Hair loss is becoming a major source of anxiety in women these days. There is a wide range of conditions that cause hair loss in women including pregnancy, birth contract pills, and menopause. Hair loss causes a financial burden on women and is challenging on the part of doctors to treat the specific cause to prevent hair loss in women.
Causes of Hair Loss in Women
The following are some of the major causes of hair loss in women.
Excessive hair loss after giving birth is the main cause of alopecia in pregnant women. It is mainly due to decreased levels of hormones e.g estrogen and progesterone. But fortunately, this is a temporary state of hair loss and the volume of hair can return in a year or so.
PCOs is the condition characterized by multiple cysts in ovaries, acne, hirsutism, and menstrual irregularities. Though it causes hair growth on the face it highly affects hair on the scalp, makes them thin and brittle, and prone to hair fall. It is treated by taking hormone pills to correct the levels of FSH and LH.
Contraceptives or birth control pills:
A Female’s body is highly influenced by hormones most important of which are estrogen and progesterone while fluctuations in levels of androgens remain the most important cause of hair loss in women. Birth control pills in the form of pills, implants or injections can cause hair loss in women. It causes the arrest of hormones in the stationary or resting phase from the growing phase and it is called the transition phase.
This type of hair loss occurs in women due to the tight banding of hair in different styles. Hairstyles like a bun, wigs, extensions, braids can cause extreme hair loss. Ponytails on one hand cause traction alopecia and on the other hand cause thinning of hairline in front of the head.
It the common cause of hair loss in both males and females. It is a genetically inherited condition but occurs more commonly as the age advances though some cases present at puberty. Females lose overall hair on the head.
It is an autoimmune condition that causes of hair falls out quickly. The body system produces antibodies against its own tissue and the antibodies attack the hair follicles from scalp, eyebrows and ever eyelashes fall. This form of alopecia has a hereditary tendency and runs in families.
The most common cause of hair loss in women and is due to menstruation, malnutrition, repeated pregnancies, and low nutritional intake. The level of Hemoglobin falls and subsequently causes anemia which cause hair loss. After consulting a doctor, women must rule out the cause of anemia by various blood tests and should take multivitamins, iron tablets, folic acid to treat the deficiency.
Medicine intake can interact with hair follicles and cause hair loss. Various medications are known to cause hair loss, some of which are:
- Medicines to treat acne
- Warfarin and other blood thinning medications
- Statins or cholesterol lowering drugs e.g Revista
- Beta blockers which lower the sympathetic stimulation
- Anxiolytics which help relieve anxiety
If hair loss is due to medicines the medicine should be stopped after consulting the doctor. The doctor may stop the drug and prescribe an alternative medicine or will reduce the dose of prescribed drugs.
There are two types of thyroid diseases, hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism, but of which affect hair loss in on or the other way.
Hypothyroidism causes thinning of hair, cause them red, brittle, and coarse. It also affects eyebrows causing lateral thinning of eyebrows.
After proper diagnosis of the thyroid disease, treatment is necessary. for hypothyroidism, thyroxine is given and for hyperthyroidism Mercazole or Propylthiouracil (PTU) is taken after proper consultation from the doctor.
It is a fungal infection of the skin that affects hairline, nose, ear, external Auditory canal, and nasolabial fold. This causes the skin to crust and results in thick plaques on the skin which falls over time and weakens hair roots which become brittle and thin and result in hair fall.
It is prevented by keeping skin hydrated and moisturized. Once diagnosed, your doctor will prescribe your antifungals. Skin preparations e.g Sulphur and Salicyclic acid best treat seborrheic dermatitis.
Psoriasis is a medical condition that causes excessive itching and crusting of the skin. It is a chronic condition and spreads to the whole body if not treated timely. It causes pink plaques with silvery scales on the skin with weeping lesions. This condition itself doesn’t cause hair loss but excessive scratching and pulling over the skin can cause hair loss. Fortunately, the hair has the potential to regrow once the skin condition subsides.
It is prevented by keeping skin moisturized and topical and therapy of medications.
More than 80% of women suffer hair loss after menopause. Menopause causes hair fall in women due to reduced levels of estrogen and progesterone. Androgens effects hair resulting in excessive hair fall. This condition cannot be prevented but hair loss can lessen by relieving stress, eating well and hydrating body as much as possible, exercise especially aerobic exercise can aid in preventing hair loss.
The major factor of hair falls in women and is caused by the release of stress hormones during stressful conditions. Cortisol release from the adrenal gland along with other stress hormones i.e epinephrine, norepinephrine, and glucagon in stressful conditions and causes hair loss in women as it causes hair to shift from the growth phase to resting phase which causes hair to fall out.
OUTLOOK AND SUMMARY:
Health problems are the major cause of hair loss in women which must be identified timely and treated adequately. Keep infections away, wash your hair with shampoo on alternate days to ensure healthy hair as excessive washing can cause hair loss. Stress is a major cause for hair loss and should be managed to prevent baldness. Consult your doctors as soon as you notice changes in quality of hair or hair loss and your doctor after examining you will prescribe you treatment to lessen hair loss.