What Are The Common Causes Of Hair Loss In Women
What causes hair loss?
- Hair style: Your style of hair can cause hair loss when your hair is arranged in ways that pull on your roots, like tight ponytails, braids, or corn rows. This type of hair loss is called traction alopecia. If hair follicles are damaged, the loss can be permanent.
- Vitamin deficiency.
- Over processed scalp hair .
What causes anagen effluvium hair loss?
- Toxic substances, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and some medications. These cause sudden hair loss that can occur anywhere on your body. It happens to hair in the growth stage. Sometimes, this type of hair loss can be permanent if your hair follicles are damaged.
What causes telogen effluvium hair loss?
- Extreme physical stress or shock to your body: This causes temporary hair loss. This category includes events like losing a lot of weight, surgery, anemia, illness and having a baby.
- Extreme emotional stress: mental illness, the death of a loved one, etc.
- An abnormal thyroid.
- Medications and supplements: blood pressure medicines, gout medicines and high doses of Vitamin A.
- Hormone changes caused by pregnancy, menopause or birth control pills.
What causes FPHL ?
- Genes: Your familys genes can cause thinning of hair along the top of your head.
- Aging: Hormone changes as you age can cause balding.
- Menopause: This type of hair loss often gets worse when estrogen is lost during menopause.
There are also some conditions that affect hair loss:
Get Tested By Your Doctor
A simple blood test can determine whether youre suffering from hypothyroidism, and the doctor can give you advice on how to treat it. The same goes for iron deficiency anaemia and autoimmune conditions like alopecia areata, which has no direct cure but can be managed with treatment. A trained medical professional can help you evaluate the cause of your hair loss, and suggest treatments which are safe for you and your baby.
Medications like minoxidil are traditionally prescribed for female hair loss, but theyre not suitable for use during pregnancy. If your hair loss doesnt resolve during the pregnancy, minoxidil is considered safe to use after youve given birth, so the treatment can start while youre breastfeeding.
Some over the counter or online treatments are considered unsafe for the baby, so never take anything before checking with your doctor first.
Maintaining A Healthy Diet
Nutrition is an important part of postpartum recovery. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins helps ensure the body is getting the nutrients it needs to function and promote healing.
The Trichological Society recommends the following foods for hair growth:
- fish, including salmon and mackerel
- dark, leafy greens, including spinach, Swiss chard, and broccoli
- legumes, such as kidney beans and lentils
- nuts, such as Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, macadamia nuts, and cashews
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Your Mom Lost Her Hair Too
“If you come from a family where women started to have hair loss at a certain age, then you might be more prone to it,” says Dr. Glashofer. Unlike men, women don’t tend to have a receding hairline, instead their part may widen and they may have noticeable thinning of hair. This is also known as femalepattern baldness.
Women may benefit from minoxidil to help grow hair, or at least, maintain the hair you have, Dr. Glashofer says. Rogaine is available over-the-counter and is approved for women with this type of hair loss.
Deficiency In Thyroid Hormone
Hypothyroidism is characterized by a decline in the production of thyroid hormone in the body and is common among women today. The thyroid hormone is responsible for maintaining the basal metabolic rate, digestive system, mental health, and even the nails and hair. The deficiency of this hormone could cause the hair to fall .
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You Have Low Iron Levels
The American Academy of Dermatology also says that not getting enough iron into your diet can lead to unwanted hair loss, too.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute , iron-deficiency anemia occurs when you dont have enough iron in your bodythe symptoms of which include fatigue, tiredness, shortness of breath, or chest pain. To help remedy this, your doctor might suggest iron supplements or other healthy lifestyle choices, like increasing your intake of both iron- and vitamin-C rich foods.
How Will Pregnancy Affect Your Hair
Many women report that their hair looks better than ever during pregnancy, while others find that their hair is drier and brittler than usual.
Pregnancy can affect your hair in many different ways. Many women report that their hair looks better than ever during pregnancy, while others find that their hair is drier and brittler than usual. Still others do not report any change at all.
In general, while you are pregnant, you are likely to shed fewer strands than usual. This is because during pregnancy you have higher levels of oestrogen in your body. Oestrogen is a hair-friendly hormone: it keeps hairs in their anagen phase for longer, and delays them from moving into their telogen phase. Hence why many women find that their hair is fuller, thicker and shinier during pregnancy. This effect may be most noticeable in the third trimester.
Occasionally, however, some women experience increased hair shedding during pregnancy. This may be caused by factors such as severe and prolonged morning sickness, and gestational diabetes.
Please do not worry if your hair during pregnancy is not what you might have expected. What is normal for one person may not be normal for another. Hormonal changes vary in each individual, and also during different pregnancies. The sensitivity of different peoples hair follicles to these changes is also different.
It is important to know that no matter how your hair may change during pregnancy, it should return to its former state once your baby is born.
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Minimise Stress And Anxiety
We know its a tough ask when youre preparing to bring new life into the world, and going through nausea, morning sickness, breast changes, and other surprising effects of becoming pregnant. However, maternal stress and anxiety can have long-term implications that go beyond hair loss. Studies show an increasing link between pregnancy stress and anxiety, and negative consequences for child development and outcomes .
If you have a supportive partner, ask them to pick up the slack. If thats not an option, ensure youre being supported by loving family and friends. Dont be afraid to ask for help. Pregnancy can be an amazing and exhilarating time, but for some expectant mothers it can feel isolating.
Tips To Take Care Of Your Hair During Pregnancy And After Delivery
You should know that you are not the only person experiencing hair loss during your pregnancy. Instead of worrying, look for preventive measures and possible cures. There are a number of ways in which you can look after your hair during and after pregnancy. Here are some tips to help you take care of your hair.
- Protect your scalp from direct sunlight and heat.
- Increase intake of vegetables and fruits, especially those that have high water content.
- Have your blood tests done to check if thyroid levels are normal.
- Avoid brushing or combing your hair repeatedly, especially when wet.
- Avoid using a fine-tooth comb to brush your hair, instead use a wide-toothed one.
- Trim your hair at regular intervals to avoid split ends, as it worsens hair fall.
Hair fall is a natural occurrence, and experiencing increased hair fall during and after pregnancy is normal. Taking some extra care of your hair during this delicate period is sure to help you overcome the issue.
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My Hair Is Falling Out Is This Normal
- Try not to over-brush your hair. This can help prevent further damage.
- Use a mild shampoo and conditioner.
- When your hair is wet, use a detangling brush or comb.
- Only wear your hair tied up in a ponytail or bun occasionally, as this may pull on your hair and make it more likely to break.
- Try not to use chemical dyes or straightening treatments. They can affect the condition of your hair and make it drier and more brittle.
More Body Hair Than Usual During Pregnancy
Spying hair where it used to be bare even on your cheeks, upper lip and nipples can be an unexpected pregnancy symptom. And while body hair growth should return to your pre-pregnancy normal by the 6-month postpartum mark, you may be wondering how to safely remove any unwanted new body hair during pregnancy.
Here’s a breakdown of whats okay to try and what you should skip:
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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Managing Hair Loss While Pregnant
If youre pregnant and and are noticing what seems like more hair shedding than normal, talk to your doctor right away, as it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.
Discussing with your obstetrician is important to evaluate bloodwork, blood pressure, and ensure that there are no abnormalities that need to be addressed, Dr. Ilyas added. Be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin taking any supplements or making changes to your diet or routine.
Here are some ways to support healthy hair during pregnancy that are equally applicable and important for hair wellness when youre not pregnant, too!
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Is Hair Loss Normal During Pregnancy
Small patches of hair loss are quite normal during pregnancy . Research states that nearly 40 to 50% of pregnant women suffer from hair loss, but the good thing is that this is just a temporary phenomenon.
Hair may become drier because of the progesterone hormone that is released in high amounts during pregnancy. This can make the hair break and crack near the roots, mostly in the later stages of pregnancy.
Hair loss during pregnancy could be due to various reasons. But if the loss is unusual, you should check with your doctor to know the exact cause behind that.
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How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Hair
Theres a strong tie between your hormones and your hair, and anyone who has gone through a pregnancy knows how much your hormones are affected while youre carrying a child. While youre pregnant, your estrogen levels are steadily rising, which can lead to fuller, thicker hair. So all that worry about hair loss during pregnancy is for naught! But while pregnancy can really boost the look of your locks, post-childbirth can be rough on your tresses.
Postpartum hair loss is totally normal, first of all, so if it happened to you or is currently happening to you, theres no real need for concern. Those hormone levels that were elevated while you were pregnant will eventually regulate, which means your hair will thin out a bit. It could be alarming at first, because you will see hair loss, but after a few months, you should see your hair pretty much back to how it looked before you were pregnant. Plus, there are plenty of ways that you can help get your hair growth back on track and ease this transitional periodmore on that below. If your hair continues to fall out or if youre seeing irregular thinning, then it might be time to check with your doctor to be sure there are no underlying concerns.
But lets take a step back for a moment. What if youre a woman who is trying to conceive and youre considering IVF treatments? Is there a relationship between hair loss and infertility?
Why Do Some Women Experience Hair Loss In Pregnancy
Pregnancy can put stress on the body, the dramatic change in hormone levels can for some women disrupt the hair growth cycle in a way that causes more strands to shed rather than fewer. The shock or stress associated with pregnancy can force hair to enter the telogen phase too soon, meaning you could be shedding up to 400 hairs a day rather than the normal 50-100 hairs a day. Hair loss caused by major stress to the body is a condition known as telogen effluvium. This wont happen immediately after falling pregnant, it may take a few months before you see your hair thinning.
There are many other reasons other than hormones for why you might be experiencing hair loss in pregnancy. Not getting enough nutrients in your diet to support you and your developing baby can cause vital vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin D and iron deficiencies are common in pregnancy and are a cause of hair loss.
Youre more at risk of iron deficiency anaemia if youre pregnant so its important to get your levels tested to ensure theyre in the normal, healthy range. Other telltale signs of iron deficiency are feeling fatigued and weak, you may also have a headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, and brittle nails. If youre experiencing hair loss or any other symptoms speak to your GP about having a blood test to test your iron levels. Supplements will bring your levels to a normal range and you should see an improvement in your symptoms.
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Postpartum Hair Treatments To Try
Its normal for your hair to thin out after pregnancy. If its not worrying you, you dont need to do anything to treat it. And, unfortunately, there is nothing that has been shown to prevent or slow postpartum hair loss. But if your hair loss is bothering you, there are treatments you can try to make your hair appear fuller and healthier.
When Does Hair Loss Happen During Pregnancy
So, is there a specific trimester of pregnancy when expecting moms might lose hair? The short answer is that it’s more likely to occur later on.
Technically, is possible at any point of the pregnancy however, based on the timing of when gestational diabetes, stress, and blood pressure changes occur, the second and third trimester may be the most likely time for hair loss to occur, Dr. Ilyas explained. With that said, you might still notice increased hair shedding during your first trimester or at any other point during pregnancy.
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It Could Be Hormonal Shifts
The abrupt hormone changes in early pregnancy are no joke. For some women, the transition triggers telogen effluvium , aka stress-induced hair loss.
TE works like this: In response to shock, trauma, or stress, your body places 30 percent or more of your hairs into the shedding phase. That could take your daily hair loss from 100 strands to 300. Even at that rate, it might take time to notice your hair thinning.
The good news? TE usually resolves itself within a few months.
Hair And Nail Changes During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, higher levels of estrogen prolong the hair growth phase, resulting in less shedding of hair and thicker tresses. Your facial and body hair may also grow faster, possibly because of an increase in hormones called androgens. Nails do too, and some pregnant women develop harder nails, but others find that their nails are softer or more brittle.
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Do Ivf Treatments Cause Hair Loss
There is a possibility that a fertility treatment like in vitro fertilization can have a side effect of hair loss, but its not something that always happens. More common is that a successful IVF treatment would result in a pregnancy, which means elevated hormones leading to shinier, fuller hair.
When IVF treatments do cause hormonal imbalances, its more likely that those hormone levels would be elevated, similar to being pregnant. Its important to keep in mind that because fertility treatments are a bit different than a traditional pregnancy, theres a possibility that it can affect your hormones a bit differently and lead to a side effect of hair loss from hormonal imbalances.
Fertility treatments involve fertility drugs, and as with any medication, fertility drugs have potential side effects, most of which are temporary. Hair loss as a side effect of fertility drugs, however, is more so related to their effect on hormone levels. But if you have specific concerns about hair loss associated with fertility drugs, this is also something you can discuss with your doctor.
Another factor to consider is the emotional stress associated with a woman trying to conceive and undergoing all the procedures leading to a successful IVF treatment, including egg retrieval and embryo transfer. While procedures like egg retrieval and embryo transfer are now common and considered safe, they do contribute to the overall stress a woman trying to conceive may experience.
Should I Dye My Hair During Pregnancy
Using hair colour, or dye, is not thought to cause harm to your developing baby because your hair doesnt absorb enough harmful chemicals to affect you or your baby. The amount of toxic chemicals in hair dye is not high.
However, as there is not a lot of research into the use of hair dye and pregnancy, you may prefer to delay colouring your hair until after the first trimester is complete.
Other things you can do to minimise your exposure to hair-colour chemicals:
- wear gloves if you dye your hair yourself
- ensure you dont leave the hair dye in for longer than necessary before rinsing
- colour your hair in a room that is well ventilated
- rinse your scalp well afterwards
- follow the directions on the packet of hair dye
- dont mix different hair colour products
- do an allergy test before you dye your hair
Be cautious if using other chemical treatments on your hair. For example, some hair straightening treatments contain the chemical formaldehyde. While theres no evidence that it can harm unborn babies, it is a known carcinogen and should probably be avoided.
If youre unsure, speak to your doctor about whether your hair treatment is safe for use during pregnancy.
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