When it comes to women, many of us have a highly personal relationship with our hair. It often contributes to your identity, whether you have long thick waves or dead straight bangs.
However, as many as 50% of women will experience female hair loss in their life. When you start noticing that your strands have suddenly become much sparser, it makes sense that you will start to panic.
Fortunately, doctors and hair experts say there happens to be a number of common reasons as to why this happens. In this list, we will give a few of the more common reasons, along with advice from experts on how to solve these issues.
You Have Recently Experienced Trauma
Trauma can either be physical or emotional. Physical trauma can include things like having to undergo surgery or surviving a car accident. Emotional trauma includes events such as losing a loved one or working in a highly stressful work environment.
Regardless of whether it is emotional or physical, it can impact negatively on your hair. Deanne Mraz Robinson M.D., an assistant clinical professor for dermatology from the Yale-New Haven Hospital states that many women experience something known as “shock” hair loss, which goes by the name to telogen effluvium.
This condition is self-limited and usually resolves by itself, yet can last as long as six months.
What should you be doing?
Focus on taking better care of yourself. Include vitamin B-rich foods in your diet along with protein, whole grains, and leafy, dark greens which all help to reduce hair loss. Hair loss caused by trauma will grow back once you start to feel healthier. It might take a few months before you will start noticing the difference.
As well as your physical health, you should also focus on your mental health. The trauma specialists at Living Consciously recommend that “if your hair loss is a result of emotional trauma, identify the trigger and come up with a series of coping methods to help improve your mental health and bring you back to normal. Visiting a counsellor or psychologist to develop these coping methods and help process the trauma can be extremely beneficial.”
You are Stressing Your Hair With too Many Treatments and Heat Tools
Do you bleach or colour your hair regularly? Or do you use hot styling tools every day? Are you into trying all the latest products on the market? You could be stressing your hair out. In addition, if you are known for twisting your hair around your fingers, this also leads to tension and thinning.
Pulled-back ponytails and tight braids also contribute to wear-and-tear to your strands and your scalp, which leads to breakage and brittleness, which can suddenly look like your hair is thinning out.
What should you be doing?
Slow things down drastically, the less that you are doing to your tresses the better. Go for texture and colour that is more natural to allow your hair to recover. Choosing sulfate-free and gentle shampoo products and conditioners can also help.
If you always wear your hair in a braid or ponytail, allow your hair to be free which will give it time to increase its strength. You could also try a hair supplement that contains minerals, vitamins, and biotin. This will help to encourage strength and growth while your hair is rehabilitating.
It Could Be Medical Or Hormonal
Hair that suddenly starts to thin out could be associated with anaemia which means your red blood cell counts are low, or hormonal issues related to the events such as thyroid disorders or pregnancy.
These are all very common conditions in women. If your hair loss is associated with a medical or hormonal condition, you will probably be experiencing other symptoms at the same time. For example, if you have a problem with your thyroid you will probably also experience changes in your weight, energy levels, and dryness of the skin. In some cases, you may even start experiencing heart palpitations.
Any hormonal fluctuations can also cause hair loss, changes to your menstrual cycle, and even acne.
What Should You Be Doing?
There are a number of clinical treatment options for increasing hair volume on your head after a medical issue. Some treatments include adding growth factors to the blood in your scalp, or harvesting hair from other parts of your body and micrografting it into your head.
If you are starting to suspect that your sudden thinning hair is associated with something medical or hormonal, it’s important to identify the root cause. Hampton naturopath, Janine Brundle recommends to “schedule a physical and blood work examinations. From here your healthcare provider, whether that be a doctor or naturopath, will be able to give you more information on what may be the cause for your thinning hair, and potential options to try.”
Your Hair Thinning Is Hereditary
If your father or your mother experienced hair thinning or always had thin hair, and you have started to notice hair loss while you are still young (your late teens), it might be a condition known as androgenetic alopecia.
The first signs for this form of hair thinning or loss in females is a part that starts to widen or when their ponytail becomes smaller.
What Should You Be Doing?
If it’s genetic, it can definitely be more difficult to prevent. If it is really getting you down, there are various treatment combinations that increase the likelihood of hair growth and to stop the continual loss of the hair follicles, including topical and ingested supplements.
Maybe your family members may even know some tips and tricks to help alleviate the hair loss. Health Coaching professionals at Proactiv Health says that “many people often forget that their parents and grandparents have a whole lot of experience with their health and bodies. If you are experiencing a health issue such as hair loss that is hereditary, try having an open and honest conversation with your family members who have been through the same thing. You may be surprised by their advice.”
There’s so Many Options – It’s Just Up to You
Today there are so many more treatments and options available than there were 10 to 20 years ago, which means thinning hair is now more manageable than ever. From hair transplant surgery to herbal remedies, there is an option for everyone.
Some options can take a while to see effects, so in the meantime, embrace it! Find new haircuts, hairstyles and even wigs that work for your hair loss and have fun with it.