It’s a common misconception that hair loss only affects men. You wouldn’t take a second glance when you see a bald man walk past.
However, this condition affects women, as well. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, female pattern hair loss (FPHL) affects around 40% of women by the time they turn 50.
Hair loss can be damaging to your self-esteem and emotional well-being. This is because it’s less socially acceptable for women to lose hair than men. When faced with hair loss, you could retreat from social situations and be more prone to anxiety and depression.
What Causes Hair Loss in Women?
According to an article on BioMed Research International, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the main culprit for hair loss in women.
DHT is derived from testosterone, the male hormone. Under certain conditions, DHT binds to the receptors of scalp follicles, shrinking them and making it impossible for healthy hair to survive.
Hair loss can also be due to:
- An imbalance of thyroid hormones
- Certain medications
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid disorders
FPHL becomes more common as women reach their midlife.
Seek Help From an Expert
When you encounter hair loss, you’re probably not sure who to ask for help. You might end up buying tape-in human hair extensions to hide the balding spot. You might have considered buying products that claim they can restore hair.
These efforts result in a modest outcome and don’t solve the root of the problem. If you’re losing hair, consult with a dermatologist. They have the training to diagnose conditions that affect your skin and hair.
Dermatologists will figure out what causes your hair loss and recommend the right treatment for you. Depending on the cause, they could recommend one or a combination of treatments like:
- Topical medication
- Oral medication
- Hair transplant
- Laser treatment
Preventing Hair Loss
Since FPHL may be genetic, it is not always preventable. However, you can keep your hair healthy to prevent breakage and damage.
#1: Wash and condition your hair properly
Hair that’s thinning is easily damaged than other strands of hair. Keep your hair healthy by using a gentle shampoo and a moisturizing conditioner.
#2: Limit your use of heating tools
Curling irons, flat irons, and hair dryers weaken your hair with regular use. Use them only on special occasions. When possible, let your hair dry naturally.
#3: Don’t wear your hair in tight ponytails, buns, or braids
Wearing hairstyles that tightly pull on your hair can cause traction alopecia, another type of hair loss. By wearing tight hairstyles more frequently, the hair loss might become permanent.
#4: Eat a balanced diet
Not eating enough iron, protein, or other nutrients are contributing factors to hair loss. Make sure that your daily diet includes the required nutrients and calories. The dermatologist might also recommend that you take iron supplements if they found you’re iron deficient.
Hair loss in women is a serious condition that can’t be ignored. Apart from its physical effects, the condition affects women emotionally and psychologically.
If you’re experiencing hair loss, seek expert help right away. When you know what’s causing the problem, you can find the right treatment and restore your self-confidence.