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female hair loss

The Emotional Toll of Female Hair Loss

female hair lossAlmost 40 percent of all hair loss sufferers are women. Despite the astounding statistics, male pattern baldness is more commonly discussed – and aesthetically accepted – than female hair loss. Famous actors like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel make balding look fashionable. Women, on the other hand, rarely opt to shave their scalps, even while suffering with thinning or shedding locks. Instead, female hair loss sufferers are left with widening parts, limp locks and a diminished sense of self-confidence.

Men who suffer from hair loss can certainly suffer a blow to their self-esteem. For women, who often favor long and thick hairstyles, hair loss adds further psychological and emotional damage. Hopefully, better education and widespread discussion can normalize female hair loss and help patients find comfort in knowing they aren’t alone – and that treatment is available.

How Does Female Hair Loss Occur?

Female hair loss due to androgenic alopecia transpires due to the miniaturization of hair follicles, which causes strands to appear shorter, thinner or more delicate and prone to breakage. Over time, miniaturization encourages hair follicles to discontinue production, thus limiting the overall active follicle count on the scalp. Genetic hair loss in women rarely results in total baldness. Women who suffer from total baldness may have alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder, or chemotherapy-induced hair loss.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, female pattern hair loss (FPHL) affects roughly 30 million American women. Female pattern baldness is the most prevalent cause of progressive hair loss in women. The symptoms of FPHL are a widening part and thinning crown, generally differing from the receding hairline seen in male patients.

Like male pattern baldness, female hair loss is understood to be a genetically predetermined condition. But, other risk factors include the following:

Underlying Illness

Lupus, anemia, diabetes, ringworm, polycystic ovary syndrome and thyroid dysfunction are all commonly associated with hair loss, which is why visiting a hair loss specialist or physician to diagnose your condition is critical. Hair loss is often the first sign of a more serious illness, so ruling out other motivating medical conditions helps physicians determine ideal treatment options while minimizing further health damage. 

Menopause, Pregnancy or Post-Partum

Hair loss due to aging can worsen with menopause, particularly when considering the massive hormonal changes during the change of life. Estrogen levels fall during menopause around age 50, frequently manifesting as thinning or shedding on the scalp. Similarly, women who are pregnant or who have just given birth might experience hair loss due to hormonal shifts.

Stress

After a traumatic event like a death in the family or job loss, hair loss is common. When your body undergoes severe emotional shock, normal functions like hair growth are put on the back burner. In fact, serious distress “shocks” follicles into a resting state, which means they aren’t active to produce replacement strands after ordinary shedding. Stress-induced hair loss is known as telogen effluvium (TE) and can resolve itself, assuming anxiety and tension dissipates. 

Poor Nutrition

Eating too little to lose weight fast often means you miss out on key nutrients that keep the body functioning. Hair follicles require proper nutrition to function, and eliminating these from your diet can harm the growth cycle. If you see hair loss while dieting, consult a nutritionist to review your caloric needs, current intake and dietary recommendations.

 

Women’s hair loss is treatable. Early detection helps increase your odds of reversing follicle miniaturization and regaining a healthy, full head of hair. At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, patients suffering from female hair loss can undergo both low-level laser therapy or hair restoration surgery, depending on individual candidacy and hair loss patterns. To schedule a consultation to diagnose your hair loss condition and move forward with treatment, reach out to us at 305-925-0222.

Temporary Hair Loss: Is It Normal?

Temporary Hair Loss- Is It NormalIs there such a thing as temporary hair loss? The question itself seems counter-intuitive. Thanks largely to the myths and half-truths of American pop culture, hair loss is something we typically associate with old men, and it’s a condition that seems to be permanent and irreversible. This is only partly true, however. Thinning, shedding, and balding affect both men and women of various different ages. Moreover, not all hair loss is permanent. In some cases, hair might begin to re-grow naturally.

Still, it is imperative that men and women learn the difference between temporary hair loss and permanent pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia. On the one hand, research indicates that individuals who suffer with pattern baldness might also be genetically predisposed to other serious health conditions, like coronary heart disease. On the other hand, those who experience temporary hair loss are smart to diagnose it as such to avoid unnecessary stress and anxiety.

Join Dr. Bernard Nusbaum is the video below for a brief overview of the four main causes of temporary hair loss. Then, scroll to the temporary hair loss FAQ section to review these concepts in greater detail.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Temporary Hair Loss

Below are a few of the most common questions regarding temporary hair loss and shedding. After taking a moment to review each, we invite you to leave additional questions or comments in the Comments section of this post.

What is seasonal hair loss?

If think you’ve experienced “seasonal hair loss,” you are not alone. Women in particular report experiencing symptoms of thinning or shedding hair in late September and October. To better understand this phenomenon, it helps to take a moment to review the hair growth cycle.

Hair grows in 3 distinct phases: Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen. Each phase lasts about 2-6 years, 2-3 weeks, and 2-3 months, respectively. Hair actively grows during the Anagen phase, and the Catagen phase is a separate and distinct growth phase that transitions hair into the Telogen phase. Once in the Telogen phase, hair experiences a period of rest. It is during this resting period, however, that hair can fall out.

According to Swedish researchers, the reason for seasonal hair loss that occurs in the fall might be attributed to the fact that the hair and scalp experience a great deal of stress during summer months. As a consequence, the extra stress might “shock” hairs that are naturally in the Telogen phase, causing them to fall out 2-3 months later. And although the hair loss is perceived in the autumn, it might actually begin to occur in the summer.

Can hair loss occur after pregnancy?

Hair loss is a common occurrence after pregnancy. Many women experience this type of temporary hair loss due to 2 underlying causes: Hormones, and stress. New moms experience a rapid decline in estrogen following childbirth, which might trigger thinning or shedding. New moms are also predisposed to stress-related hair loss after pregnancy, which is referred to as telogen effluvium. One need not go through pregnancy and childbirth to experience telogen effluvium, however (see below).

For more information, visit this article on hair loss and pregnancy.

Can stress cause temporary hair loss?

Stress-related hair loss, or telogen effluvium, can also occur after certain events that “shock” the body. These events might include:

  • Surgery
  • Severe illness
  • Medications
  • Sever emotional stress

For more information, visit this article on female pattern hair loss and telogen effluvium.

Consult a Medical Professional About Hair Loss

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of thinning, shedding, or balding, contact the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami to schedule a comprehensive hair loss evaluation. Our team proudly represents South Florida’s top surgeons, registered nurses, technicians, and technologies. We understand the agony and frustration that accompanies hair loss, and we are committed to helping you develop a customized plan that will create natural results.

Contact us online or call our Institute directly at 1.877.443.9070.

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