Are you losing hair? 4 causes of female hair loss

Losing hair isn't unique to men. According to the American Hair Loss Association, up to...

Losing hair isn't unique to men. According to the American Hair Loss Association, up to 40 percent of hair loss sufferers are women. Some of the reasons women lose their hair include poor health, medical treatments, hormone imbalance and stress. It's normal to lose up to 100 strands of hair a day and double that amount when you wash your hair, but if you are losing more than that you should consider other causes.

Hormone imbalance

A common cause of hair loss in women is a hormone imbalance. This is called androgenetic alopecia and occurs when you have more testosterone than you need. The testosterone causes the hair follicles to die, after which they fall out. The imbalance is usually caused by pregnancy, childbirth, birth control pills, ovarian cysts or menopause. Hair loss treatment and options are available, if you can find out the cause of your hair loss. Get your doctor to take a blood test to determine whether your hormone levels are where they should be.

Physical trauma

Your hair can fall out as a result of different kinds of stress. Trauma to the hair roots can be caused by styling with dyes, chemical treatments, hot rollers, hair dryers, flat irons, tight braids or corn rows. This can cause damage to the hair follicles at the root and, once they die, the hairs fall out. This is called traction alopecia. Minimize your use of hair styling aids.

Psychological stress

Psychological stress, such as depression and financial or emotional pressure, can also cause poor health and result in you losing hair, as well as producing other physical symptoms. Manage your stress by maintaining a health diet and exercise program, or try proven stress-relief methods such as yoga.

Poor health

Illness, malnutrition and large weight loss in a short time can all affect the quality of your hair. Medical conditions including thyroid disease, autoimmune disorder, polycystic ovarian syndrome, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis can all result in the patient losing hair, and it's possible you could have one of these conditions without being aware of other symptoms. Maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise, and use nutritional supplements if you don't get enough vitamins.

Medical treatment

Cancer treatment is the best known cause of women losing hair. Chemotherapy targets cancer cells to prevent them from rapidly dividing and multiplying. This also affects non-cancerous cells that are accustomed to rapid division and reproduction, which includes your hair follicles during their growth phase. The treatment damages the matrix of the hair shaft causing it to fracture and the new hairs fall out while they are still growing. There's little you can do to avoid this, but protect your head with a scarf or wig to avoid sunburn.

If any of these reasons could be why you are losing hair, schedule a consultation with a physician to investigate further.

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