Hair Loss is women is very common. There are a multitude of possible causes, and the relationship between these possible causes is complicated. Here we have listed some of the more common causes. For a complete and detailed analysis of your hair loss and its cause call us for your private consultation with our trichologist.
Diabetes causes poor blood circulation
Hair Loss is one of the many side effects that this illness can have for the diabetic. Poor Blood circulation can affect the ability of hair follicles to operate normally. The normal cycle of hair growth is about two to six years. Once the follicle reaches the end of its growth period, it goes into a resting period until the follicle is finally sheds. About ninety percent of our hair is in the growth stage while ten percent is in the resting stage, getting ready to eventually jump off into eternity. The good news is that in most cases, new hair is ready to take its place. The bad news is when blood circulation is poor, the follicle is not producing a new normal strand of hair; once the old strand dies and falls out and is not replaced, creating much thinner hair.
This is an autoimmune genetically related disease. It is often evidenced by circular patches. While this can also affect hair on other parts of the body such as legs, eyebrows, eyelashes, the hair may or may not grow back on its own and sometimes requires treatments from a dermatologist. It affects approximately 2 percent of the population. Due to the fact that much of the public is still not familiar with alopecia areata, the disease can have a profound impact on one’s life and functional status, both at work and at school.
What Triggers Alopecia Areata to start or stop?
In Alopecia areata, the affected hair follicles are mistakenly attacked by a person’s own immune system (white blood cells), resulting in the arrest of the hair growth stage. These affected follicles become very small, drastically slow down production, and grow no hair visible above the scalp surface for months or years, no matter how widespread the hair loss.
Current research suggests that something triggers the immune system to suppress the hair follicle. It isn’t known what this trigger is, and whether it comes from outside the body like a virus, or from the inside. Recent research indicates that some people have genetic markers that increase both their susceptibility to develop alopecia areata, as with the degree of disease severity.
Some people develop only a few bare patches that regrow hair within a year. In others, extensive patchy hair loss occurs, and in a few, all scalp hair is lost (known as alopecia totalis) or, hair is lost from the entire scalp and body (known as alopecia Universalis). No matter how widespread the hair loss, the hair follicles remain alive and are ready to resume normal hair production whenever they receive the appropriate signal. In all cases, hair regrowth may occur even without treatment and even after many years.
Follicular Degeneration and many times known as Traction Alopecia
Is where the hair may temporarily or permanently stop growing in certain areas on the head. Traction Alopecia is usually caused by continuous and excessive stress on particular hairs. For instance, if you continuously style your hair in a ponytail, bun, braid or in cornrows, the hairs with the most tension may gradually stop growing, resulting in hair loss. If this type of traction and hair loss continues for an excessive period of time, then the hair loss may become permanent. Generally, however, a change in hairstyle that reduces the traction on the hair and hair follicle is all that is required in order to reverse the process. This is especially common in African-American females (women of colour), who wear tight braided or cornrow hairstyles.
Another version of Traction Alopecia, which is often referred to as “Hair Pulling Disorder”, an impulse control disorder, when a person compulsively pulls out strands of hair in distinct patches on the scalp. Some individuals also pull out hairs from the eyebrows and eyelashes as well. Trichotillomania is often caused by an undue amount of anxiety, stress and depression. It most commonly occurs among young children, adolescents and women. It generally affects twice as many females as males. The treatment for Trichotillomania often involves behavioral therapy or psychiatric help where an antidepressant may be prescribed.
Stress and Trauma
Physical or emotional stress can trigger hair loss whether people are predestined to lose hair or not. When stress causes hair loss in women who do not have hereditary hair loss, the effects are not usually permanent. But in women who do have hereditary hair loss, stress can actually speed up the process. The stress experienced must be quite severe before it leads to hair loss. Examples of severe stress are loss of a loved one, strenuous sports, training, severe illness or drastic weight loss, surgeries and emotional stress. The body simply shuts down production of hair during periods of stress since it is not necessary for survival and instead devotes its energies toward repairing vital body structures. You may notice excessive hair shedding 4 weeks to 3 months after an illness or surgery, high fever or sever flu. These conditions cause hair to shift rapidly into a resting phase, meaning you will see less new hair growth. A normal amount of hair typically will appear after the growth phase resumes. This then means that the total hair loss and re-growth cycle can last 6 months or possibly longer when induced by physical and emotional stress. There are some health conditions which may go undetected that can contribute to hair loss. These include anemia or low blood count and thyroid abnormalities. Both of these conditions can be detected by a simple, inexpensive blood test.
Nutrition and Diet
Rapid weight loss, liquid protein diets, and high consumptions of foods that are over processed, low in nutrition and high in animal fats can negatively affect the body’s level of amino acids and vitamin absorption.
Occurs when scar tissue replaces destroyed normal tissue on the scalp and can be caused by any number of things such as burns, infectious agents or diseases such as Scleroderma, Lupus Erythematous, etc. Because normal tissue is replaced, the hair cannot grow through scar tissue causing Scarring Alopecia to become permanent.
Almost all hormonal therapy can cause hair loss. Birth control pills, for example, contain hormones. The side effects of drugs such as those used to treat thyroid disease can cause hair loss, as the follicle is super sensitive to changes. Other drugs such as specific chemotherapy treatments, some blood pressure and heart medication, high doses of vitamin A, insulin, antidepressants, gout medications, arthritis medication and even acne treatment can cause temporary or permanent hair loss.
Chemicals used for colouring, tinting, bleaching, straightening or perms can cause hair to become damaged and break off if they are overused or not used correctly and can damage the hair follicle, which may in turn cause permanent damage. It is best to have a hairstylist perform chemical treatments on your hair. They can better advise you what can and can’t be done with the condition of your hair. Also, don’t forget to tell your hairstyles about any medication you are taking. It makes a world of difference on the outcome of the chemical treatments.
Women’s scalp is constantly exposed to air pollutants, chlorine, metals, minerals and water pollution. Pollutants from the environment such as pseudo-estrogens (estrogen mimics) and toxins from within our bodies can combine to play a roll in hair loss.
Sudden stress relate hairs loss which appears as thinning throughout the whole scalp. Telogen Effluvium occurs when sudden or severe stress causes an increase in the shedding of the hair. In Telogen effluvium a sudden or stressful event can cause the hair follicles to prematurely stop growing and enter into a resting phase. The hair will then stay in the resting phase for about 3 months after which time a large amount of hair will be shed. Often the person involved will have recovered from the event before the hair loss occurs. In most cases the hair loss is temporary and the hair soon recovers. However in some cases the hair loss continues until the underlying cause is fixed. Telogen Effluvium appears to affect more women than men because more of the precipitating event such as childbirth are experienced by women.