Women’s Hair Loss: Causes, Treatments, and Solutions

How Hair Grows

If you’re wondering what to do about hair loss in women, it makes sense to first understand how hair grows. The human scalp contains about 100,000 hair follicles. Hair grows from the bottom of the follicle from an area called the root. Blood vessels nourish the root, allowing hair to grow. Hair grows up and toward the skin, passing an oil gland. Oil glands keep hair shiny and soft. Too much oil may make hair greasy. Hair is dead by the time it pokes out through the skin. Hair on the head grows at a rate of about half an inch per month. Hair on your head remains there for between 2 to 6 years. That is about the length of time for the growth phase. Then the hair stops growing for a period before it falls out. The resting phase of the hair follicle is called the telogen phase. Then the cycle begins anew.

Is Hair Loss Normal?

We all lose hair. Some hair loss is perfectly normal, as hair falls out after it completes the 2 to 6 year growth phase. You may notice loose hairs that have fallen out on your clothes or in your comb or hairbrush. The average person loses about 50 to 100 hairs per day. This is normal. What is not normal? Excessive hair loss in women may be apparent by the following: If your hair starts to fall out in clumps, especially when you brush or comb it or are in the shower, you should see your doctor. If you notice that you can see larger areas of your scalp or that your hair is thinning, see your dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment of your hair loss condition.

What Causes Hair Loss?

There are many different types of hair loss with a variety of potential underlying causes. Several medical conditions are associated with hair loss in women. Common causes include thyroid problems and hormone imbalances. Wondering how to stop hair loss in women? When the underlying cause of hair loss is diagnosed and treated, hair loss may stop, and hair may grow back. Stress, nutritional factors, and genetics may also play a role in hair loss. Severe physical stress such as going through childbirth, surgery, or suffering a serious illness may precipitate a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. This is a condition in which stress forces large numbers of follicles to enter the resting phase, and after a few months, hair will fall out.

Sometimes doctors are not able to determine what is causing hair loss. Other potential causes of hair loss include radiation therapy, cancer, kidney failure, liver failure, medication side effects, and autoimmune disease. If you are experiencing new or increasing hair loss, see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.

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