Hair loss and discovering that your hair is thinning can be very traumatic for both men and women as there tends to be a lot of stigma attached to going bold. Hair loss can lead to a big loss of self-confidence. It can affect how you actually perceive yourself as well as how you think others will see you.
There is a saying that a woman’s hair is her crowning glory. I know from my female clients that when their hair looks good they certainly feel good.
One of the biggest fears tends to be that you think people will not find you attractive any more. It’s true we all want to feel we are attractive even if we say we don’t. Yes and I know all about that as I started losing my hair in my mid-twenties
The other day one of my clients was near to tears as she ran her hands through her hair. Showing me how many hairs there were on her hands afterwards.
Then the question came “will I lose it all” followed by “when will it stop”.
There can be many reasons for hair loss and it is true that men are much more likely to lose their hair than women. This is due something called to male pattern boldness this I will cover in a later post.
Now to put things into perspective it is normal for your hair to shed from around fifty to a hundred hairs per day.
But waking up in the morning to find a lot of hairs on your pillow. Or substantially more hairs in your hairbrush than normal then your mind can start to work overtime.
People sometimes have the notion that shampooing, brushing and towel drying their hair makes it fall from the scalp.
That is not so.
It is in fact purely the time when you tend to notice them more.
Hair Loss And The Cycle Of Hair Growth.
It is very important when looking at hair loss that you have an idea of the basic growth pattern of your hair so for a simple science lesson here goes.
Your hair is similar to your skin cells. They are constantly growing and falling out and then being replaced again.
Each individual hair on your head grows from a tiny hole in the skin which is called the follicle.
Sometimes referred to as the hair follicle. This follicle can shrink or become blocked with dead skin cells over time. Which will result in shorter and finer hairs being produced on your scalp.
Your hair has three stages to its growth life.
- The Anagen Stage – This is the growth stage of your hair and can last anywhere between two to eight years.
- The Catagen stage – At this stage your hair follicle shrinks for approximately two to three weeks.
- The Telogen Stage – For two to four months the hair rests until the next growth stage.
Most of the hairs on your head will be in the anagen stage or growth cycle. Only about ten percent in the transition or resting stage at any one time.
5 Of The Most Common Reasons For Hair Loss In Women.
Many women like my client do face the problem of hair loss after reaching their mid-forties. Although this can also happen at any age.
You may find that your hair tends to thin a little on the top half of your head. Or you may notice that you’re parting maybe getting a little wider.
Seeing your scalp when you pull your hair back can be another sign.
Now there can be many reasons for your hair fall from a simple and temporary vitamin deficiency to something more complicated like an underlying health issue.
1. Eating Habits Can Cause Hair Loss.
Sudden weight loss due to a crash diet or an eating disorder. Even a poor diet can lead to temporary hair loss due to a lack of proper protein, fats, iron etc.
As these are all vital for healthy hair and its growth. What you eat is important to help keep your hair strong from the inside out. As the hair follicle is not damaged the hair will grow back again once the nutrient imbalance is put right.
2. Stress And Trauma Do Cause Hair Loss.
A high amount of stress can increase hair fall. Due to the fact that stress will produce an increased amount of testosterone in the body.
Which in turn can interrupt the natural hair growth cycle. It can also restrict the blood flow which will cause a lack of oxygen and poor nutrient absorption of the hair follicles.
Whereas trauma such as a bad car crash or a major surgery. Can cause your body’s system not to function properly. The hair is very sensitive to any changes in the body.
Big shocks upset the body system to the extent that often essential nutrients that the hair needs may be compromised.
Hair loss can last for a couple of months but is generally only temporary.
You may even consider hair growth supplements to help give your hair a boost in the nutrients it needs.
3. Health and Medication Can Make Hair Fall.
Hair loss can be an indication of a possible Thyroid problem.
Should you suspect this you should visit your doctor for a blood test. If you are clear then at least you have
eliminated one reason for your hair loss. If you are taking medication for a thyroid disorder falling hair can be one of the side effects.
One day a one of my regular clients came in the salon for a haircut. I stood back and looked as this lady has naturally poker straight hair. Yet today her hair was curly.
My first thought was oh she must have had a perm somewhere else. Then on talking to her a little more it came out that she was on medication for a thyroid problem.
That will give you an idea of how much medication can change your hair whilst on it.
Yes after coming off the medication her hair returned back to being poker straight.
Various types of medication can lead to some form of temporary hair loss. Birth control pills, steroids as well as pills for blood pressure and heart disease.
4. Hair Loss Due To Life Changes.
Life changes such as pregnancy and menopause can cause your hair to fall. This has a lot to do with the oestrogen levels in your body.
A lot of women find that during pregnancy that their hair looks fuller and thicker. This is because of their bodies higher than normal oestrogen levels.
As oestrogen is one of the main hormones involved in hair growth and keeping the hair on the head. So with higher oestrogen levels hair that should normally have fallen away in the period of pregnancy doesn’t.
Then after child birth once the oestrogen levels fall back to normal. All those hairs will then fall out within a very short period of time.
The falling of your hair in this circumstance tends overall to be temporary. Growth should return to normal once your body has stabilised.
Many women can notice mild hair thinning in their thirties and forty’s. With the occurrence of menopause this will tend to worsen.
During this time of your life oestrogen levels tend to dip and when oestrogen dips. Your testosterone hormones become more dominant.
Leading to a texture change in your hair as well as more hair fall.
5. Age, Genetics, And Your Hair Loss.
You may find that over time you feel that your hair does not seem to have the same amount of volume as it once did. Due to your hair changing as it ages.
As we age the hair follicles as with other parts of our body can deteriorate. Which can then in turn cause hair loss. One of the main culprits in female pattern hair loss is known in short form as F.P.H.L.
Unfortunately if people in your family history have thin hair then genetically you will tend to have the same problem.
The hair will thin gradually over a long period of time. Although less visible immediately it can be very distressing over time. Your hair will start thinning around the top frontal area of the crown. But unlike baldness in men your front hairline will stay intact.
You may notice this first on your parting as over time it may seem to be becoming wider.
With genetic hair loss what happens is that the hair follicle (through which the hair grows) gradually gets smaller and smaller. Therefore producing finer and finer hairs until the hairs stop growing out altogether.
F.P.H.L. can start at any age and is progressive and inherited. This type of hair loss can have a big psychological impact on many women.
As they will feel that they are in fact thinning and balding like a man.
Should you be suffering from hair loss and it is worrying you please go to see your doctor and have a blood test. That way you can check if you have an underlying medical problem or just have a vitamin deficiency. He may also be able to recommend a product that could help solve your problem.
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