Women’s Hair Loss: Thinning Hair Causes and Solutions

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Women’s Hair Loss: Thinning Hair Causes and Solutions

Your Hair Says a Lot About You

Long, short, bouncy, or sleek, for most women hair is way more than a bundle of fibers. It’s an expression of your style and personality. But if you start to lose your hair, it can really freak you out.

Hair Loss Isn’t Just a Guy Thing

Whether it’s short- or long-term, women lose hair the same way men do. It might thin all over, or your center part could get wider and wider. You might even get a bald spot at the crown of your head. One thing women rarely have: a receding front hairline.

How Does Hair Grow?

Your scalp is home to about 100,000 hairs. Each one has its own life cycle. A follicle produces a single hair that grows at a rate of half an inch per month. It hangs in there for 2 to 6 years, then stops for about a month. When the next cycle starts up, that hair falls out. At any given time, most of your locks are in the growth phase.

How Much Hair Loss Is Normal?

Most people shed about 50-100 strands every day. Don’t worry if you find a few in your hairbrush or on your clothes. But if it starts to fall out in clumps or if you notice it getting thinner over time, check with your doctor.

Hair Loss Trigger: Thyroid Problems

This butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your neck pumps out chemicals that keep your body humming along. If it makes too much or too little thyroid hormone, your hair growth cycle might take a hit. But thinner locks are rarely the only sign of a thyroid problem. You might lose or gain weight, become sensitive to cold or heat, or notice changes in your heart rate.

Hair Loss Trigger: PCOS

If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), your hormones are always out of whack. Your body makes more male hormones or androgen than it should. This can cause extra hair to sprout on your face and body while the hair on your head thins out. PCOS can also lead to ovulation problems, acne, and weight gain. But sometimes thinning hair is the only obvious sign.

Hair Loss Trigger: Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata causes hair to fall out in big patches. The culprit is your own immune system, which attacks healthy hair follicles by mistake. In most cases, the damage isn’t permanent. The missing locks should grow back in 6 months to a year. Some people lose all the hair on their scalp and body, but that’s rare.

Hair Loss Trigger: Childbirth

You might notice your hair seems fuller during pregnancy. That’s because high hormone levels keep resting hairs from falling out. But after the baby comes, things go back to normal and those strands will fall out quickly. You could lose a lot of hair at once. It could take up to 2 years for your locks to return to normal.

Hair Loss Trigger: The Pill

The hormones that suppress ovulation could cause your hair to thin. It’s more likely if you have a family history of hair loss. It might happen when you stop taking the pill. Other drugs linked to hair loss include blood thinners and medicines that treat high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, and depression.

Hair Loss Trigger: Tight Hairstyles

It’s no myth: wearing cornrows or tight ponytails can irritate your scalp and cause hair to fall out. The same goes for using tight rollers. Let your hair down, and it should grow back normally. Be aware that long-term use of these styles can scar your scalp and lead to permanent hair loss.

Hair Loss Trigger: Extreme Stress

High-level physical or emotional stress can cause you to suddenly shed huge amounts of hair. Examples include:

  • Serious illness or major surgery
  • Trauma involving blood loss
  • Severe emotional distress

The process may last 6 to 8 months.

Women’s Hair Loss: Thinning Hair Causes and Solutions-

Hair Transplants in Women

This procedure involves moving hair to thin scalp areas from fuller areas. The trouble is, female pattern baldness causes thin hair all over, so good donor sites may be limited. It works better if your hair loss comes from male pattern baldness or scarring.

How to Handle Major Hair Loss

It can be a challenge. If thin areas are easy to spot, consider a weave, a hairpiece, a scarf, or a hat. Good-quality wigs are more comfortable than ever — and they rarely have bad hair days. If hair loss affects your job or social life or makes you not want to leave the house, talk with a counselor.

Women’s Hair Loss: Thinning Hair Causes and Solutions

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