Causes and treatments for hair loss in women

Men like Patrick Steward and Bruce Willis can pull off the bald look, but a woman? Forget it.

Like curvy hips and luscious lips, beautiful hair is a symbol of femininity – and nothing is worse than slowly watching your hair fall out.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, losing between 50-100 hairs every day is normal. Any more than that and you have a problem.

Unfortunately there’s no proven way to stop hair fall immediately, but there are several treatment methods that can slow, and in some cases prevent, hair shedding in women.

Keep reading to learn more about the causes of shedding, how to treat female pattern baldness, how to slow/halt shedding, and how to improve hair health.

Causes of hair loss in women

It isn’t just a man’s problem. In fact, hair shedding affects up to 40% American females.

According to the American Hair Loss Association, the psychological damage caused by female shedding is just as bad as a serious disease.

Women with thinning hair are more likely to suffer from body issues and low self-esteem, both of which can have a negative effect on your social life.

The most common cause of shedding in women is female pattern hair loss (FPHL). Also known as androgenetic alopecia, this condition affects roughly 30 million women in America.

Women with FPHL usually notice a widening of the “hair part” followed by thinning hair on the top and back of the head. What’s actually happening here is that your hair follicles are becoming smaller and smaller. As this happens, the hairs these follicles produce become thinner, shorter, and brittle. In some cases, follicles stop producing hair. These symptoms are different than in men, who normally lose their hairline.

Shedding of hair in women rarely results in baldness, as it often does with men.

Other causes

The causes of female hair thinning are not fully understood. Possible causes include menopause, family history, hormone levels, and age.

Menopause

Nearly 50% of women will experience at least mild hair loss before age 50. This typically gets worse with menopause, because the hormones that had been supporting hair growth start to diminish.

Illness

Diseases and conditions that can cause hair shedding include:

  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease
  • Anemia
  • Lupus
  • Ringworm
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Cancer treatments

Stress or trauma

Stressful or traumatic events are also known to cause temporary shedding. This shedding may become long-term if stress persists.

Physical stress on the hair 

Wearing your hair in a tight bun, ponytail, or braid for long periods of time can lead to a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. This condition can also be caused by the frequent use of relaxers, dyes, curling irons, and straighteners.

Easy tips on how to stop hair falling out: don’t use harsh shampoos and make sure you’re getting adequate nutrition. Deficiencies in protein, calcium, vitamin D, and iron can cause hair shedding.

Treatment options

There are many causes of shedding, and each requires a different treatment. For that reason, it’s important to speak with a dermatologist first. Once he or she has determined the cause, you can move on to treatment.

Topical treatments

Minoxidil is the only FDA-approved, over-the-counter medication for FPHL. Minoxidil is found in products like Theroxidil and Rogaine. These topical products have been shown to stop or slow thinning of hair in 30% of women.

Female pattern baldness remedies also include oral medications. It’s important to know that the following are “off-label” and have not been approved to treat female hair loss:

  • Cimetidine/Tagamet (oral) – a class of histamine blockers
  • Spironolactone/Aldactone (oral) – a drug used to treat high blood pressure
  • Ketoconazole (oral or cream) – an antifungal agent that is sometimes used in hormone replacement therapy

Female hair loss treatment at the spa

Ozone therapy (O3 therapy)

Ozone therapy is used to treat a variety of hair and scalp concerns including hair thinning, hair fall, dandruff, and damage.

The ozone molecule is very unstable. When ozone molecules are injected into the scalp, they release free oxygen radicals that hydrate and strengthen the center of the hair shaft.

O3 effectively protects the hair from future damage. The treatment utilizes combs, machines, and ozone creams.

Benefits include:

  • Nourishes hair and scalp
  • Fortifies hair follicles
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Fights infections present in hair and scalp
  • Adds volume to hair
  • Reconstructs split ends
  • Controls frizz
  • Promotes new growth

O3 therapy has also been used to treat seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, and alopecia. This treatment is appropriate for colored hair as the peptones that form through oxidation can strengthen the bonds between the dye and your hair. This adds shine and makes the color last longer.

Warning: ozone can have toxic effects when used in high quantities. Women who are pregnant, breast-feeding, or have sensitive skin should avoid O3 therapy.

Click here to lean more about ozone therapy. 

High-frequency scalp treatment

The words “high frequency” might sound scary, but this treatment doesn’t hurt. In fact, many consider it soothing. HF treatment consists of a high-frequency light that is used on the scalp to stimulate hair growth.

The practitioner will use a glass electrode/rod) to deliver low current, high-frequency alternating currents to the scalp. The glass electrode is sometimes referred to as a “violet wand” or “violet ray” due to its appearance during the treatment.

Benefits include:

  • New hair growth
  • Relaxation
  • Improved circulation
  • “Wakes up” dormant follicles
  • Relieves itching

Home remedies for hair growth and thickness

Egg protein treatment for thicker hair

Regular protein treatments can lead to stronger, thicker hair. We recommend using eggs.

The recipe:

  • Beat 1-2 eggs (depending on length of hair) in a bowl
  • Apply to damp hair
  • Wait 30 minutes
  • Rinse with lukewarm water and shampoo
  • For best results, repeat 1-2 times per week

Onion juice sulfur treatment to promote hair growth

Onions are rich in sulfur, which is one of the key building blocks of human hair. This treatment improves blood circulation, which increases the nourishment going to your hair follicles.

More benefits:

  • Helps fight scalp infections that could be contributing to your thinning hair
  • Prevents premature graying with catalase enzyme

The recipe:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon honey with ¼ cup onion juice
  • Massage onto scalp
  • Wait 30 minutes
  • Rinse

Natural remedies require patience. Repeat the onion juice treatment three or more times per week, and you should notice results in two months or less.

Click here to learn about the best hair loss shampoos.

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