Hair loss and thinning in women can be caused by a wide number of factors. These include everything from an improper diet, nutritional deficiencies, thyroid dysfunction, chemotherapy, poor health, traction alopecia and trichotillomania to hormonal imbalances, menopause, genetics, follicle sensitivity and stress.
With so many factors to consider, it can be hard to get to the root of the problem without seeking professional help, either from a medical doctor or a trichologist. More often than not, blood tests need to be done to determine the cause of any hair loss and/or hair thinning, as well as a thorough examination of your hair and scalp.
However, there is always a reason for hair loss and hair thinning – it is the tissue that is most sensitive to any imbalances or changes within your body.
It can be quite confusing to determine if you are losing excessive hair or if the actual diameter of your hair shaft is changing (or even if both are happening), and often one is mistaken for the other. While both result in volume reduction, hair-diameter thinning occurs over a long period of time, while excessive hair shedding can result in more rapid reduction of volume if the daily loss of hair is substantial.
This is called ‘telogen effluvium’ and can be the result of improper nutrition, stress, hormonal upsets, pregnancy and chemotherapy. A reduction in your hair’s diameter can also be influenced by these things, but is most often due to genetics, follicle sensitivity and age too.
However, while many people associate finer hair with ageing, women as young as 18 can experience genetic thinning, triggered and/or exacerbated by conditions such as PCOS, and/or simply a strong genetic predisposition. Eating disorders can also cause hair fall in women and men of any age.
Sound complicated? Indeed it is – this is one of the reasons why we suggest going to see a trichologist if you are concerned with hair loss. So many variables can play a role in the health of your hair, and often the stress of closely inspecting your own hair on a daily basis for signs of problems can exacerbate the condition.
If you think you are losing your hair, or that it is thinning, please make an appointment to see a certified trichologist. Much can be done to stop excessive hair loss and also slow, and even stop or reverse, the process of hormonal or metabolic-related hair thinning.
Treatments of hair loss and hair thinning vary greatly – and are dependent on the cause. In terms of excessive hair loss from nutritional deficiencies and stress, often a change in diet and lifestyle, as well as appropriate nutritional supplementation and perhaps stimulant treatments, is needed.