Unbeknownst to many, hair loss or alopecia is a fairly common problem amongst women. In fact, it is something that most females will experience in their life as it is a part of growing old.
If you are worried that you are losing too much hair or if you suspect you are suffering from alopecia, make sure you do the following:
Dermatologists and trichologists are the specialists tasked to treat alopecia problems. Hence, the first thing you need to do is to consult one right away.
Keep in mind:
Early intervention is key to arresting the progression of the hair loss problem and even reversing its effects.
“Since various factors may cause hair loss in women, an accurate diagnosis is necessary in successfully treating the problem. The diagnostic process typically includes examination of the hair and scalp as well as gathering pertinent information about you such as your medical history. In some cases, hair examination and other medical tests may be conducted.”
In women, the most prevalent cause of alopecia is a hereditary condition called Female Pattern Hair Loss.
“Progressive hair loss in women is usually due to Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL), also known as androgenetic or androgenic alopecia. In this condition, the affected follicles become smaller and produce hairs which are shorter, lighter (in colour) and more brittle. In the long run, these follicles shrink then cease to make new hair.”
The onset of this condition usually takes place around the age of 30. However, there are a few cases wherein women start losing hair in their 20s.
In FPHL, the hair loss is gradual and diffused. Hence, it is not easily noticeable until the problem is already severe.
Another possible cause of hair loss in women is alopecia areata. “Alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder, is a condition which results in hair loss in the scalp and other body parts like the eyebrows and limbs. In this condition, total hair loss on the head may occur (alopecia totalis) or in more severe cases, all over the body (alopecia universalis). The exact cause of alopecia areata is still not known. However, experts believe that it may be triggered by illnesses or extreme stress.”
Female hair loss may also be due to illnesses like thyroid disease, nutritional deficiency, excessive use of hair products and sporting tight hairstyles, amongst others.
Once the cause of the excessive hair shedding is identified, the specialists then creates a treatment plan.
“What’s the best treatment for female hair loss?” you may ask.
“The best treatment for female hair loss depends on the type of hair loss condition and its severity. There is no single medicine or procedure that can effectively treat all kinds of hair loss in women. This is why you should never try to resolve this problem on your own by using remedies you find on the Internet. Doing so can exacerbate things and may even lead to permanent hair loss.”
Aside from seeing a specialist, make sure you join an alopecia support group as this can help you have a better disposition.
As mentioned earlier, suffering from alopecia can affect your emotional and psychological well-being.
“Various studies have shown that when women lose their hair, their self-esteem greatly suffers. In one survey, over 90% of respondents said that their confidence plummeted because of their alopecia. Many of them even claimed that they felt unattractive to the point that they have stopped wanting to be photographed.”
Some women even become reclusive which eventually hurt their social life as well as personal relationships.
Suffice it to say, losing your hair can make you feel alone. But the truth is that you are not. There are people out there who know the challenges you are facing – people who are members of these alopecia support groups.
“Basically, these support groups may serve as a venue where you can openly discuss your concerns and at the same time, learn from fellow alopecia sufferers. It is a place where you can find people who’d understand what you’re going through and listen to you without judgement. It is also where you’d learn how to rise above the stigma of not having hair and become confident once again.”
The thought of losing your precious locks can be scary. But do not let fear stop you from taking the right action. Getting treatment and join a support group – these two things can go a long way in terms of helping you deal with your condition positively.