Female Hair Loss – it’s more common than you think!
A lot of attention is given to hair loss in men but women are nearly as likely to develop thinning hair or even hair loss. This usually is noticed in their 50s or 60s but it can happen at other times for a variety of reasons.
First off it’s important to notice if your hair is thinning as this could be an indication of an underlying problem you may not be otherwise aware of. You may notice an unusually large amount of hair on your pillow in the morning or in the bath or shower after you wash your hair. When you comb (especially if you aren’t tugging) more than normal may be left in the comb or brush.
If you do notice extra hair loss a trip to the GP is the place to start. It is important to rule out the cause of the change. The most common reason for changes in hair are pregnancy, thyroid disorders and anaemia. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis can also lead to hair loss. Blood tests will help to rule out these conditions. But diffuse hair shedding linked to weight, anaemia, diet or thyroid problems is temporary. The hair follicle isn’t damaged and the hair grows back automatically or once an imbalance is addressed. The same goes for hair loss after childbirth or following cancer treatment – in most cases hair is restored.
If there isn’t an underlying medical reason for your hair loss then lifestyle issues may be the culprit. Hair needs a healthy diet and a well-functioning endocrine system to flourish. Extreme stress such as physical trauma, surgery or intense illness can all lead to hair growth changes. Also watch excessive Vitamin A intake – think about how much cod liver oil you take or liver you eat. Dramatic weight loss over a short period can also cause hair loss which may occur from a couple of weeks to six months after these experiences.
The last type of female hair loss is less visible and therefore less dramatic but is still distressing. These cases are genetic in nature. The hair thins gradually, often over decades, around the top front area backward towards the crown. It can start at any age and it is progressive and inherited. This is the only hair loss where the follicle gradually gets smaller and finer and produces smaller finer hair until hair growth stops altogether and then you get the thinning.
This subject is of particular interest to me as my own hair started to thin following a bout of anaemia this year. I am on the mend now but it was a very distressing time. I managed to put my own Naturopathic principles into practice and with a combination of lifestyle changes including meditation and yoga and a strong supplement specifically for women’s hair loss my locks are getting back to their former glory. Purple and blue glory that is!