There are many different types of hair loss. Some, like genetic and female pattern hair loss, are irreversible and out of your control—you get the hand you’re dealt. But others, like the very common telogen effluvium, which is temporarily increased shedding caused by a wide variety of health and hormonal changes, can be fixed. Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) increases with advancing age. Women who experience hair loss often experience psychological distress and impaired social functioning as a result of it.
Way to Grow: Hair grows in three different cycles: anagen, catagen, and telogen. About 90% of the hair on the head is in the anagen, or growth phase, which lasts anywhere from two to eight years. The catagen, or transition phase, typically lasts 2-3 weeks, during which the hair follicle shrinks. During the telogen cycle, which lasts around two to four months, the hair rests.
At a Loss: Most people lose anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair each day. On the days when hair is washed, people can lose up to 250 strands.
Some most common triggers of hair loss in women’s:
- Hormonal changes and medical conditions: A variety of conditions can cause permanent or temporary hair loss, including hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and thyroid problems. Medical conditions include alopecia areata, which causes patchy hair loss, scalp infections such as ringworm and a hair-pulling disorder called trichotillomania.
- Hereditary: Hair loss could be genetic. It is the most common cause of hair loss. The gene can be inherited from either your mother’s or father’s side of the family, though you’re more likely to have it if both of your parents had hair loss. The condition develops slowly and may start as early as your 20s.
- Regular uses: One other way to thin hair is self-inflicted – hairstyles like cornrows or too-tight braids can cause hair loss called traction alopecia. All of the things women do to manipulate their hair – dyes, chemical treatments, bad brushes, blow dryers, and flat irons – can result in damage and breakage. This includes brushing too much and towel drying aggressively when the hair is wet.
- Stress: Stress may also trigger scalp problems, such as dandruff, disrupt eating habits and mess with the digestive system all of which can have a negative impact on hair. Stress can give some people the urge to pluck hairs from their head, eyebrows, and other places. It’s called trichotillomania.
- Childbirth: During pregnancy, most women notice their hair going into rapid growth mode. “That’s when everything is in a grow, grow, grow phase, because there are surges of hormones (estrogen) that make hair grow”. Once estrogen levels go back to normal after delivery, hair resumes its normal growth cycles and starts to shed all that thick, luscious hair that accumulated over the last 10 months. Some women experience very mild shedding, but others experience intense shedding for a few months.
Reported by Dr. Himani