Hair loss in women, thinning hair, female pattern hair loss and falling hair are all complaints that fit into this category and the most frequently occurring condition I see as a trichologist. I can diagnose and treat most conditions, I hope to outline some of these here.
There are many reasons that we can experience an increase in hair loss. Most patients I see describe that there has been an increase in the amount of hair that is lost when brushing and washing the hair and that hair is simply noticed everywhere at home. There may be an overall reduction in density accompanied with shorter hairs that are perceived to “not be able to grow very long”. This causes women to feel incredibly anxious about their hair and worry to what extent the hair may be lost.
Individuals with this complaint may have consulted their doctor to no avail and most often have consulted me very upset and feeling incredibly self-conscious, as their identity and confidence is affected by their image changing. Certain medications have side effects of alopecia depending on the dosage and the pre-existing medical condition it is prescribed for.
Nutrition plays a massive role in the way that hair grows, the top of the list to mention briefly here is iron. The storage of iron is known as Ferritin and is responsible for the speed that the hair grows and falls. Stress, bereavement and anxiety its self are also contributing factors that can cause a short term loss of hair.
A lovely patient of mine recently lost her beloved horse and 2 months after this experienced an increase in hair loss. Following regular treatments and my support the loss reduced and she fully recovered the lost hair in the months that followed.
Thyroid disorder effects the hair, having an over active thyroid doesn’t directly affect the hair but hypothyroidism most certainly does. In fact, Trichologists often see markers of undiagnosed conditions during consultation! It is possible to have more than one of the above mentioned factors to blame, but an accurate diagnosis is essential in treating the condition.
Hair colouring does NOT make one lose their hair! By tinting or highlighting the hair you may cause the hair shaft to become dryer and possibly (if not cared for well following) to cause split ends or breakage. There is no way that the colour can affect the growth phase of the hair and should therefore be discounted as a contributing factor. Trichologists in fact suggest that when an individual I experiencing hair loss and is upset by the changing density of the hair that they in fact consider highlights (if they haven’t already) as this gives an immediate boost to the volume of the hair and therefore the confidence also.
However, coloring can be dangerous if you were to experience a reaction to a hair dye, or burns to your scalp from bleaching chemicals. Both chemical and allergic reactions are capable of causing hair loss, or in some cases, permanent scarring alopecia.
To conclude; I hope the reader appreciates that there are so many possible reasons for hair to be lost, as our medical history’s are so individual in particular what genes we have inherited, 2 cases are never the same. With over 16 years’ experience in this field, I really want to reach out to those who perhaps feel nothing can be done or have been advised poorly in the past.