If you were of the opinion that hair loss, bald spots, and receding hairlines are something that trouble and plague only men, you would not be further away from the truth. Hair loss can happen to anyone who has hair – it is not gender specific; but yes, the manner in which the hair loss happens can vary based on whether you are a male or a female. Similarly, the causes of female hair loss can vary from those that lead to hair loss in men, but even there, some causes can be the same or at the least, similar. In this article, we will attempt to take a look at female hair loss – what causes it and how it can be handled.

Starting with what exactly is hair loss in women?

Shedding anywhere between 50 to 100 hair a day is considered normal and is actually a part of the normal hair balance – in order for new hair to grow in, old hair has to fall out. However, when this balance gets disrupted, when it goes beyond the basic shedding, that is when it can be labeled as hair loss. In medical terms, this condition is known as alopecia and when you are losing hair on your head, it is often termed as androgenic alopecia.

Before you can consider any type of hair loss treatment, it is imperative to understand that hair has three cycles –

• There is the anagen phase, also known as the growing phase, which can last anywhere from two to eight years and is the stage in which 80-90% of your hair is at any given point.

• Then comes the catagen or transition phase, wherein the hair follicles will shrink and this phase tends to last about 2 to 3 weeks.

• Finally, there is the telogen phase, or the resting phase, which can go on for about two to four months and it is at the end of this phase that the hair falls out.
Before you can move on to the causes of female hair loss, you need to understand what are the types of hair loss too – there are mainly three types of hair loss that tend to affect women.

1. Telogen effluvium – When a larger number of hair follicles reach the telogen or resting phase, there is a greater number of hair falling out.

2. Androgenetic alopecia – This is the most common type and presents itself in the form of hair thinning on the top of the head and towards the sides.

3. Anagen effluvium – This type of hair loss happens due to the poisoning of the hair follicles, which could be caused due to chemotherapy or the like.

Moving onto which categories of women tend to get more affected by hair loss:

Although hair loss need not be age-specific, women who are above the age of 40 tend to notice more hair loss, in comparison to younger women. The same is the case with menopausal women – they will observe more hair loss than younger women. Women who have recently undergone childbirth might notice more hair on the pillows and towels than on their heads. In case you are someone who uses harsh chemicals and high heat on the hair on a regular basis might notice more hair loss and the same could be the case with those who have the tendency to keep tight hairstyles. These are actually some of the most common causes of female hair loss finally, women who have undergone medical procedures such as surgery or chemotherapy and physical or mental trauma could also face hair loss.

Finally, let’s move on to the solutions and treatments that can help control hair loss:

It is important to understand that hair loss treatment will be dependent on the type of hair loss you have – in some cases, such as stress or hormonal changes, or pregnancy, there might be the need for any treatment, because the moment your body comes back to normalcy, the hair loss will also reduce. The same goes for hairstyling – if you are losing hair because of chemicals or heat-based treatments or tight hairstyles, all you need to do is stop the same and the hair loss should also reduce, if not stop completely.

Let’s say, your hair loss is because of nutritional deficiencies, your hair loss treatment protocol will include supplements as well as better and more nutritious food. In more severe cases, you might be asked to utilize minoxidil or similar medications or you might be asked to undergo non-invasive treatment such as laser combs. Another procedure that you could consider for your hair loss would be PRP or platelet-rich plasma therapy or even corticosteroid injections. Both of these are known to help improve hair growth and are minimally invasive, making them a much-chosen option for people, all over the world.

While hair transplant is also an option for women, this should ideally be the last step – it is just as important that you get the opinion of a reputed and experienced surgeon before signing on any dotted lines.

Author's Bio: 

This article was written by Dr. Kapil Dua, a hair restoration expert & co-founder of AK Clinics. He loves to help people get their hair back and keep it healthy all the way.