Hair Loss in Women
Hair loss is commonly associated with men; however women also have their fair share of hair shedding. Many women suffer from balding and hair loss in silence.
Reasons of hair loss in women can range from the simple and short-lived, like a vitamin deficiency, to more serious underlying health condition. Just as there are ways to teat male hair loss, women, too, can benefit from a wide variety of hair loss treatments.
Causes of hair loss in women
Telogen effluvium is a phenomenon that occurs after pregnancy, major surgery, drastic weight loss, or extreme stress in which women shed large amounts of hair every day, usually when styling, or blowing their hair dry.
It can also occur as a result of certain medication, such as anti-blockers, antidepressants, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Symptoms of telogen effluvium include occurrence of hair loss 6 weeks to 3 months after a traumatic or stressful event.
Hereditary hair loss
Androgenetic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss. Hair loss in women can be hereditary; the gene inherited from either the mother’s or father’s side of the family contribute to acquiring androgenetic alopecia. However having both parents with this gene increases the chances of inheriting this type of hair loss condition.
Women who get heavy periods or don’t consume iron-rich foods may be prone to iron deficiency, where the blood doesn’t have red blood cells.
Hair loss is one the symptoms of iron deficiency, as well as common headaches, difficulty concentrating, cold hands and feet.
Treating hair loss in women
Starting treatment as soon as possible following the onset of hair loss guarantees the best results, because continued androgenetic alopecia may damage many of the hair follicles. The use of androgenetic alopecia medication after prolonged hair loss will help prevent further damage and promote hair regrowth of hair follicles.
Stopping the treatment abruptly will result in reoccurrence of hair loss. It is important to maintain your vitamin and mineral intake while using the anti-androgen medications.
The following are some medications used to treat hair loss in women. Presently, there is only one FDA-approved treatment for female pattern hair loss. Others have not been approved by FDA for female pattern hair loss.
The efficacy of these agents varies from person to person, but many female hair loss patients have found that using these treatments have made a significant difference in their hair and their self-confidence.
Minoxidil (Rogaine) - Minoxidil was first produced to treat high blood pressure, however further research showed that applying a solution of minoxidil directly to the scalp could also promote hair growth. Minixidil has proved to be more effective for women suffering from diffuse androgenetic alopecis. Product labeling suggests that women only use the 2 percent concentration of minoxidil, not 5 percent, as it is not yet FAD-approved of the higher concentration in women. Applying minoxidil to the scalp twice a day can slow the hair loss. Pregnant women should avoid using minoxidil.
Spironolactone (Aldactone) - Spironolactone is an anti-androgen that has been used in the treatment of hair loss in women. It is a weak competitive inhibitor that decreases testosterone level in women.
Cimetidine (Tagamet) - Cimetidine has been used to treat excess facial hair growth in women and has proven promising results in studies of women with adrogenic alopecia type of hair loss. High does are needed to achieve the desired results. Men should avoid using Cimetidine due to potential feminizing effects.
There are simple and natural ways you can start with to reverse hair loss conditions. Eat iron-rich foods such as beef, pork, fish, leafy greens, fortified cereals and beans - along with foods rich in vitamin C, which improves iron absorption.