What Is The Relationship Between Hair Loss In Women And Menopause
During menopause, you might see one of two things happen with your hair. You might start growing hair where you didnt before. Or, you might see the hair you have start to thin. One cause may be changing levels of hormones during menopause. Estrogen and progesterone levels fall, meaning that the effects of the androgens, male hormones, are increased.
During and after menopause, hair might become finer because hair follicles shrink. Hair grows more slowly and falls out more easily in these cases.
Your healthcare provider will do a thorough examination and take a detailed history to help you deal with changes in hair growth. You may be directed to have your iron levels or thyroid hormone levels tested. Your medications might be changed if what you take is found to affect hair loss or growth.
Different Types Of Hair Loss
There are lots of different types of hair loss. It can take the form of “thinning” or involve a total loss of hair. It can be gradual or sudden it can affect the old and the young.
Hair loss can be genetic, or as a result of extreme stress, a medical condition or treatment.
Hair loss is a well-known side effect of chemotherapy. It’s also common for women to lose more hair than usual up to 3 months after they’ve given birth.
Wash Your Hair With Hair Growth Shampoo
Did you know that washing your hair with a high-quality shampoo can encourage new hair growth? One study found that shampooing three times a week for 15 minutes increased hair growth by more than 50 percent!
The key to getting the most out of this tip is to use a shampoo that contains biotin and minoxidil. These ingredients act as natural boosters for hair growth, meaning that even if you are not experiencing hair loss, you can still reap the benefits.
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How To Manage Stress
Its very distressing when you feel you are losing your hair and it can cause intense suffering and can affect your social functioning and ability to work.
Dr Lee said: Hair loss has severe psychological effects including loss of self-esteem, poor body image, loss of confidence, depression, and anxiety.
Women with high-stress levels are 11 times more likely to be suffering from hair loss than women with normal stress levels.
See your doctor if you are concerned about hair loss sooner rather than later.
The doctor will ask questions and is likely to arrange blood tests to rule out common causes such as iron deficiency, or a low thyroid hormone level.
There are a range of different types and causes of hair loss, and once a diagnosis is made, the best treatment can be offered. You may need to see a consultant dermatologist.
You may prefer to arrange to see a hair specialist a trichologist. This is not available on the NHS. You can find a qualified trichologist here.
Looking for somewhere to start? Dr Lee has revealed five ways to deal with stress-related hair loss.
Denial of responsibility!
Stress And Female Hair Loss: What You Need To Know
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Feeling stressed? According to data from the American Psychological Association, Americans are feeling more stressed than ever.
Stress can originate from a variety of sources. A difficult personal life, challenging job or tough financial situation can all cause and worsen stress, lead to symptoms ranging from insomnia and fatigue to headaches, aches, pains and a weakened immune system. Hopefully, you are doing all you can to overcome stress by engaging with essential wellness resources. Managing stress is different for everyone so be patient with yourself as you find what works for you.
Physical stress is one of several factors that can contribute to hair certain types of hair loss. If youre feeling overly stressed, its possible that you might notice your hair starting to fall out and thin, even if youre not genetically prone to female hair loss.
Below, weve explained how stress can affect your hair health, as well as what you can do to treat hair loss from stress. Weve also listed other potential causes of hair loss in women that are easy to mistake for stress-induced hair loss.
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The Best Haircare Products To Ease Hair Loss
If you are suffering from thinning hair, its important to keep your scalp in as good condition as possible, says Dr Ahmed. Head & Shoulders utilises argan oil to keep it nourished and hydrated, while keeping flakes at bay.
£11.99, available atFeelunique.com.
Follow this three-step routine to boost hairs thickness. The shampoo works to effectively remove build-up on the scalp, while the conditioner helps improve each strands density, and the serum works hard to fortify and thicken further.
£34, available atLookfantastic.com.
Kérastases Genesis range works to keep the scalp healthy and encourage it to help the anchoring of hair. It also helps hair resist the friction of daily wear and tear from drying and styling, to protect it along the entire length of the fibre, says Atoshi George, senior scientific advisor at the brand. This mask is an excellent addition to any good haircare regime, and leaves hair soft and shiny, too.
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What Are The Types Of Hair Loss
There are three: anagen effluvium, telogen effluvium and FPHL.
- Anagen effluvium: This is caused by medications that poison a growing hair follicle .
- Telogen effluvium: This is caused by an increased number of hair follicles reaching the telogen phase, which is the stage where hair falls out.
- Androgenetic alopecia/female pattern alopecia/female pattern hair loss /baldness: This type is the most common. Hair thins over the top of the head and on the sides.
How Stress And Anxiety Are Linked To Hair Loss
Hair loss itself is not directly caused by anxiety, but rather the stress brought on by everyday difficulties for those suffering from anxiety. Anxiety and stress are similar conditions, but anxiety itself can be a lifelong struggle. Studies have shown that stress and anxiety-induced stress can contribute to specific hair loss conditions.
Alopecia Areata. Large clumps of hair may suddenly fall out for no apparent reason, causing patches of hair loss. Some people may experience hair loss in other parts of the body. Although the hair will grow back, continued anxiety and stress can cause the hair loss to continue leading to different patches of hair and baldness.
Telogen Effluvium . This is the second most common form of hair loss. In essence, it occurs when there is a change in the number of hair follicles growing hair. The number of hair follicles producing hair will drop, which means an increase in dormant hair follicles, with the end result being hair loss. TE can appear as thinning hair with the hair on the top of the scalp thinning more than the sides or back of the scalp.
What Are Some Tips For Dealing With Hair Loss In Women
There are some things you can do on your own. You might check with your stylist or try some of these:
- Coloring your hair adds volume to the strands, making your hair seem fuller.
- Massaging your head, like when you are washing your hair, can stimulate blood flow to the scalp and hair follicles.
- Getting your hair cut shorter, and having layers added, can make your hair seem fuller.
- Using the right kind of shampoo can also help. Look for a shampoo that adds volume without using sulfate detergents.
- Using the right kind of product at the right time can also help. There are products that add volume that you add while your hair is still wet. However, using too much product can add weight.
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How To Deal With Hair Loss Caused By Excessive Stress
High-level stress can cause hair loss and for some people, the effects of stress on hair health are more serious than you think.
Clinically known as alopecia, hair loss is common for both men and women. But some factors can intensify shedding and disrupt hair growth, including stress. To make things worse, seeing fistfuls of hair caught in between your fingers while in the shower can be an emotionally taxing experience. While hair loss can be a common occurrence throughout life, especially for women with long hair, large amounts of hair loss can be a sign of excessive stress.
Here are several ways to help you fight massive hair loss triggered by stress so you can protect your crowning glory.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- What is the cause of my hair loss?
- How many strands of hair am I losing per day?
- What type of hair loss do I have?
- Will my hair loss be permanent?
- Whats the best treatment for me?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hair loss may cause you distress whether it happens because of genetics, a disease, or even stress. Know that there are some treatments you can try, and expert dermatologists are there to help you. Your hair loss may be able to be reversed. See your healthcare provider as soon as you notice something wrong because the sooner you start treatment, the better.
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Rule Out Any Hormonal Deficiencies
Make sure you dont have any hormonal deficiencies such as hypothyroidism and make sure these are properly treated.
If you are menopausal, you may want to consider HRT.
Dr Lee added: “Follow a varied, balanced, nutritionally complete diet – this means plenty of protein, along with fruit and vegetables as these contain high levels of antioxidants.
“This is vital to help combat oxidative stress that affects hair growth and you should also ensure levels of iron, folate, and B12 are adequate
“If you need to follow any kind of restrictive diet, consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements.”
Cut Yourself A Break: Hair Loss Is Stressful
Losing your hair is not life-threatening, thankfully. But dont be surprised if you start feeling anxious or even depressed. Not everyone has that reaction and theres no right or wrong way to feel but for some, it can be traumatic.
Hair is closely associated sexuality, and it often helps us express our personality. Even mild thinning can affect your confidence, body image and sense of self.
So if youre taking it really hard, realize that its okay to feel that way and that youre not alone.
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What Are The Causes Of Hair Loss
The main causes of hair loss depend on whether the type of hair loss is scarring or non-scarring, and focal or diffuse.
Diffuse hair loss may follow hair shedding, which is usually stress-induced hair loss or is due to genetically determined male or female pattern hair loss . Diffuse hair loss can also be caused by alopecia areata, medications, and various systemic illnesses including anaemia, hyperandrogenism, and thyroid disease.
Psychiatric disturbances, such as acute anxiety and endogenous depression, have also been considered possible causes of diffuse hair shedding .
Ways To Treat Hair Loss
Whether its mindfully focusing on your breath or meditating for 10 minutes, do what you can to take the edge off any stress you might be feeling. I advise doing some breathing exercises in bed before you go to sleep and when you wake up. Inhale for a couple of seconds, then out for a couple of seconds to try and relax your mind, says Dr Ahmed. Apps like Headspace and Calm can help guide you through effective breath techniques and meditation sessions, too.
Environment is a really big thing, explains Dr Ahmed. We know that noisy, dirty, polluted environments dont help your mental health, and since many of us are now working from home, its important to create a positive environment to exist in. Turn an area into your own personal working-from-home space, and include the things you like. Make it smell nice, use different texturestheres a lot of research into how different textures can impact our mood. For example, sit on a soft cushion, or have something close by to touch.
Scalp massage help boosts blood flow to the area and can stimulate hair follicles, and therefore hair growth. Use a hair oil, or Redkens Cerafill Retaliate Stemoxydine Hair Thickening Treatmentit helps cleanse the scalp while stimulating blood flow.
This article was originally featured onVogue.co.uk
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How Is Hair Loss In Women Treated What Medicines Or Supplements May Help
Treatment depends on the cause of your hair loss.
- In cases where the loss is due to stress or hormone changes like pregnancy, there might be no treatment needed. The hair loss will stop after a period of time.
- In cases of hair loss being due to hair styling practices, like tight braids or ponytails or certain chemicals, treatment means not doing the things that caused the damage.
- In cases due to nutritional deficiencies, you might be told to take supplements. For instance, you might be told to take a multivitamin and three to five milligrams of biotin daily.
- Minoxidil is approved for treating FPHL. The 2% or 5% solution can be purchased in stores. However, you have to follow directions exactly and use the product indefinitely. Dont use this product if youre pregnant, if you plan to get pregnant, or if youre breastfeeding.
- The HairMax Lasercomb® low light laser is approved by the US FDA to treat FPHL. Another FDA-approved laser product is the Theradome LH80 PRO® helmet and low light laser helmets and caps.
Other medications that have been studied, but not approved, for hair loss in women include:
- Spironolactone and other anti-androgens.
- Other light treatments.
It is important to note that premenopausal women should not take medications for hair loss treatment without using contraception. Many drugs, including minoxidil and finasteride, are not safe for pregnant women or women who want to get pregnant.
Why Does Stress Cause Hair Loss
Stress is one of the most common causes of Telogen Effluvium. This is because when we are stressed, we often do not look after ourselves as well as we should do. For instance, we may skip meals or eat more processed foods than usual which, despite their convenience, have very little nutritional benefit. Stress also impacts digestion and your bodys absorption of vital nutrients.
Whats more, hair is a non-essential tissue, so it is often the first thing to suffer if your body is lacking in nutrients. Vitamin imbalances, iron deficiency, inadequate protein intake, and meals that contain too few calories, can all contribute to hair shedding.
Furthermore, stress affects our immune system, making us more susceptible to illness. Illnesses like the flu, high fevers and systemic upsets often trigger hair loss. For more information about diffuse hair shedding, please visit our section on Telogen Effluvium.
If you are worried about any form of hair loss, our Clinics in London and New York specialise in all aspects of hair and scalp health, and will be pleased to welcome you.
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Practice Mindfulness & Meditation
“Mindfulness” refers to a practice of grounding oneself in the present moment. It includes a variety of relaxation techniques, from observing ones thoughts to journaling to a daily gratitude practice and more. Mindfulness-based meditation practices have been shown to help reduce cortisol levels while also building up resilience to external stressors.
How To Deal With Stress
As a child, all you want to do is grow up so you can do the cool adult stuff. However, once you do wear the big girl panties/big boy pants, you realize that being perpetually stressed out is the new normal. And this mere stress is affecting your body in countless ways. A very prominent sign of it is hair loss. Seeing your luscious locks lying dead in your hands will send you into another stress frenzy. Its a vicious cycle. The surgeons at Longevita Hair Transplant have outlined the causes and solutions for stress hair loss.
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How Do I Know If My Hair Is Falling Out Due To Stress
More than 100 strands of hair clogging your shower drain or on the hair brush is a sure shot sign of hair loss. In telogen effluvium, you will notice hair thinning on the scalp. With alopecia, you may notice bald patches of hair on the scalp. With Trichotillomania, which causes constant pulling of hair, you may notice that your hair volume has reduced over time.
Habits And Lifestyle Changes
Changing your lifestyle and habits can often help to reduce stress. If you often feel stressed, try using the techniques below to limit your exposure to sources of stress and manage stress when you experience it:
If your hair loss is caused by chronic stress, understanding and coping with the stress in healthier ways may help you to regrow some or all of the hair that youve lost.
This is something that youll need to discuss with your healthcare provider.
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