’s favorite period of life: menopause. Since it’s a lot less socially acceptable for women to show signs of hair loss, balding can be emotionally devastating for many women.
The blame can't be blamed solely on your hair care habits, either—if there's baldness anywhere in your family tree, you're at risk. Unlike male-pattern baldness, though, where patches of hair fall out over time, female hair loss means a reduction in hair volume, making transplantation extremely difficult. "The total number of hairs doesn't always decrease, but the diameter of each strand shrinks," says Kingsley. And too-thin hairs won't grow past a certain length—which explains the baby fuzz around my hairline.
Then I hit a wall. I couldn't cover it up anymore. It was obvious to everyone around me that I was trying to hide my hair loss. I had two options: accept the situation or change it. The treatment options didn't work for me, I wasn't about to shell out money for a risky hair transplant surgery and I didn't feel comfortable wearing a toupee. I had to learn to embrace my male pattern baldness or live with constant anxiety and depression.
When your hormones are out of step, your hair truly suffers. In a study in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, researchers found that birth control can cause a relative increase in androgen levels that then causes a corresponding increase in DHT production, which researchers believe shrinks the hair follicle. If you want to be on birth control but have a predisposition for genetic hair loss in your family, researchers suggest steering clear of birth controls that release higher amounts of estrogen and progestin like progestin implants, hormone injections, skin patches, and vaginal rings.
I had a new baby to look after and knowing my hair was falling out just added to the stress. There was a point where my post-natal depression got so bad that the doctor wanted to prescribe me anti-depressants. But as much as the hair loss was bringing me down, as a new mum I just didn't want to feel out of it. A lot of people choose to take medication and that's totally their choice, but for me I didn't want to be in a haze at such an early stage of my child's life, or ever really.
Oh my receding hairline is so tied to hormones! I lost my first batch of my thick, beautiful hair when I was pregnant and the next after my hysterectomy….I am still thinning and, you are right, it does seem to worse when I am stressed. It does change how I feel about myself. Thank you for, as usual, bringing great solutions and suggestions Ellen. I will definitely check some out!
Extreme hair loss should be discussed with your healthcare practitioner. But in the case of mild to moderate thinning hair, which is usually a result of thyroid imbalance, hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiencies, or elevated stress hormones, most women can get relief naturally — without having to resort to a new hair cut or experiment with hair thickening creams!
Lifestyle changes, combined with alternative medicines, are a highly effective treatment option for most women suffering from menopausal hair loss. However, for some women, the symptoms will be so severe that a more drastic treatment is necessary. Before beginning to take prescription medicine or getting surgery, a woman should consult a trusted medical professional to better understand the potential benefits and risks involved.
Traumas such as childbirth, major surgery, poisoning, and severe stress may cause a hair loss condition known as telogen effluvium, in which a large number of hairs enter the resting phase at the same time, causing shedding and subsequent thinning. The condition also presents as a side effect of chemotherapy – while targeting dividing cancer cells, this treatment also affects hair’s growth phase with the result that almost 90% of hairs fall out soon after chemotherapy starts.
Reducing your stress should be your number one priority as it sounds like this could have been the original trigger. If you feel like your scalp is greasy then this could be to do with your diet. Take account of what you eat and try to remove fried foods or any foods containing vegetable oils. Processed foods in general should be avoided ideally. Seeing a doctor to find out what kind of hair loss yours is, is a good first step. Then you’ll be able to find the right treatment for it.
I have struggled with my hair for a long time now. I am quickly approaching my 40s and I have bad hair quality. Recently, I have also noticed that my hair has stopped growing as it used to. A few years ago I went to the salon on a monthly basis. Now, it takes me almost two months before I even need to cut my hair! I am desperate and I really need help right now. Hair is one of the most important parts of a woman and I don’t want to give up on this one. I went to the doctors but they didn’t found anything wrong with me. The exams I took showed that I am healthy and there’s no reason for this to even happen to me. Please, I really need hair advice urgently!!!!!!!!!!!!