Waiting to enter an OPD room at a certain hospital, I accidentally hear the doctor telling a patient about the possibility of her hair thinning being triggered by hormonal changes. As an aspiring medical practitioner, I slightly knew the hormones’ role in hair loss, particularly the escalated male hormones in a woman.
Well, there are hundreds of ladies today who ponder over the numerous causes of hair loss, hair thinning, and potential baldness. Once one of my friend suffered from hair loss problem until she understood my hair’s anatomy and the possible causes of hair loss.
According to various studies, and particularly from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it is normal to lose less than 100 hair strands a day. But can do you know that this rate can be enough to cause actual hair loss in busy women?
Ideally, as women, we treasure our hair, and we either love it long or short, there is no doubt about that. No lady has ever woken up to style her hair with a few bald patches, similar to those of Alopecia areata affected patients. Having a fuller head with a proper density and volume just adds beauty to a lady.
However, there are numerous factors that can lead a woman’s head patchy or with a reduced volume as explained below;
Yes, hormonal changes or fluctuations are the major trigger for hair loss in women. Hormonal fluctuations or imbalances are described as a situation where a woman’s endocrine system with its glands produced more than the required or less than the required hormones. Hormonal imbalances in women are more recorded during pregnancy, pre-menopause, menopause, and puberty.
When it comes to hair loss, a woman’s body is depicted to have more male hormones (androgens) than the required female hormones. Women with androgenetic alopecia are known to have higher levels of Testosterone. Testosterone is changed to DHT with the help of the enzyme Type II 5-alpha reductase. DHT is the actual cause of hair loss once it binds to the receptors in the scalp follicles.
Similarly, women affected by PCOS may experience hair loss and to combat this case, PCOS treatment with the help of a proper diet can help stop hair loss.
Hair loss can also be caused by treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation (cancer), antidepressants, arthritis, heart problems, birth control pills, among others. Also, women undergoing IVF treatment may fall victim because of the stress, anxiety, and depression they face during treatment.
Hypothyroidism OR Hyperthyroidism
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which a woman’s thyroid gland produces a lower thyroid hormone. On the other hand, Hyperthyroidism is when the gland produces more than the required hormone. Hair follicles are generally sensitive to the thyroid hormones, meaning that one may lose more hair unknowingly. Symptoms, in this case, may include increased cholesterol levels, fatigue, poor sleep, among others.
Poor Nutrition/Nutrient Deficiency
Just like the overall body, your hair also requires a number of nutrients to stay healthy, strong, and beautiful. Women with reduced vitamin A levels, E, and iron are prone to hair loss.