A woman’s appearance is inherently connected to one’s self-esteem and confidence level. Thus, thinning hair and female pattern baldness is often an emotionally and mentally draining experience for women and their loved ones.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “30 million women in this country have hereditary hair loss, compared with 50 million men” (Source), and yet much of the focus is placed on men, despite the notion that hair loss is more acceptable amongst men. Although physical appearance is only one facet of a woman’s qualities, it is often unfairly scrutinized by society, being placed under a magnifying lens of importance. In both social and professional spaces, women are judged based on aspects of their physical appearance, particularly their hairstyle.
Women suffering from thinning hair can understand how demoralizing the experience is, especially when conventional medicine tends to suggest “You’re getting older; get used to it!” Anyone who has struggled personally with hair loss and heard that same message from a primary care doctor will find the answer completely unsatisfying.
So if you have hair loss, take heart, help is on the way. This post covers several factors that influences hair loss in women, combined with a few tips to help you start your journey to recover your image!
Have you checked your thyroid?
Untreated thyroid problems can often lead to hair loss. Thyroid is responsible for secreting triiodothyronine and thyroxine hormones, which are necessary for proper growth and development of the body. When a person suffers from hypo or hyperthyroidism, there is either an excess or deficit of hormone secretions.
If this is a concern for you, you can speak to your doctor, who will order a basic test, “TSH.” If you have symptoms of thyroid disease, or if you have a family history of thyroid disease, then it may be worth your while to consult with your doctor about another blood test called “thyroid antibodies”. It’s the best marker of autoimmune thyroid disease.
Alopecia Areata & Female Pattern Baldness
Alopecia areata occurs when the immune system attacks the hair follicles, which is where hair growth begins. It’s currently unknown why the immune system attacks the hair follicles but the damage is typically not permanent.
Bundles of hair falling out, which results in smoothed hairless patches on the scalp is one of the first symptoms of alopecia areata. However, in some instances the hair may become thinner without noticeable patches of baldness. Or it may grow and break off, leaving behind short stubs of hair.
The best way to see if you are experiencing alopecia areata is to have your scalp professionally analyzed. The analyst will ask you questions about your hair loss, analyze the pattern of your hair loss, and examine your scalp. Once analyzed, the specialist will help you determine the next best step for treatment or even provide options such as non-surgical hair replacement or all-natural wigs if the hair loss is permanent. Virtuesse custom hair replacement for women is not a wig or a hairpiece in any ordinary sense of the word. Rather, it is a state-of-the-art hair replacement restoration system specifically designed to meet the unique challenges of female hair loss in all its forms—artistically, technically, and emotionally.
We offer high quality 100% natural European hair wigs for women (and men too), helping to restore the confidence to work and socialize with family, friends and colleagues while maintaining as much privacy about your hair loss as you wish.
Female pattern hair loss has a different clinical presentation in comparison with the more easily recognizable male pattern baldness. While male pattern baldness most often starts with a receding frontal hairline that advances to a bald patch on top of the head, it is uncommon for women to develop baldness according to the male pattern of hair loss.
Hair thinning is different from that of male pattern baldness. In female pattern baldness:
- Hair thins mainly on the top and crown of the scalp. It usually starts with a widening through the center hair part.
- The front hairline remains
- The hair loss rarely progresses to total or near total baldness, as it may in men
Itching or skin sores on the scalp are generally NOT seen.
Are you eating right? Vitamin deficiencies lead to hair loss
Inadequate dieting practices can contribute to female hair loss. Under constant societal pressures, some women’s efforts to slim down don’t take into account the consequences of strict dieting. Lack of iron, zinc,and calcium can lead to problems with your hair, as well as hormone deficiencies.
Therefore, it’s important to eat properly if you want to stay on the path to have healthy hair. Ensure that you get enough minerals and vitamins from the food you eat; in some cases, you may even need to take vitamins in pill form. Consult with your doctor about vitamins to combat hair loss in women.
Stress hormone imbalances halt hair cycles
While a certain amount of stress is only natural, high levels of physical or emotional trauma can trigger telogen effluvium: surgery, weight loss, eating disorder, car accident, illness, troubled marriage, sick kid. Essentially, hair grows on a naturally programmed cycle that involves a growth phase, rest phase, and shedding phase.
Significant emotional and/or physical stressors can cause the hair to lock down in the shedding phase. If you clear the stress, the telogen effluvium usually clears in three to six months as your body recovers.
Overdoing hair care and products
Women’s hair loss can often be caused by aspects of a normal routine: hair dye, frequent shampooing, other treatments, products, and vigorous styling can traumatize your hair follicles.
If you think that any of these factors are affecting your hair loss, try to wash your hair less often. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that you let your hair air dry and limit hot devices (like flat irons and curling irons) to once per week or less.
Best Advice: Be Patient and Continue Research
Even with the best treatment, you can’t expect to see any results for at least three to six months. Why? Because your hair has a telogen (resting) phase, which is like a waiting room. Once your hair has entered the telogen phase, it is destined to fall two to six months later, no matter what you do. In other words, you have a lot hair in the telogen phase now. Even with the best treatment, all of those hairs are going to fall. Stay calm, be patient, and stick with your treatment.