Since hair loss is slightly more common in men, women might feel significant stress when they experience thinning (which doesn’t help the situation). In women, hair loss is usually caused by hormone or nutritional changes, stress, or illness. Childbirth is a main life event that can trigger hair loss in women. Hair can be an important part of a woman’s identity, and generally, unlike men, even older women maintain their hair. Luckily, there are options to treat hair loss, including topical treatments, medicines, and lifestyle changes. Speaking with a dermatologist is the best way to learn the origin of the problem and identify the most appropriate strategy for hair loss treatment.
The most common form of alopecia is known as hereditary thinning or pattern alopecia, and its cause is believed to be hormonal. In females, thinning develops throughout the scalp, but women do not usually become completely bald. There are many causes of hair loss, including childbirth, severe illness with high fever, chronic illness, thyroid disease, insufficient protein in the diet, medications, low iron blood levels, fungus infection, alopecia areata, and improper hair care. Sometimes hair loss is an early sign of an underlying health problem.
Many medications, such as those used for birth control and for a variety of ailments, including high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer may cause temporary hair loss. Improper hair care with the use of strong chemicals and straighteners may cause hair weakening and breaking.
When women go through pregnancy and childbirth, the normal cycle of hair loss and hair growth may be affected. This is usually temporary, lasting about nine months, and should resolve on its own. Illnesses, especially those that come with high fevers, affect the hair growth cycle, and will resolve on its own within a few months. Another hormonal cause is either an overactive or an underactive thyroid, which affects the hair growth cycle. This can be corrected when the underlying thyroid condition is targeted, which is usually from age, disease, or nutritional imbalance.
PRP Therapy- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy is one of the most fascinating methods of treating hair loss. Essentially, this treatment is using the power of your own body to help regrow healthy hair. This procedure involves having blood drawn and separating out the PRP. Once separated, the PRP from your own blood is injected into the area of your scalp that's being affected by hair loss.
Red Light Therapy- red light therapy is commonly used to treat hair thinning and hair loss. This therapy works by administering concentrated wavelengths of UV rays to the areas affected by hair loss. The particular wavelengths in this form of light therapy can help stimulate dermal papilla cells, which play a big role in regulating hair growth cycles. There have even been studies that revealed hair thickness and strength were both improved after red light therapy.
Minoxidil- Minoxidil is one of the most commonly used over-the-counter treatments for hair loss. You can find Minoxidil in products like Rogaine at your local drug store. While there have been decent results for hair growth at the top and crown of the head using this product, there's an unfortunate catch. Not only does this product need to be applied twice daily with consistency, but it can take up to six months to see any results. In addition, if use of this product is stopped, any new hair growth will likely fall out again in three months or so. Before starting this treatment, speak to your dermatologist.
Lowering stress and making sure you have a balanced diet are important ways women can contribute to preventing hair loss. For more proactive treatments, talking to a dermatologist about how to stop hair loss is the first step towards confirming the cause and identifying options for a solution. Schedule an appointment today for a consultation!