Female Hair Loss- Causes and Treatments

by Brent Ruyle on January 31, 2011

Tired of falling hair and bald spots? Want to know the causes and treatments for female hair loss?

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There are many causes of female hair loss including genetics, stress, pregnancy, alopecia areata, drugs and supplements, disease and cosmetic treatments. In order to treat female hair loss, you first have to pinpoint the cause.

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Genetics is the most common cause of female hair loss. This condition, called androgenic alopecia, causes women to have diffuse hair thinning over their entire scalp. Androgenic alopecia, also called female pattern baldness is responsible for about 50 percent of hair loss experienced by women. In this condition, follicles are sensitive to the action of hormones called androgens that attack and eventually cause the follicle to stop producing hair. Fortunately, there are drugs that can block the activity of androgens and prevent hair loss. Examples of anti-androgenic drugs are flutamide, nilutamide, bicalutimade, spironolactone and finesteride. These drugs have powerful side effects, including the ability to feminize a male fetus if taken during pregnancy. Another treatment that works for women is estrogen-dominant birth control pills.

Another cause of female hair loss is severe physical or emotional stress. This condition is called telogen effluvium and together with genetic causes, accounts for 95 percent of all hair loss. In telogen effluvium, the stress forces the follicles into a resting or dormant phase, causing the hair to fall out in clumps. The hair may continue to fall out for months. Telogen effluvium is usually reversible, if the underlying cause of the stress is diagnosed and treated. Protein and iron deficiencies can also cause this type of hair loss, so be sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Some women experience hair loss after giving birth. This is a form of delayed telogen effluvium and usually stops within 4 to 8 months. In some cases, pregnancy will cause permanent changes to the hair’s thickness, color or texture. This type of female hair loss is also treatable and is almost always temporary.

Hair pulling or trichotillomania is not a physical disorder but rather a psychological one. People at risk for this kind of female hair loss are those who are depressed, have low self-esteem or are prone to anxiety. Again, by treating the underlying cause, the hair loss can be reversed. Effective treatment may require psychological counseling and dermatological testing.

Alopecia areata is patchy hair loss that starts with small areas that become larger and larger. Researchers think this cause of female hair loss is an autoimmune disorder where the follicles become inflamed, starved of nutrients, and eventually stop producing hair. There is no single, successful treatment for this condition. In some cases oral steroids have helped, with or without topical minoxidil. Drugs that enhance the immune system can also be effective.

Perhaps one of the best-known causes for female hair loss results from drugs like those used in chemotherapy. Known as anagen effluvium, this type of hair loss is usually sudden and complete. Once chemotherapy stops, the hair grows back on its own. Other drugs that can cause hair loss are cholesterol-lowering medications, antidepressants, pain killers, medication for high blood pressure and blood thinners and some kinds of birth control pills. Female hair loss of this type can be stopped or controlled by changing to a different medication, for example, to an estrogen-dominant birth control pill. Also be careful when taking dietary supplements. Massive doses of vitamin A and the herb astragalus are known to cause hair loss.

Many diseases, including thyroid imbalance and bacterial infections can cause female hair loss. Other culprits are fungal infections, sebhorrea and psoriasis. These conditions are often treated with antibiotics, antifungals, steroids, medicated shampoos and anti-androgens. Thyroid imbalance requires the hormone levels to be adjusted up or down over time.

Cosmetic treatments and certain hairstyles such as pigtails or cornrows, or even tight rollers can also trigger female hair loss. Permanents (whether to straighten or curl), colorants and bleaches will weaken the hair and may cause it to fall out. In rare cases, an allergic reaction to dyes or colorants will induce thinning or hair loss.

The first step in treating your female hair loss is to see your doctor for an examination, tests and diagnosis. There’s no point in trying any solution until you know what’s causing your condition. The answer might be deceptively simple or more complex. Only a doctor can tell you for sure.

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Originally posted 2011-01-31 05:20:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Constantly fighting hair loss? Want to know hair loss treatments for a woman?

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Hair loss treatment for a woman is a wide-ranging topic. From herbal teas to hair transplants, women have many options and tools for fighting hair loss. Nearly 40% of women by age 60 experience some form of hair loss — so take heart if you’re among them. Effective treatment is available. The best hair loss treatment for a woman is information. The more you know, the more informed your choice of treatment will be.

There are 3 major types of hair loss in woman: androgenic alopecia, telogen effluvium and alopecia areata. When looking for a hair loss treatment for a woman, it’s important to understand what type of hair loss you have.

Androgenic alopecia occurs because of genetics and hormones. Some women inherit a sensitivity to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This sensitivity extends to the hair follicles on the scalp. A woman’s body has low levels of testosterone in it — produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands. The testosterone is kept in check by estrogen. When estrogen levels fluctuate or decline, testosterone becomes more abundant. This extra testosterone becomes DHT via the action of an enzyme named 5-alpha reductase. When carried to the scalp in the blood, the overabundant DHT attacks genetically-sensitive follicles, causing them to miniaturize and eventually to stop producing hair. Women with this type of hair loss experience diffuse thinning all over the head, but especially at the front, just behind the hairline. Hair loss treatment for a woman with androgenic alopecia often combines estrogen with growth stimulators.

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In telogen effluvium a large proportion of the hair falls out at once. This may be related to hormones but also has many other causes. Some women report hair loss when taking birth control pills, others when stopping them. Hair loss can happen after the birth of a baby but is completely temporary. Thyroid imbalance is another very common cause. Hair loss treatment for a woman with thyroid imbalance involves bringing the levels to normal via a course of medical treatment. Hair loss will usually reverse. Nutritional factors, like a vitamin A deficiency, crash dieting, self-starvation or alcoholism can also contribute to telogen effluvium. A combination of a healthy diet and psychological counseling are the appropriate treatments here. Delayed hair loss can occur months after a severe fever or systemic illness like Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory disorder of the gastrointestinal tract), hepatic (liver) disease, renal (kidney) disease, syphilis and diabetes. Medical treatment for these conditions usually reverses hair loss.

There are many drugs that cause telogen effluvium including blood pressure drugs, anti-arthritics, anti-cancer drugs, anti-coagulants, anti-gout medications, anti-depressants, anti-Parkinson drugs, anti-ulcer drugs, beta blockers, bipolar drugs, cholesterol-lowering drugs, heavy metals, steroids and pesticides. Hair loss treatment for a woman taking these drugs usually involves discontinuing the medication and/or switching to a different variety of drug.

Alopecia areata is characterized by a patchy hair loss that occurs suddenly or all at once. Although the exact cause is unknown, researchers think it’s related to an autoimmune response in which the body begins to treat hair follicles as foreign objects and attacks them. Treatment involves steroid injections, immune system enhancers, systemic steroids, minoxidil and cyclosporin. This condition is difficult and hair loss treatment for a woman with alopecia areata should only be undertaken by a physician by a physician, since there may also be underlying medical causes like thyroid disease, Hashimoto’s disease (an autoimmune disorder), pernicious anemia and rheumatoid arthritis.

If you suspect your hair loss is due to any of these causes, remember that hair loss treatment for a woman is widely available. But first see your doctor for a medical diagnosis. Only then will you be able to embark upon an effective course of treatment.

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Originally posted 2011-01-31 05:20:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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