If you’re a woman experiencing hair loss, finding the root cause can be daunting. From coming to the terms that hair loss is occurring to finding the right doctor for you, the journey is emotional and tolling. We sat down with some of the leading female physicians across the US to help you better understand all of the factors that can relate to female hair loss.
Birmingham, Alabama based female surgeon, Dr. Ellen Janetzke has more than 14 years experience and prides herself on the ability to understand her female patients unique needs.
Dr. Ellen tells us, “The average woman today has so many demands on her that it is not a wonder that more and more women are experiencing hair loss. Causes can range from health, stress (emotional or physical) diet and exercises, hormones and environmental factors. “
Hair loss does not discriminate against gender or age. Women make up 40% of hair loss sufferers in the US alone and, while many women begin to experience hair loss in their 20s and 30s, they may not see a dramatic impact until it peaks in their 50s.
Dr. Lisa Kang, the co-founder and co-owner of Serenity MedSpa in downtown San Francisco, California, gave us her top 10 reasons women begin experiencing hair loss.
Top 10 Reasons for Women’s Hair Loss
- “Genetics: Female pattern hair loss is also known as alopecia. It involves a thinning of the follicles on the sides and top of the scalp.
- Hormone imbalances: Hormonal shifts after switching or stopping birth control pills and having a baby and before and during menopause can send hair into the telogen (or resting) phase, causing it to shed more quickly. Also, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) caused by an excess of androgens (male hormones) can cause follicle miniaturization and hair loss.
- Hypothyroidism: an underactive thyroid gland can lead to dry, brittle and thinning hair. The thyroid produces hormones that are critical to metabolism as well as growth and development. Women are as much as 10 times as likely as men to have a thyroid problem
- Autoimmune: Alopecia areata and lupus cause hair loss as a result of an overactive immune system that targets hair follicles by mistake.
- Low ferritin levels.
- Some medications: These include certain blood thinners and the blood-pressure drugs known as beta-blockers, methotrexate (used to treat severe psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis), lithium (for bipolar disorder), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen, and possibly antidepressants.
- Severe and sustained physical and emotional stress.
- Dramatic weight loss.
- Over-styling your hair with tight braids, harsh chemicals and high heat.
- Trichotillomania: An ‘impulse control disorder,’ causes people to compulsively pull their hair out. “
It’s important to note that female hair loss can certainly be isolated to one source or be a combination of factors, like in the list above.
One of America’s top Dermatologists, Dr. Jody Alpert Levine, of Plastic Surgery & Dermatology of New York City, agrees.
“There are a variety of causes of hair loss in women. Hair loss can be triggered by a short term event such as stress and pregnancy or as a side effect from a medication. Long term hair loss can be due to genetics or a symptom of something else occurring in the body.”
Understanding your personal hair loss is challenging. Because there are so many factors that can cause hair loss, the conversation is best suited for a qualified physician. Knowing that you are not alone is essential for your hair loss journey. To get additional NeoGraft physician support or to find a solution for your hair loss, please schedule a consultation today.