Hair Loss in Female
If the part in your hair is widening, you find bald spots, or you’re shedding more than 125 hairs per day, you’re likely experiencing hair loss and need to see a dermatologist. There are a couple types of hair loss and several possible causes. Although there’s very little you can do to prevent hair loss, you might respond to treatment if you get to a dermatologist early
What’s hair loss in women?
Hair loss in women is just that — when a woman experiences unexpected, heavy loss of hair. Generally, humans shed between 50 and 100 single hairs per day. Hair shedding is part of a natural balance — some hairs fall out while others grow in. When the balance is interrupted — when hair falls out and less hair grows in — hair loss happens. Hair loss is different than hair shedding. The medical term for hair loss is “alopecia.”
Hair grows on almost all of your skin surfaces — not the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, lips or eyelids. Light, fine, short hair is called vellus hair. Terminal/androgenic hair is thicker, darker and longer.
What are the cycles of hair growth?
Hair goes through three cycles:
- The anagen phase (growing phase) can last from two years to eight years. This phase generally refers to about 85% to 90% of the hair on your head.
- The catagen phase (transition phase) is the time that hair follicles shrink and takes about two to three weeks.
- The telogen phase (resting phase) takes about two to four months. At the end of this phase, the hair falls out.
Your shorter hairs like eyelashes, arm and leg hair and eyebrows have a short anagen phase — about one month. Your scalp hair can last up to six years or even longer.
What are the types of hair loss?
There are three: anagen effluvium, telogen effluvium and FPHL.
- Anagen effluvium: This is caused by medications that poison a growing hair follicle (like chemotherapy).
- Telogen effluvium: This is caused by an increased number of hair follicles reaching the telogen phase, which is the stage where hair falls out.
- Androgenetic alopecia/female pattern alopecia/female pattern hair loss (FPHL)/baldness: This type is the most common. Hair thins over the top of the head and on the sides.
How common is hair loss in women?
Many people think that hair loss only affects men. However, it is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss (FPHL), which affects about one-third of susceptible women, which equals out to some 30 million women in the United States.
Which women are likely to experience hair loss?
Any girl or woman can be affected by hair loss. However, it is usually more common in:
- Women older than 40.
- Women who have just had babies.
- Women who have had chemotherapy and those who have been affected by other medications.
- Women who often have hairstyles that pull on the hair (like tight ponytails or tight braids) or use harsh chemicals on their hair.
- Menopausal women.
What are the signs of hair loss in women?
- Seeing more hair fall out daily either on your brush, on the floor, in showers, on your pillows, or in the sink.
- Seeing noticeable patches of thinner or missing hair, including a part on the top of your head that gets wider.
- Seeing scalp skin through hair
- Having smaller ponytails.
- Seeing hair break off.