What causes womens hair-loss and why it shouldn’t get to you!
Female Hair Loss
Women and Hair Loss
Losing your hair is devastating for anyone, but perhaps none more so than for the female of the species, Rightly or wrongly, women’s sense of gender and identity is often irrevocably tied up with their hair. Long hair, in particular, symbolises femininity and losing your ‘crowning glory’ can be very traumatic indeed. There is still a social stigma to baldness, particularly in women, and it can turn into a very emotional experience. Women start questioning whether or not they are still attractive and may lose interest in social activities they once enjoyed, for fear of being ‘found out’.
Anouska from Hair Ink and NBE is a leading specialist of hair loss treaments for both men and women; ‘I understand that hair loss for woman is just a nightmare. For men, there’s less of a stigma and it’s deemed natural and a process of just getting older. But for women, losing what they feel is their feminimity can’t lead to anxiety and stress. This all just adds to their situation. I provide not just treatment but also someone they can talk to and I reassure them that things aren’t as bad as they seem.’.
We invited Anouska to write for us about hairloss in women, the causes, various types as well as treaments.
Causes of hair loss?
An estimated 8 million women in the UK suffer from alopecia. Hair loss can be caused by a number of different factors from chemotherapy to childbirth to dieting. Although male-pattern baldness is often hereditary, it is not thought that female-pattern baldness is; although it can become more noticeable after the menopause.
Types of hair loss
• Telogen effluvium is a temporary increase in the natural shedding of hair, resulting in areas of thinness. It usually happens a few months after some extreme emotional or physical stress has been suffered, such as grief, illness, strong medication or hormonal changes such as childbirth. Even dieting can cause temporary hair loss
• Androgenetic alopecia is sometimes known as female-pattern baldness. The hair gradually thins, usually from the top of the head and it often occurs after the menopause
• Alopecia areata usually affects teenagers and young women and is caused by problems with the immune system. Hair loss is usually only patchy and often temporary
• Alopecia totalis is a complete loss of hair on the head
• Alopecia universalis is a complete loss of hair on the head as well as the body
Obviously, treatment depends on what the cause of your hair loss is. Hair loss rarely needs to be treated in itself, unless the underlying cause is something like an infection that should be treated to prevent any further hair loss. If the hair loss is temporary then you can be reassured that your hair probably will grow back – it just may take some time and may be a different colour or texture when it does so. Usually, the only reason for any treatment is cosmetic as it makes women feel better in themselves. The only proven treatment for female baldness is a chemical called minoxidil. Available in the form of a lotion, it is applied to the scalp. When used regularly, it not only slows down or even stops the hair loss, but also helps with regrowth. Around 25 per cent of women using minoxidil actually experience improved hair growth. You should consult your GP or dermatologist for up-to-date advice and treatments for female baldness.
Coping with hair loss
So, assuming your hair loss is temporary or you’ve got some treatment but are waiting for it to work, how are you going to cope while you wait for some visible results? Or perhaps, your hair loss is a permanent condition that you need to come to terms with it? First, be patient, you need to accept what has happened to you and learn to live with your new appearance. Talk to your family about how your hair loss has made you feel, join support groups and talk to other sufferers. Practically, there are other measures you can take to help, such as wearing scarves, hair extensions or wigs to make you feel happier about your appearance. Remember, you’re still you and you’re still beautiful – even if you have less hair than before.
Anouska is the owner of Hair Ink, the Uks most up-and-coming hairloss clinic. When she’s not working her magic in the studio, she’s talking and reaching out to women to help them not only with their hair but with their confidence and reassuring them that it’s not a problem!