Hair Loss in Women: All You Need To Know

Everybody affected by hair loss finds it difficult. A common part of the aging process, men and women who suffer from hair loss can find it a blow to their self confidence and self esteem. However, hair loss in men is far more socially acceptable than it is in women, who can become extremely self conscious and distressed.

There are three main types of hair loss in women. These are telogen effluvium, alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia. It is important that women suffering from hair loss do not despair, as there are effective hair loss treatments available.

Telogen effluvium affects women and men. It is a common condition which causes hair loss over a wide area on the scalp and body. It affects people of all ages and is usually caused by stress to the hormonal or physical system. It can also occur as a reaction to some medications.

The condition usually clears up by itself within six months, but severe cases can last longer. Related to hair growth cycles, telogen effluvium is basically a reaction to stress which causes large quantities of hair to change to the resting phase (telogen) from the growth phase (anagen). Before entering back into the growth phase the hair must be shed, resulting in widespread hair loss.

Affecting more than two per cent of the population, alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease. An extremely common cause of hair loss in women, it is caused by white blood cells attacking follicles, which drastically slows down hair growth and replenishment. Unfortunately, recovery from this condition is uncertain, with hair sometimes growing back completely, in patches, or not at all.

Androgenetic alopecia is another common hair loss condition caused by an imbalance in hormone levels. It is often hereditary, passed on by the father or mother. Research indicates that this type of hair loss affects 13 per cent of women before the menopause and as much as 75 per cent of women aged over 65.

The chemical dihydrotestosterone (DHT) causes hair loss in androgenetic alopecia. DHT is derived from androgens acted upon by the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. The more enzyme possessed by a person, the more DHT they produce, which in large enough quantities can dramatically thin the hair, sometimes to the point that it falls out. In women, this hair loss usually occurs on the top and sides of the scalp.

What can you do if you are affected by hair loss? First, seek professional medical advice. On the recommendations of your GP, you may wish to try a cosmetic treatment like a hair thickening lotion or a wig. Hair replacement surgery is available privately, but should be seen as a last resort after trying other options.

Regaine hair regrowth treatment has an excellent range of treatments for men and women suffering from thinning hair and hair loss. You can find out more about these treatments here.