While symptoms of baldness and hair loss are typically associated with males, many women going through menopause will also suffer from hair loss, and in some rare cases, baldness. Luckily, there is a host of remedies available to help stem and reverse the effects of hair loss, a condition that is unsettling for thousands of women every year. Read over the following paragraphs for more information on baldness and hair loss and how to best deal with it.
Facts about Hair Loss
Hair loss typically develops gradually and may occur in patches or all over the head. On average, the typical person loses 100 hairs from his or her head every day. This is more than sustainable given that the average scalp has roughly 100,000 hairs. Furthermore, each individual hair survives for an average of four and a half years, during which time it grows about half an inch per month. By its fifth year, the hair generally falls out and is replaced within six months by a new one.
In general, both men and women lose hair thickness and quantity as they age. In fact, baldness is hardly ever caused by disease; instead, it is linked to aging, inherited genes, and testosterone. Inherited or "pattern baldness" affects many more men than women. Roughly around 25% of men begin to bald by the time they are 30 years old, and about two-thirds are either bald or have a balding pattern by age 60.
Some women also develop a particular pattern of hair loss due to genetics, age, and changes in hormone levels. It is these hormones, such as testosterone, that tend to be low during menopause. The pattern of balding and hair loss for women is typically different from that of men. Female pattern baldness involves a thinning throughout the scalp, while the front hairline generally remains intact.
What Are the Causes of Baldness and Hair Loss?
In addition to the factors referred to above, there is a range of other factors that could be responsible for baldness and hair loss. For example, sudden physical or emotional stress can cause up to three-quarters of the hair throughout the scalp to shed. If this is the case, you may notice hair coming out in handfuls when you comb or run your hands through your hair.
Other, less common causes of hair loss can be:
- High fever or severe infection
- Major surgery, major illness, or sudden blood loss
- Severe emotional stress
- Crash diets, especially those that do not contain enough protein
- A number of medications, including birth control pills, beta-blockers, and certain antidepressants
Some women aged between 30 and 60 may also notice a thinning of the hair that affects the entire scalp. The hair loss may be heavier at first, and then gradually slow or stop. Possible causes for this kind of hair loss (excluding menopause) include:
- Autoimmune conditions such as lupus
- Certain infectious diseases (such as syphilis)
- Excessive shampooing and blow-drying
- Thyroid diseases
- Nervous habits such as continual hair pulling or scalp rubbing
- Radiation therapy
- Tinea capitis (ringworm of the scalp)
- Tumor of the ovary or adrenal glands
What Are Some Solutions for Baldness and Hair Loss?
Sometimes, a change in lifestyle can help to cure baldness and hair loss. For example, changes in diet can be beneficial, as diet affects the rate of hair growth. Increasing the intake of protein, vitamins, and iron can all help avoid hair loss. Exercise and other stress reduction techniques can also improve overall health, including health of the hair.
Because a lot of hair loss and baldness is caused by changes in hormone levels, it is recommended to use alternative treatments that help to balance these hormone levels naturally.
For more specific information on treatments for hair loss, follow the links below.