Hair loss isn’t isolated to men, and its effects on women can be a stressful both physically and mentally. However, modern science has made it possible to treat female hair loss and prevent future thinning.
What are the main reasons for female hair loss?
Androgenetic Alopecia – This type of hair loss, also known as male or female pattern baldness, is often genetic. Androgens are a group of essential hormones responsible for growth and reproduction. With influences on body functions ranging from bone density to sex drive, these hormones also play a role in hair growth and retention. As you age, these androgens cause hair follicles to shrink, causing hair to thin and eventually stop growing. Hair loss can be affected by a variety of hormone-related factors including birth control pills, pregnancy, and menopause.
Telogen Effluvium – While hair typically grows in stages, a traumatic event can cause all your hair to shift to the shedding phase at the same time. This triggering event could be childbirth, malnutrition, a severe infection, major surgery, or extreme stress. While hair typically grows in stages, a triggering event can cause all your hair to shift to the shedding phase at the same time. For most women with this condition, avoiding stress can reduce symptoms. However, for some women, telogen effluvium is a chronic disorder and can persist for months or even years.
Get a personalized treatment plan with prescription and/or OTC medications for your hair and scalp concerns.
Anagen Effluvium – This condition is characterized by the sudden and rapid shedding of hair during the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle. It is often caused by the exposure to certain factors or substances that damage the hair follicles, such as chemotherapy medication used in cancer treatment. Once the triggering factor is removed or discontinued, the hair follicles have the potential to recover and resume normal hair growth. However, in some cases, anagen effluvium can lead to long-term hair thinning or permanent hair loss.
Traction alopecia – This type of hair loss is caused by excessive tension or pulling on the hair over a prolonged period. It typically occurs when certain hairstyles, such as tight ponytails, braids, or cornrows, exert constant traction on the hair follicles. The repeated pulling can damage the hair shaft and eventually lead to hair loss. The condition can be reversible if detected early and the damaging hairstyle is avoided. However, if the tension on the hair continues, it can result in permanent hair loss.
How do you stop hair loss and regrow hair naturally?
While human genetics can’t be changed, lifestyle shifts can support healthy hair growth. Many seemingly harmless habits may be causing your hair loss. Stop future hair loss by:
- Limiting sun exposure – Wear sun protection daily. Apply sunscreen that’s at least 30 SPF, and wear sunglasses and hats to protect your skin and scalp.
- Maintaining a healthy, hair-conscious diet – Make whole foods and healthy fats a priority in your diet. These can support strong, healthy hair and balanced hormones.
- Managing supplements and medications – Compare prescriptions and risks to hair growth when choosing supplements.
- Avoiding smoking – Aside from other health risks, smoking and second-hand smoke can damage hair follicles, leading to hair loss.
What are some of the best treatments for female hair loss?
There are a range of treatment options for those experiencing female hair loss. Medical providers may recommend medications, treatments, or a combination to achieve desired results. When speaking with your provider, share your medical history, medications, and lifestyle factors to ensure your treatment is a good fit. Here are a few treatment options they might suggest:
Minoxidil – A commonly used medication for hair loss since the 1970s, Minoxidil encourages follicular cells to produce hair and reduces loss. Varying concentrations of the medication may be used, depending on your provider’s recommendation. It’s important to note that this medication is not safe for those who are pregnant, nursing, or plan to become pregnant.
Spironolactone – Hair loss caused by an excess of androgens can be reduced through the use of spironolactone. Especially helpful for those experiencing other hormone imbalances, this may be an option with a range of benefits. It’s important to note, this medication is not recommended for those who are pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant.
Iron supplements – Hair loss caused by low iron levels may be improved through supplementation. A healthy diet with adequate iron can also help those experiencing hair loss achieve results.
When should I see a medical professional about thinning hair?
Managing your hair loss is a deeply personal choice, but there are medical professionals ready to help. Although thinning hair generally doesn’t pose a health risk, its impact on your life isn’t without importance. One’s physical appearance is often a reflection of how they feel inside. When your thinning hair is out of your control, it can be hard to feel your best.
Online treatment providers make getting help for female hair loss easier than ever. If you’re noticing the early signs of hair loss, contact a medical provider to identify potential solutions. The earlier you begin a treatment plan, the more hair you can save while treating impacted areas.
Progress is possible, even for those whose hair loss has advanced beyond minor shedding and breakage. With the right treatment plan and support, hair re-growth and retention are within reach. Anyone with hair loss and a desire to regrow hair should not hesitate to seek the help of a medical professional.
Hair loss doesn’t have to be part of your story.
Whether you’ve recently noticed volume loss or have been dealing with female hair loss for years, have hope. Treatment is available for nearly every situation and budget. Reach out to a trusted provider to discuss hair loss treatment today and choose a plan that fits your lifestyle. When you do, you’ll begin a journey toward fuller, thicker hair and a more confident you.