As a common concern for many women as they age and for others going through difficult periods of life, thinning hair problems are very frequent. There several causes for hair loss in women.
It is highly likely that women going into their 50s and 60s can experience hair loss or hair thinning. Although it is a completely natural part of aging for the human body, it can cause some unwanted embarrassment or issues with self-esteem. For this reason, there are products available like shampoo for thinning hair that can help your hair to grow thicker and fuller.
Others prefer to simply let their hair continue its natural course. Whether you choose to pursue a treatment for hair loss or bare all, as it were, it is still wise to know what different elements can trigger hair loss.
Why Does Our Hair Fall Out?
The most common kind of hair loss in women that affects around 30 million women a year, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, is female pattern hair loss. Also known as androgenetic alopecia, this hereditary condition can be diagnosed through an inspection of the scalp and knowledge of family history.
You will need to look at your genes. That is to say, think about the hair of the older women in your family – mother, grandmother, aunts, etc. If they also have similar hair issues, it is likely that you will experience hair thinning.
Additionally, doctors can examine the scalp to look at the size of the hair follicles. If they differ in thickness, it is evidence of alopecia. This is because when hair is lost, the new hair grows thinner, thus altering the size of the follicle.
Hair loss can also be caused by a variety of medical conditions and even medicines themselves. A clear example of medical treatment causing hair loss is chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer patients.
Other disorders that frequently have hair loss as a symptom include thyroid disorders, anemia, skin conditions, polycystic ovary syndrome, and other autoimmune diseases.
As the body is struggling to take care of other aspects, it does not devote the necessary nutrients to hair growth.
To know whether an illness is the cause of your hair loss, you will need to evaluate any other symptoms and visit a medical professional for tests. Usually, if your hair loss is an indication of an underlying medical condition, it will be accompanied by other symptoms. These could include fever, joint pain, headaches, fatigue, skin eruptions, etc.
Other factors that can provoke hair loss and thinning come from your day-to-day life. Women in pregnancy and shortly after can experience hair loss as the body prepares for birth and breastfeeding. Other reasons that can occur as a result of different lifestyles include drastic weight loss and physical trauma, including surgery.
Another common lifestyle cause can be excessive stress. Periods of extreme stress can contribute to hair loss in three different ways. These are called telogen effluvium, trichotillomania, and alopecia areata. These conditions each function in different ways to result in hair loss or thinning.
- Telogen Effluvium: A disorder whereby the hair enters the telogen phase too early, causing increased hair loss as the follicle rests and does not produce new cells.
- Trichotillomania: People physically pull out their hair when stressed or tense. This is most common in teenage girls.
- Alopecia Areata: Technically not caused by stress itself, this condition can create a stressful situation for the sufferer. This is where the immune system attacks the hair follicles to trigger hair loss.
When examining hair loss as a symptom, it is also vital to consider poor nutrition as a cause. The reason for this is that a diet that lacks certain vitamins and minerals is likely to show signs of these deficiencies. A lack of protein, zinc, iron, or vitamins A, C, D, E, or Biotin can all contribute to suffering hair health.
Tight hairstyles or constant chemical treatments such as dying hair or perms can also evoke hair loss. It is advisable not to wear hair in tight braids or cornrows and to avoid hot oil treatments.
Despite the various causes of hair loss in women, many products are available to help thicken hair if you are worried about thinning hair at any age.