Did you know that men and women generally shed from 50 to 100 single hairs per day? That’s because hair shedding is merely part of a natural balance. It’s all part of the hair growth cycle in which hair grows from the follicle, or root, and passes through four stages:
Anagen – The growing phase lasting two to seven years. Over time, the length of the anagen stage decreases and hair may become weaker or thinner after each cycle.
Catagen – The transition phase in which the hair follicle shrinks and detaches.
Telogen – The resting phase which lasts about three months. While old hair is resting, new hair begins its growth phase.
Exogen – The new hair phase in which old hair sheds and new hair continues to grow
But when hair falls out and less hair grows in, it is understandably a cause for concern – especially for women.
Many people are under the impression that hair loss is a problem that only affects men. However, it is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss in their lifetime. The most significant type of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss (FPHL), which affects some 30 million women in the United States.
Common Causes of Women’s Hair Loss
It’s not just women over 40 who can be affected by hair. It can occur in any girl or women at any age for a variety of reasons. The most common causes include:
Your family history (heredity) – This manifests itself in the thinning of hair along the top of the head. This type of female-pattern hair loss (also known as androgenetic alopecia or androgenic alopecia) often worsens when estrogen is lost during menopause.
Your hair style — When your hair is styled in ways that tug on roots, as with tight ponytails, braids, or corn rows, it can result in hair loss referred to as traction alopecia. In fact, it can result in permanent hair loss if your hair follicles are damaged.
Extreme stress or shock to your body – Anxiety or trauma is known to cause temporary hair loss. That includes events such as losing a great deal of weight, undergoing surgery, illness, or giving birth. Known as telogen effluvium, this type of hair loss happens when your hair is in the resting stage.
Exposure to toxic substances – This includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and certain medications that can cause sudden hair loss anywhere on the body. Clinically known as anagen effluvium, this type of hair loss occurs when hair is in the active growth (anagen) stage and can be permanent if the hair follicles are damaged.
There are other medical conditions responsible for female hair loss. Alopecia areata, for example, is an autoimmune disease that causes patchy hair loss on the head and, possibly, other areas of the body.
The Menopause Connection
Female hair loss is fairly common during and after menopause. What typically occurs is that hair becomes finer because hair follicles miniaturize. Thus, hair grows more slowly and sheds more easily with the thinning affecting the entire scalp, although it may be more noticeable in areas like the temples and hairline where hair is already thin
At Northwest Hair Restoration board-certified specialist Dr. Robert Niedbalski treats menopause-related hair loss by first performing examination and taking a detailed medical history. If necessary, you may need to have your iron or thyroid hormone levels tested. Possible courses of treatment may include minoxidil lotion or shampoo combined with an antiandrogen drug like spironolactone. Another approach is to use a shampoo containing ingredients like ketoconazole and zinc pyrithione.
If your hair loss is more severe, Dr. Niedbalski can provide s a variety of surgical and nonsurgical options to help restore your hair. These include hair transplant surgery, AmnioFix®, or ACell+PRP Therapy.
Solutions for Women’s Hair Loss
Whether it is caused by genetics, aging or any other reason, women don’t have to accept hair loss. At Northwest Hair Restoration in Tacoma, Seattle and Spokane, Washington we offer many available solutions and can provide an effective treatment that is specifically tailored to your unique situation.
To find the treatment that’s right for you, contact Northwest Hair Restoration today at (253) 572-2949 and arrange a complimentary consultation with Dr. Robert Niedbalski. Or, if you prefer, use our convenient online request an appointment form to schedule your visit.