Female pattern hair loss
Most women suffer excessive hair thinning at some time in their lives. This can be for several reasons:
- Child-birth - Post natal hair loss affects 50% of all women who have given birth. A marked increase in hair fall is experienced between the second and seventh month after the child is born. It can be a frightening and distressing experience and is due to fluctuating hormone levels. Usually the hair loss stops as suddenly as it started and in time all the hair will be replaced. Treatment is not usually given unless the hair loss is excessive or if it continues after month eight.
- Health Problems – If the body is not functioning at 100%, then the hair growth pattern is the first side effect of poor health status. When any health problem occurs then the hair is affected. This can range from the hair becoming lank and straggly to a sizable increase in hair fall. This may not happen until three months after the illness has subsided, so it may not be initially linked with the past health problem.
- Stress - there is reasonable scientific evidence to show that stress can alter the uptake of certain trace elements and amino acids essential for hair growth. This accounts for about 30% of hair loss in women but it can re-grow if the nutritional imbalance is corrected. Stress can also cause narrowing of the arteries, restricting blood flow to the scalp which can induce a temporary shedding of hair in the short term or a permanent loss if the condition continues.
- Poor diet - "We are what we eat," as the saying goes and this is true when it comes to our hair and we regularly see the results of poor diets and crash dieting. As hair has no useful function, if the body is short of any nutrient, it will divert these from the hair to nourish the more important body organs. The result can be a Diffuse Hair Loss, which is a general thinning of hair density. The best advice for producing healthy hair is to eat a well-balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates and minerals. Go easy on processed and convenience foods. A Trichologist can help you in this area by making sure there are no specific foods in your diet which are causing problems.
- Genetic Hair Loss - or Female Pattern Hair Loss. It is most likely first noticed in the early twenties through early forties and is particularly likely to be initiated at times of hormonal change. This results in the characteristic thinning on the front and top of the scalp. The scalp begins to grow finer hairs and the scalp becomes more visible. There is usually a general loss of "condition" resulting in the hair becoming lank and difficult to control. This condition can be stabilised with correct treatment.