Understanding Hair Loss in Women
The health of hair is directly related to our health as well as environmental factors. Understanding how strongly the mind and body work together will allow us to examine and understand hair loss. With this, we will examine the various forms of hair loss typical to women. The typical cycle of hair shedding or loss is between 50 to 100 strands a day.
Hair loss is a sign from our body that something has gone ary. If you have stumbled across this literature because you suffer from hair loss please understand you aren’t alone. I too suffer from a form of alopecia. While it might be hard to do lets go in with an open mind. We should strive to understand the illness and work together to combat it. Would it not be sublime if we could use this platform to work together for the common good of our overall wellness?! Having said this, let me step down from my soap box so that we can gain an understanding as to the various forms of hair loss in women.
According to webmd.com “excess or abnormal hair loss is known as alopecia”. There are several forms of alopecia: Androgenetic Alopecia, Telogen Effluvium, Anagen Effluvium, Alopecia Areata, and Traction Alopecia. You may find it interesting to note that Androgenetic Alopecia and Telogen Effluvium are both related to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The American Hair Loss Association organization refers to DHT as the “enemy of hair follicles on your head. Dihydrotestosterone or DHT is often referred to as male or female pattern baldness. Historically, practitioners believed estrogen to be cause of male or female pattern baldness. Note DHT is the real villain in your hair loss story. In short, DHT makes the hair follicles smaller making hair nearly impossible to emerge. Now that we have a basic understanding of Dihydrotestosterone or DHT let us examine the four typical types of female hair loss.
Heredity is key in understanding Androgenetic Alopecia. Men who experience this form of hair loss can expect a more visible pattern of baldness. While women will experience “diffuse thinning on all areas of the scalp”.
Telogen Effluvium is the onset of hair loss by a system shocker such as pregnancy or extreme stress. Such stressors can lead the hair to shift to the resting stage or Telogen. As much as 90 percent of the hair can shift at once. The onset of hair loss can begin anywhere between six weeks and three months. One can experience hand fulls of hair fall during this period. The stressful event leading to onset of Telogen must be brought to an end to enable hair growth.
Anagen Effluvium is commonly associated with chemotherapy. With this, the chemo treatment attack the dividing cancer cells and also impacts other dividing cells such as hair follicles.
During Alopecia Areata patients experience patchy seeding hair which can appear very swiftly; it is often referred to as patchy hair loss. It is caused by the hair follicles being attacked by the immune system. The good news is that around 70% of those suffering from Alopecia Areata will recover the hair within a period of two years.
Traction Alopecia is closely related to hairstyling. If you discover this form of hair loss early you should know that the hair will return. So if you are currently in braids, ponytails or extensions note that you may be susceptible to Traction Alopecia. You should guard your hair against pulling.
Understand that most hair loss is temporary. Meaning that your hair will return. In many cases hair loss is a result of a temporary event in ones life such as change in medication, high stress, pregnancy and so on. Research suggest that once the event has passed from our present to our future so does the hair loss. Yes, hair loss can be genetic so understanding your family history will be of valuable to you.
We will examine the various treatments of hair loss under a separate cover. Please subscribe to the truly Natural Boutique blog for your truly Natural healthy hair care needs.
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