In order to understand the causes of female hair loss, perhaps you need to know a little about how hair grows. It is surprising just how long hair can take to grow and perhaps if we accept that, we have to accept that some female hair loss treatment will not work overnight.
Each hair follicle lives in a cycle involving long periods of growth, followed by periods of rest. During that latter stage, the hair is still attached to the follicle but has stopped growing. After it rests, the hair is shed and a new hair starts to grow, starting the cycle all over again.
The three stages of hair growth
Anagen stage also known as the growth stage for the hair follicles and can take anywhere between 2 and 5 years.
Catagan stage also known as the intermediate stage. This is when the hair follicle begins to prepare for the final stage, and lasts for around 1 or 2 weeks. This is where the deeper parts of the hair follicles start to disintegrate.
Telogen also known as the resting or shredding stage. This is the resting period for the hair follicle. This is around 3 or 4 months and the older hairs will fall out and newer hairs start to grow.
At any given time, about 10% of hair follicles are in the latter 2 stages, but there will be no one area of the head that is affected, hair loss is random and bald spots not seen.
Causes of female hair loss.
A number of things can cause female hair loss. It is important to realise that hair loss is natural and part of the growth cycle (above) but there are some reasons why you might notice more hair in your hairbrush or in the shower or on your pillow in the morning.
Sometimes after illness or major surgery, there can be hair loss some months later. This will be temporary generally and related to the stress of the illness.
Stress is another factor that can lead to hair loss in women.
Direct trauma to the hair is another reason for hair loss. This can be caused by tight hairstyles such as ponytails, and braiding. This can cause scarring to the scalp and damage to the hair follicles. If it is stopped before scarring occurs, then the hair should grow back normally, if not then other female hair loss treatments will have to be considered.
Some hair treatments that involve chemicals such as perms and bleaching can also damage the hair and are a cause of female hair loss.
Hormonal problems may cause hair loss. If you suffer from an overactive or underactive thyroid for example, your hair can fall out. Additionally if your hormones are out of balance you may be producing too much DHT, which is associated with a drop in estrogen and male hormones may have more effect without actually increasing.DHT is responsible for blocking hair growth. This imbalance is often seen in menopausal women, who have dropping estrogen levels. Pregnancy often leads to the same effect but when the hormones start to return to the pre-pregnancy levels, hair will usually return.
Summary and conclusions
The causes of female hair loss are many and varied. The removal of some causes before long term damage is experienced is possible, in others, some treatment, preferably natural is to be recommended. There are a number of female hair loss treatment on the market.Minoxidil which is FDA approved is contained within some and has proved effective in treating hair loss in both men and women.