8 out of 10 women has suffered hair loss in her life at some point of time. Unfortunately, people give a lot of importance to hair oils when 90 % of the times, the cause is related to nutrition, stress and hormones. Despite this,90 % of efforts are directed at using a variety of hair oils, shampoos and magic potions available in fancy bottles without identifying the cause of hair loss.
Dr Prachi at theskindoctor has tried to discuss in brief the 15 common causes of hair loss in women.
- Stress: Stress causes hair roots to be pushed prematurely into their resting or shedding states. Any kind of emotional stress or physical trauma- surgery, accidents, or illness can cause temporarily hair loss, and hair starts to grow back as your body recovers from these stresses generally within 3 to 6 months.
- Hormones: just as pregnancy, hormonal changes can cause hair loss. Going off the pill or changing a different type of hormonal contraception can also cause hormone induced shredding.
- Anaemia( iron deficiency anaemia) : when you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t produce the haemoglobin in your blood. Haemoglobin carries oxygen for the growth and repair of cells in your body, including the cells that stimulate hair growth. Hair loss lasting more than 6 months should be investigated for iron deficiency. If corrected, there can be complete reversal of hair regrowth.
- Wearing too tight hairstyles, heat styling your hair on regular basis, getting frequent perms, chemical straightening or relaxing procedures, basically use of chemicals on scalp damages the hair follicle and cause hair loss.
- Nutrionally imbalanced diet can cause brittle hair, so having a well balanced and nutritious diet containing vitamins, minerals, amino acids etc is very essential.
- Protein intake: if you don’t get enough protein in your diet, your body may ration protein by shutting down hair growth.
- Severe and prolonged hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause loss of hair, this loss is diffuse and involves the entire scalp. Nowadays a lot of hypothyroid patients present with hair loss.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormone disorder that can cause excessive production of androgens (male hormone) in the body causing scalp hair thinning and hair loss, it also have a range of symptoms, including hirsutism, which is excessive facial and body hair. It is a medical condition and needs proper treatment by an endocrinologist.
- Female pattern hair loss is a typical type of hair loss localised to the crown region of the hair causing more visibility of scalp. It is multifactorial in origin. Here more than hair loss, the hair follicle shrinks so much that it looses hair easily.
- Autoimmune diseases: Autoimmune conditions makes the body recognise its own hair follicle as foreign and it attacks them and makes hair fall out. Also called as alopecia areata.
- Certain medications like blood thinners, beta blockers, anti epilepsy drugs, few anti depressants and anti anxiety drugs can cause hair loss when consumed on a long term basis.
- Sudden Weight loss by ill health or crash dieting is a kind of a physical trauma that can result in hair thinning.
- Pregnancy: hormonal changes during pregnancy stimulate an increase in the percentage of hairs in the growth phase (anagen) and once the baby is delivered, the shedding phase (telogen) begins which is experienced as excessive hair loss 3 to 6 months after delivery. Most women will return to their usual hair growth cycle within 6 months after child birth but some may require nutritional therapy.
- Perimenopausal hair loss Commonly seen in women as they enter in their 50s and 60s.
- Use of anabolic steroids, used by athletes to bulk up muscle also causes hair thinning and hair loss.