Hair Loss Causes and Treatment Options for Women

hair loss in women treatmentBalding and other forms of hair loss (like shedding or thinning) are often mistakenly thought to only impact males. The truth is females make up a significant amount of the individuals that suffer from hair loss related diseases. By age 40, nearly 40% of women have noticeable hair loss. That statistic comes from the American Academy of Dermatology.

As you know, female hair loss can have a negative emotional impact on self-esteem. Much more so than when a male goes through hair loss. It is generally more acceptable in today’s society for men to be bald relative to female pattern baldness. While it’s true that hair loss isn’t life threatening, there should be reasonable solutions for females who don’t want to suffer through any unnecessary emotional trauma caused by losing their hair.

Psychological damage, even if it’s only the feeling of being unattractive, can be mentally devastating and impact the body like a serious disease due to very intense stress and emotional toll, which can negatively impact a female’s physical health.

Curl Centric understands how seriously life-altering this situation can be and has put together the following overview on female hair loss in hopes of providing some direction for those who are experiencing these circumstances. In this guide, we’ll cover what causes your hair to fall out and potential treatments options, including natural home remedies.

Overview of Female Hair Loss: What Causes Hair to Fall Out?

Certain medications, illnesses and infections are all potential causes of hair loss in women. Frankly, anything that can interfere with the hair growth cycle could potentially cause female hair loss.

sudden hair loss in womenWhile hereditary male pattern baldness is consider common, female hair loss is also very common. In fact, women and men have very similar probabilities to have some form of thinning hair.

The American Academy of Dermatology considers losing 50 to 100 hair strands each day perfectly normal. So, obviously seeing some measure of shedding each day isn’t necessarily cause for concern. However, if the hair loss seems excessive or it occurs suddenly, then you may want to dig a little deeper.

When Is There Cause for Concern?

Hair thinning is something that often occurs slowly and you may not immediately recognize that you have a potential problem. Obviously, if your hair begins to fall out in clumps there is definitely a need to seek medical advice. If your hair loss is specific to one area of your scalp, you likely have a focal hair loss. However, if you’re hair loss isn’t isolated to a specific scalp region, then you may have what’s considered to be general hair loss.

If you wake up in the morning and find a unusual amount of hair on your pillow or if there is more hair than normal left over in the comb, there could be cause for concern. It’s important that you begin to recognize visual cues that may indicate a potential problem.

When it comes to diagnosing the culprit of female hair loss, medical professionals will often perform some preliminary blood work to determine if the thyroid gland or an autoimmune disease is the problem. Doctors also inquire about family history to determine if a recognizable pattern can be identified. If hair loss runs in your family, then the potential is greater for you to experience hair loss.

female-pattern-hair-lossCommon Causes of Hair Shedding and Hair Thinning

  • Hair loss is often inherited – meaning it’s something that is a part of your family tree. This common hair loss is generally referred to as female-pattern hair loss. You may have also heard of male-pattern hair loss or hereditary male-pattern baldness.
  • As you age, the growth rate of your hair slows down. The hair also generally becomes thinner, breaks more easily and usually turns gray as you get older.
  • Wearing tight hairstyles that pull the hair too aggressively can cause hair shedding or thinning. We often recommend protective styles to mitigate stressing your edges and to protect your ends, which also encourages length retention.
  • Unbalanced diets, thyroid diseases, chemotherapy, ringworm of the scalp and physical stress often caused by surgery or illness are also common hair loss causes.

Note that this list of common hair loss causes isn’t all-inclusive. There could very well be something unidentified in the above list that causes hair loss for you.

The Diagnoses: How to Stop Your Hair From Falling Out

Hair loss is typically diagnosed through a series of questions, scalp examinations, hair loss patterns and other hair related tests (including testing hair samples). It’s also not uncommon for medical professionals to conduct blood examinations as they investigate potential problems.

Treatment Options: Including Natural Home Remedies

Ultimately, treatment scenarios presented by a medical professional should be specific to your particular situation. For some, hair thinning or female-pattern hair loss isn’t a concern. For others, treatment will be highly desired.

There are some medications that may mitigate hair loss and hair transplant surgery is generally an option – if the situation warrants it. Some women choose to wear wigs or change the way they style their hair. For example, if the hair loss is isolated to a particular area of your scalp, you may decide to style your hair in such a way that it covers the thinning area. Many people refer to this method as a “comb over” technique.

If the hair loss is caused by something that medical professionals believe can be treated or eliminated like a current medication that your taking. You may have additional options. It’s best to discuss the potential options with your doctor.

During the discussion with your doctor, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • Do you recommend a particular treatment?
  • What is the duration of the treatment?
  • Is the solution permanent?
  • Are there side effects or risks associated with the treatment?
  • Costs?
  • Will the recommended treatment be covered by my medical insurance?

Can Garlic Help Reverse Alopecia Areata?

In a scientific study, it’s been shown that garlic stimulates hair growth for people who have alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is a type of hair loss. In the study, garlic gel was applied to the scalp of the subjects and lead to an overall increase in hair growth relative to the baseline.

garlic for hair sheddingThere is another study which states that patients using a mixture of garlic gel along with a steroid cream responded better in comparison to those who only used the steroid cream. Steroid creams are a commonly used treatment for alopecia areata.

What About Onion Juice?

Onion juice (that’s right, crushed up onions) was found to enhance hair growth when compared to tap water. This means, without the use of steroids, it’s possible that crushed onions can stimulate hair growth for alopecia areata treatment.

onion juice alopecia areataWith alopecia areata, the immune system attacks the hair follicles. There are certain chemicals in garlic and onion juices that can reduce the speed of this process or completely stop the immune system from attacking the hair follicles altogether.

Are Growth Supplements or Vitamins Useful or Not?

supplements for hair growthThere is evidence of supplements being useful for mitigating the amount of hair shedding experienced. As an example, both iron and Lysine, an amino acid that the body can’t produce naturally, can help reduce hair shedding. Although, Lysine cannot increase hair growth.

Green Tea (Polyphenols) Hair Regrowth

Green Tea (Polyphenols) Hair RegrowthCurrently, green tea is being studied as a potential treatment option for alopecia areata. The benefits of using green tea are thought to be superior to its counterpart black tea, as the roasting process involved in the preparation of black tea oxidizes the polyphenols.

Existing studies have been conducted on rats and human hair in a petri-dish, but not yet on real people. Nonetheless, the results of the existing studies have shown encouraging results.

The polyphenols have stimulated the re-growth of hair in existing studies. Therefore, if you are experiencing hair thinning or shedding utilizing a tea rinse for your hair might be worth the experiment.

Using Caffeine Hair Regrowth

Many people do not know this, but your hair follicles can absorb certain drugs. Caffeine is a drug that can be absorb by the hair follicles. Actually, tests done on human hair in a petri-dish have revealed that the hair follicles rapidly absorbs caffeine, which in turn stimulates hair growth in sections which previously had shown signs of excessive hair shedding or loss.

Does the Hair Ever Grow Back?

It really depends on the cause of your hair loss. For example, if the hair loss is related to chemotherapy, once the treatment ceases it’s not uncommon for the hair to grow back.

However, if the hair loss is hereditary, your hair likely won’t grow back naturally. There are hair loss treatments that you can consider; be sure to discuss your options with a medical professional.hair-loss-causes-and-treatment-options-for-women

11 Comments

  • It’s pretty crazy that we normally lose 50-100 pieces of hair per day. I guess we need the same amount of growth to replace those lost hairs in order to not go bald. It’s sort of like calories with gaining weight or losing weight. If we eat more calories than we burn, we gain weight. If we lose more hairs than we gain, we go bald.

  • I have been experiencing hair loss for the past few years during the winter months. My hair would fall fall out around the end of October and start to grow back nice and thick around May. I live in NY where is gets cold and dark early. I was tested for thyroid problems, autoimmune diseases and nothing came back abnormal. I was never tested for for low vitamin D. Recently I was tested and found out that my Vitamin D levels were extremely low. The nurse believes this has something to do with my hair falling out during the winter months as it get dark early, limited sunshine and I am dark skinned. So I was prescribed a high dosage of Vitamin D two months ago and will have my levels checked again. Then if it’s okay will take regular vitamin D twice a day. Also I would take 400iu in the winter but wasn’t consistant and wasn’t taking enough. So I hoping this coming winter my hair will not start falling out after being on the right amount of vitamin D and taking it consistantly. I’m praying this is the cause because I don’t know what else it could be since my other tests came out okay and my hair only comes out during the winter. Also I did not wear wool hats, I would wear a silk scarf, bonnet under hats that were not lined.

    • Sharon – Thanks so much for sharing your personal struggle with hair loss. We’re thinking about you and hope that the Vitamin D supplement will solve your issues.

  • Thank you for your article. It hit home for me in so many ways, especially about the self-esteem issue that go with the hair loss as a woman. This sometimes gets down played by women who are not experiencing hair loss as petty but it is a real concern as you stated. I notice you didn’t use the term Alopecia, which is the word I use to discourage people from trying to resolve my issue or invalidate my concern with low self-esteem, without understanding the pain that goes with hair loss. Was this intentional or unconscious?

    Thank you Again, Tee

    BTW: this comment is for this article not the hair shedding article. Sorry!!

    • Interesting find. It was completely unintentional. I’ve written about Alopecia in a few different articles, but didn’t even notice that I didn’t use the term in this article.

  • I’m concern with my hair loss since I’m not sure what really caused it I have the size of a bottle top circle more toward the left center almost on my head, right now I can cover it but still concern with it getting bigger., however I have tried some of the things mention and my scalp looks shaded, meaning not completely bald, this show promise and being natural for almost five years leaving me at collard bone length, I would like to grow longer, but with this added addiction I’m concern will it grow and grow or is this it, my future? I remember think back I was steaming my hair and I had applied conditioner mix with peppermint in my hair and steamed and I feel a tingle that lead to burning for a little while and now I have what my doctor called alopecia, well since there’s more then one kind I’m not sure which one I have., And Being on BP medication and vitamin D I wonder now could this be my problem? ?????

    • Hi Sammie,
      I think your concern is valid. I suggest Googling and researching your blood pressure meds
      to see what are sign effects are that others could’ve experienced.

      I also suggest speaking with your doctor if getting more sun exposure would be advisable to increase your vitamin D.

      #BeCurlCentric

      Kira

  • I thank you so much for this article I was diagnosed with alopecia like two years ago by a dr. She is tricoligist she specialize in hair and scalp disorders I was told to drink lots of water and do protein shakes daily with oatmeal and to take multivitamins and she recommend using her products she makes my hair grew back but unfortunately it came out again in the top of my crown. I wear wigs because I’m embarrassed of the way my hair looks but I will continue to do research and hope and pray I hope this helps someone thanks so much for the article I really appreciate what y’all are doing to help like me

    • Hi Nichelle,
      You are welcome!
      Thank you so much for sharing your story and experience.
      Listen, don’t ever be ashamed of how your hair looks.
      There are other women with similar experiences who need you to know there is hope.

      Be encouraged to live your life out!

      Kira
      #BeCurlCentric

  • I have a small thinning area on the crown of my head. In the past, I had a bald spot but I started doing scalp massages and I think my hair has thickened somewhat over all. That area is no longer bald but the hair is extremely thin. Since I have been doing scalp massages for almost two years now, I attribute this condition to age. I am 65.

  • Hopefully, I’m just being paranoid…

    I got my hair in braids a month ago. Between the braids, I’m getting new growth, and my edges are starting to grow in, too. I’ve been getting some shedding – not much, but I wasn’t expecting any. I’e been getting some breakage, too.

    Is this normal? What can I do about it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *