Although it’s more common in men, women can also suffer from hair loss. This problem, along with thinning hair, can cause someone a lot of stress, especially if they don’t know whether it’s a temporary issue (like a vitamin deficiency) or something more serious (like a medical condition). Below are some of the most common reasons for why you might be losing your hair.
Any physical condition or trauma (surgery, car accident, a serious illness, or just the flu) can cause temporary hair loss. Your hair is programmed to follow a normal life cycle of growth and decline. When your body suffers any kind of trauma, that cycle is interrupted and hair can fall out prematurely. Fortunately, once you’ve recovered from your condition or illness, your hair should return to its normal cycle.
PregnancyPregnancy is another kind of physical strain, but hormones also play a role here. Hair loss in this instance usually occurs starting in the early stages of pregnancy, but worsens in the final weeks prior to delivery. Some women may go through their entire pregnancy without experiencing this problem, but don’t worry if you have it. A few months after you give birth your hair will grow back normally.
Too much vitamin A
Eating too many foods or taking too many supplements that are high in vitamin A can trigger hair loss. Note that the recommended daily intake of vitamin A is 5,000 IU for adults, and supplements alone can pack between 2,500 and 10,000 IU. Just be sure to consume this vitamin in moderation and in a few weeks you’ll notice your hair growing back.
Protein deficiencyIf you’re not getting enough protein in your diet, your body will start rationing what you do consume. One of the ways it does this is by stopping hair growth. Here, the problem isn’t hair loss per se, but the lack of growth causes the same result.
Remember that it’s normal to lose some hair every day, but usually you won’t notice it too much because it’s being replenished at the same rate. When you aren’t getting enough protein, however, this doesn’t happen. To fix the problem, just add more fish, meat, or eggs to your diet. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, try to consume more vegetable protein or take vitamin and mineral supplements as a last resort.
This is more common among men, but women can also experience it. There have been cases of young women having this problem, which can of course be a real nightmare. Because it has a genetic origin, it should be treated by a professional, so be sure to consult your doctor to determine the exact cause.
There are creams and oral medications available today that can prevent, delay, or reduce hair loss considerably. In the worst case scenario, you can also opt to have hair implants.
Female hormonesLike the hormones produced during pregnancy that cause hair loss, birth control pills can have the same effect. Even if you’re not taking birth control pills or experiencing menopause you might still have this problem. Any time male hormones are activated in the body it causes the hair follicle to thin, and hair begins to fall out more easily.
If the problem is your birth control pills, it’s important that you discuss alternatives with your gynecologist. Similarly, if your hair loss is associated with menopause, your doctor can help you explore your options.
Anything that upsets your emotional balance can accelerate hair loss. If you’re going through a complicated or stressful situation, try to find activities that will calm you – otherwise, your hair will fall out more quickly than it can regrow. Try practicing yoga, going for walks, doing exercise of any kind, or seeing a therapist.
AnemiaAn estimated one in ten women between the ages of 20 and 49 suffer from anemia or low iron. This condition can result in hair loss, as well as more serious problems. Your doctor should analyze a blood test to identify this deficiency. Some symptoms you might notice, in addition to hair loss, are headaches, pale skin, cold hands and feet, and fatigue.
If you have anemia, a daily supplement is usually sufficient to fix the problem.
When the thyroid gland isn’t working properly it’s known as hypothyroidism. The thyroid is a small organ in the neck that’s responsible for producing hormones that are critical for metabolism, growth, and other vital functions. One of the side effects to a malfunctioning thyroid is hair loss. Only a doctor can correctly identify the most appropriate treatment to help your thyroid levels return to normal.
Hair loss is a common problem that plagues many women today, but it’s easy to avoid or resolve once we know the cause.