Hair loss, also known as alopecia is a common hair problem faced by many men and women. Hair problems include either thinning of hair, hair fall or complete baldness. Although hair are dead body cells and not essential for survival, they still play a major role in ones personality by making his/her looks and building up his/her self confidence. Lack of hair or other hair related problems can affect one’s self confidence.
In many cases, female hair loss is a temporary occurrence and finding hair loss solutions is quite easier as compared to men. Unlike men, women rarely become totally bald. However, females generally experience thinning of their hair.
Genetic reasons: Hair loss can also be a genetic problem. Genetic baldness is caused when the body fails to replace hair that has fallen off the follicles.
Thyroid: Thyroid disorders cause hair loss in women. It is characterised by a general thinning of the hair.
Scalp related problems:
- Dandruff: Dandruff causes irritation and itching in the scalp. Scratching the scalp frequently to relieve itching. Weakens the roots of the hair causing hair fall.
- Fungal infections: Fungal infection of the scalp can cause hair loss. It is a temporary hair loss and can be cured with anti fungal medications.
Hair treatments and styling.
Most of the female hair loss is caused due to the mishandling of the hair. Women often go for many kinds of hair treatments for styling or other purposes. The treatments damage the hair cuticles making the hair weak and fragile that falls off easily. Hair treatments such as :
- Hair coloring
- Tight Braiding:
- Wet hair combing
- Shampoos with harsh chemicals
- Hair sprays
- Hair teasing etc.. Makes the hair weak.
- Menopause: Menopause is a stage in every woman’s life when the estrogen levels drops in her body. Estrogen hormone regulates and lowers the production of DHT. After menopause, due to the decline in the estrogen hormone level, DHT level rises which is responsible for hair loss.
- Pregnancy: hair loss related to pregnancy occurs approximately three months after the delivery. Pregnancy causes a large amount of oestrogen production that is released and keeps the hair that would have normally fallen out. Once the baby is born, the hormones return to the normal cycle and the normal hair loss that had been delayed tends to fall out. This hair loss is temporary.
- Diabetes: Diabetes is a hormone related disease which can cause the thinning of hair or hair loss. In diabetes, blood circulation is not optimal and therefore, diabetic patients are more sensitive to skin related problems. It takes more time for them to heal and re-grow lost hair causing cause visible hair loss.
- Illness: Certain illness such as flu, typhoid, malaria, infection and high-fever are believed to cause hair loss. It can be seen in about 4-12 weeks after prolonged sickness. During sickness, around 30 -45% of hair follicles enter the resting phase as compared to usual 10% in a healthy person causing severe hair fall.
- Medications: Certain medications, drugs and pills are believed to cause hair loss as a result of their side effects. They damage the telogen hairs, or stop the natural cell division producing weak hair that is more susceptible to breaking.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy treatment in cancer patients causes hair loss. Chemotherapy affects not only the cancer cells but all rapidly multiplying body cells. Hair follicle cells also multiply rapidly as does the cancer cells. The treatment therefore attacks the follicle cells. The hair loss may be fast or gradual and the patient looses hair either in small patches or either complete hair loss.
Physical and emotional stress:
Physical and emotional stress for a prolonged period of time can cause hair loss. But it causes only temporary hair loss. Once the stress period is over, hair loss stops.
Poor diet and nutrition: To sustain normal hair growth, one needs to take adequate amount of vitamins, proteins and minerals in their diet. Poor eating habits cause hair loss.