5 Reasons You Might be Losing Hair

Hair loss in women can be caused by a large variety of factors. Lifestyle, genetics, medications, hormones; the list goes on. Below we outline five of the more common reasons you might be experiencing hair loss.

Alopecia Areata

This autoimmune caused illness creates bald patches to form. Initially these patches form across the scalp, but can also appear in other areas of the body. Women with alopecia areata may lose leg and arm hair, eyebrows and even eyelashes.

Hair loss caused by alopecia areata can be painful due to inflammation in the areas where the patches occur. While hair may sometimes grow back, it often many fall out again. There is no cure, although some forms of treatment and management are available.

Stress Related Hair Loss

Long term stress has been known to trigger hair loss. This is due in part to changes in hormones and sleep patterns. In humans, hair is constantly falling out naturally. However, the normal rate of hair loss for a healthy adult is approximately 50 to 100 hairs a day.

When the body is overcome by stress it causes a reaction which causes more hair follicles to go into a resting state. The result is more hairs than normal to fall out all at once. This commonly leads to disorders like Telogen Effluvium.

Telogen Effluvium

During periods of prolonged stress, a condition known as telogen effluvium may result. The prolonged stress produces a reaction during which significantly more hair follicles go into a resting phase. The result is significantly increased hair loss.

Evidence of telogen effluvium may be leaving more hair than normal on the brush. You may also see more hair washed down the shower drain, or rub off on a pillow during sleep.

Hypothyroid Disorder

Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid, a butterfly shaped gland in the neck, stops producing the thyroid hormone. This affects many areas of the body, including the scalp.

Women with hypothyroidism will begin losing much more hair than normal. The effect can be large but uniform balding patches on the scalp. With proper treatment, women can regain proper hair growth. However, this often takes months.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Another reason women lose hair is called polycystic ovarian syndrome. This is another hormone-based hair loss symptom. It occurs due to high levels of the male sex hormone, testosterone.

Most women notice the hair loss when washing or brushing hair, as most of the hair tugs free during this stage. PCOS is not curable, but is manageable. Hair regrowth is often possible with hormone treatments.

Seek Medical Advice

While many forms of hair loss are mild, harmless, and treatable, it can sometimes be an indicator of a greater health problem. Consult your physician if you are experiencing abnormal hair loss for a complete diagnosis.