Although hair loss is a bigger problem for men, women are almost as at risk of hair loss or thinning. Most of the ladies notice this phenomenon after the age of 50 or after the age of 60. However, this can happen at any age and the reasons are very different.
Hair grows in 3 different cycles: anagen, catagen and telogen. About 90% of scalp hair is in the anagen cycle – a growth that lasts from 2 to 8 years. Catagen is the phase of transition, usually lasting between 2 and 3 weeks, during which the hair follicle shrinks. During the telogen cycle, which lasts from 2 to 4 months, the hair rests. Most of the time, while the hair is on the scalp, it grows. Only about 10 percent of hair is in the process of transition or rest for each period of time. Hair grows an average of about 15 centimeters per year in most people.
There is a way to know when hair is thinning or starting to fall out hard. Women can easily see the difference if there are balls of hair in your bed or if a lot of hair if left on the comb or hairbrush after brushing your hair without pulling it too hard. There are other visual signs that women can watch over time. While in men the hair thins from the forehead backwards or from the temples upwards, in women the thinning is usually noticed from above or slightly backwards on the scalp. Often a woman’s hair is intact on the front, and the thinning is only on the back. Some women also notice widening of the part of their hair.
To find out the cause of possible hair loss, blood tests are done first to rule out the possibility of thyroid or immune system disease. Sometimes the cause for hair loss is genetic. When the scalp is examined under a magnifying glass, it can be seen whether a woman’s hair follicles differ in size – some are denser and some are thinner. These are signs that may indicate the presence of hair loss in women, also called androgenic alopecia. This is an inherited condition and it the most common cause of hair loss.
Under normal circumstances, when a hair follicle falls out, it is replaced by a hair of the same size. In women with hair loss, the new hair is thinner and thinner. In this condition, the hair follicles shrink and eventually stop growing at all.
When hair loss is sudden, it is most likely caused by some other disease or condition than hereditary factors. There are a number of conditions that can cause hair loss. The most common are pregnancy, thyroid disease and anemia. Autoimmune diseases, polycystic ovary syndrome and various skin diseases such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis can also be possible causes.
Other causes of hair loss can be excessive stress, physical trauma such as surgery or serious illness, radical weight loss in a short time, and taking too much vitamin A. Hair loss can occur several weeks to 6 months after such an illness as a reaction of the body to the stress it has been exposed to.
Although not every type of hair loss can be prevented, there are some precautions that can be taken. Experts advise women to be careful when styling their hair. Careless handling of your hair can also be a possible cause of hair loss. Too tight buns or braids, or the various methods women use to treat their hair – dyeing, chemicals, heavy combing, blow-drying, and curling and straightening, can damage their hair. This also happens when combing too often or rubbing hard with a towel when the hair is still damp.
Fortunately, in most of these cases, the hair grows back or hair loss can be overcome with medication. However, it is important to consult a dermatologist as soon as you notice something disturbing, because the earlier you start treatment, the greater the chances of hair restoration.
Due to their hectic daily lives, many women prefer to postpone washing their hair for a day or two, using dry shampoo instead so that it looks good. However, experts warn that replacing real shampoo with dry is harmful for the scalp. Since follicles are responsible for new hair growth, it is not surprising that the accumulation of dirt on the scalp, which may include large amounts of dry shampoo, can lead to thinning hair or even hair loss.
This does not mean that you cannot use dry shampoo in your daily life. Experts believe that it is safe to use it consecutively for 2 days in a row. However, if the dry shampoo stays on the scalp for more than 3 days before you wash your hair, it may start to itch and flake off.