Thinning Hair and
Female Pattern Baldness
The most common type of female hair
loss is pattern thinning or
Female pattern alopecia or baldness.
This is seen as hair thinning
predominantly over the top and sides
of the head. It affects
approximately one-third of all
susceptible women, but is most
commonly seen after menopause,
although it may begin as early as
Normal hair fall is approximately
100-125 hairs per day. Fortunately,
these hairs are replaced. True hair
loss occurs when lost hairs are not
regrown or when the daily hair shed
exceeds 125 hairs.
Genetically, hair loss can come from
either parents side of the family. There are
two different types of hair loss, medically
known as anagen effluvium and Telogen
effluvium. Anagen effluvium is generally due
to internally administered medications, such
as chemotherapy agents, that poison the
growing hair follicle. Telogen effluvium, is
due to an increased number of hair follicles
entering the resting stage.
The most common causes of telogen
Physical stress: surgery,
illness, anemia, rapid weight
Emotional stress: mental
illness, death of a family
Medications: High doses
of Vitamin A, Blood pressure and
pregnancy, birth control pills,
When the above causes of telogen
effluvium are reversed or altered
you should see the return of normal
Hair loss may also occur due to
dieting. Franchised diet programs which are
designed or administered under the direction
of a physician with prescribed meals,
dietary supplements and vitamin ingestion
have become popular. Sometimes the client is
told that vitamins are a necessary part of
the program to prevent hair loss associated
with dieting. From a dermatologists's
standpoint, however, the vitamins cannot
prevent hair loss associated with rapid,
significant weight loss. Furthermore, many
of these supplements are high in vitamin A
which can magnify the hair loss.
Physical and Emotional Stress
Surgeries, severe illnesses and
emotional stress can cause hair loss. The
body simply shuts down production of hair
during periods of stress since it is not
necessary for survival and instead devotes
its energies toward repairing vital body
structures. In many cases there is a three
month delay between the actual event and the
onset of hair loss. Furthermore, there may
be another three month delay prior to the
return of noticeable hair regrowth. This
then means that the total hair loss and
regrowth cycle can last 6 months or possibly
longer when induced by physical or emotional
stress. There are some health conditions
which may go undetected that can contribute
to hair loss. These include anemia or low
blood count and thyroid abnormalities. Both
of these conditions can be detected by a
simple, inexpensive blood test.
Hormonal changes are a common cause
of female hair loss. Many women do not
realize that hair loss can occur after
pregnancy or following discontinuation of
birth control pills. It is important to
remember that the hair loss may be delayed
by three months following the hormonal
change and another three months will be
required for new growth to be fully
Myths Related to Hair Loss
Frequent shampooing contributes to hair
and wigs cause hair loss.
strokes of the hair brush daily will
create healthier hair.
Permanent hair loss is caused by perms,
colors and other cosmetic treatments.
are expected to develop significant hair
loss if they are healthy.
Shaving one's head will cause the hair
to grow back thicker.
Standing on one's head will cause
increased circulation and thereby
stimulate hair growth!
Dandruff causes permanent hair loss.
are cosmetic products that will cause
the hair to grow thicker and faster.
Stress causes permanent hair loss.
loss does not occur in the late teens or
loss affects only intellectuals.
is a cure for androgenetic Alopecia.
These are only a few of the common
myths heard by physicians and other hair
loss specialists on a daily basis. It is
suggested that you first have your hair loss
diagnosed by a competent dermatologist who
sees hair loss patients on a regular basis.
Once you know the diagnosis you will have a
better understanding of exactly which
treatment option may be best for you.