Hair Loss in Women
Patient A: I lose so many hairs everyday, how do I slow down the loss process?
A woman’s hair allows her to create her beauty and sexuality. Yet, hair loss in women is common and ranges from a variety of causes. The most common is that of female pattern hair loss which starts with a gradual hair thinning/ shedding where family history can play a role. It is normal to lose between 50-100 strands of hair per day and can increase with age. However, increasing number of hair shed during showering or hair dressing should prompt you to seek treatment. The frontal hair line may or may not be affected.
A consideration of other causes that could result in hair loss is pertinent such that treatment can be targeted. Basic blood tests that aim to replace iron, zinc and rule out concurrent thyroid or autoimmune disease can be considered.
Needless to say, the psychological impact can be severe and hence needs to be treated promptly.
Alopecia can be either transient or permanent, and it can affect only the scalp or the entire body. Hereditary factors, hormonal shifts, medical disorders, and the natural aging process are all potential causes.
Talk to your physician about the source of the hair loss treatments before making any decisions on how to proceed.
Signs of hair loss:
Depending on the root cause, hair loss can manifest itself in several ways. Female pattern hair loss can occur suddenly or gradually over time. Keeping a journal can be a useful tool for monitoring personal changes and symptom patterns over time.
Some of the symptoms include:
· Overall thinning:
Hair loss typically manifests as gradual women thinning of hair at the crown. Both sexes are equally susceptible to it. It’s common for men to experience a receding hairline, while women typically perceive a widening of their part.
· Bald spots:
They may be round or spotty. They may resemble coins in size as well as frequently develop on the scalp. Hair loss often precedes the onset of itchy or painful skin.
· Handfuls of hair:
Loss of hair can occur suddenly, and it’s often a result of stress, either mental or physical. Washing and combing can cause significant hair loss, which can accelerate the thinning process.
· Full loss:
Hair loss can occur rapidly and uniformly throughout the body in various medical conditions, especially when undergoing medical treatments like chemotherapy.
Different kinds of stress can cause hair loss:
The stress of any kind, mental or physical, can cause female pattern baldness. Hair production may be temporarily halted in response to traumatic events such as a family member’s death severe surgery, or even a serious illness.
Seeing hair loss after a stressful event can occur up to three months later, making it difficult to identify the cause.
Conversely, if you’ve seen your hair thinning, it’s worth thinking about the various things that could have contributed to your stress levels. Stress-induced hair loss is usually only a transient condition. After some time has passed as well as the follicle begins generating again, hair growth may resume.
Lack of B vitamins can cause hair loss:
Thin hair or loss can occur in women when they don’t get enough of certain vitamins and minerals. A lack of red meat in the diet or a vegetarian lifestyle can contribute to hair thinning.
Iron, a mineral essential for healthy hair and body growth, is abundant in animal products like red meat. In addition to the risk of anaemia caused by menstrual blood loss, women also run the risk of an iron deficiency if they don’t consume enough iron in their diet.
Vitamin shortages and hair loss can link to eating disorders like anorexia nervosa. Zinc, L-lysine, vitamins B-6 and B-12, and iron are some of the nutrients that play a role in hair health.
Sudden but temporary changes:
Telogen effluvium is the second most prevalent form of women and hair loss (TE). It’s transitory and results from a shift in the proportion of actively growing follicles among those in a dormant condition.
In the months following childbirth or other stressful events, for instance, some women have hair loss. In some cases, a close inspection of the individual hair will reveal TE hair loss. For telogen hairs, the root bulb is made of keratin.
Anything that can shock the body and interrupt the hair lifecycle is a potential cause of TE. You may not feel the impacts of the shift for as long as three months.
Possible triggers of TE hair loss:
- Extreme heat
- Harmful virus
- A disease that persists over time
- Mental and emotional strain
Effective hair loss treatments:
It’s possible that hair loss brought on by stress and hormonal shifts brought on by things like pregnancy and menopause doesn’t require any therapy at all. Instead, it is more likely that the loss will halt on its own once the body has adjusted to the change.
If the shortage is due to a deeper health problem, however, it may be necessary to have medical therapy in addition to taking supplements.
However, this is not typically the case. In addition, any medical disorders that are the cause of treating female hair loss can undergo treatment immediately in order to address the complete condition rather than simply the symptoms of it.
So, there is a wide variety of medicines and treatment options available for hair loss brought on by female-pattern baldness as well as other types of alopecia. It could take several months or even years before you see the full effects of treatment, whether it be a single treatment or even a combination of treatments.
What can we do to arrest the ongoing hair loss?
Steps To Arresting Loss of Hair
Achieve a diagnosis using a combination of presenting history, physical examination and relevant blood tests. Other diagnoses such as telogen effluvium, alopecia arreata to also be considered.
(2) Topical Therapy
Topical Minoxidil 2-5% as a scalp shampoo to prolong the the growth phase of the scalp hair.
(3) Low Level Laser Therapy
Low level laser therapy in the form of a comb or helmet can seek to improve overall hair density, commonly seen after usage for at least 6 months.
(4) Nutrient & Growth Factors Injection To Scalp
This aims to provide the scalp with sufficient nutrients and an ideal environment for hair to grow and recover.
(5) Hair Transplantation
Should the area of defect be large, a hair transplant can be considered to target severely affected areas.
For women, the hair is an attribute that expresses individuality and attractiveness. Any defect should seek treatment s soon as possible. Find out more about your condition from your doctor today! Contact Dr Sin Yong at +65 80237170 for a consult.