Hair loss , whatever the cause, is distressing for all women. Here are the facts about hair loss for women and what you can do to prevent it.
If you have been recently pregnant, had surgery, suffered from a serious illness, or lost a lot of weight on a very restricted diet and you are seeing hair falling out in handfuls, don’t panic! In each of these instances, more hair follicles have gone into the shedding phase for a few months. Within 3-6 months the problem should resolve without treatment.
Are you noticing broken hairs or a receding hair line in front? If so, and you wear your hair pulled back tightly or in braids, it may be time for a new hairdo. Wearing tight braids, bun or ponytail can result in hair breakage over time. And, be careful about frequent chemical straightening or hot combing. If you are noticing breakage of the hair, take a long break from the straightening and with any luck, the damaged hair will grown out.
Have you noticed small, smooth coin shaped bald spots on the scalp? If you have been under stress recently, it is likely that you have alopecia areata. The good news is that dermatologists can offer treatments, such as local injection of cortisone, that will resolve alopecia areata in a few months.
Have you noticed receding of your hairline? If you are postmenopause, these changes can be normal. Not likely that you will be bald, even if your dad had a shiny head! Talk to your OB-Gyn about hormone replacement therapy early as it may make a difference in minimizing hair loss. And, give the over-the counter medication Rogaine or minoxidil a try. It comes as a foam or liquid and has been shown to slow down hormonally induced hair loss in women. If the Rogaine for women has no result, try the Rogaine for men. (just wash your hands well after use and don’t rub your face!)
There are some forms of hair loss associated with medical conditions such as low thyroid and low blood count or anemia. If hair loss does not resolve or improve with the suggestions above, a consultation with a dermatologist is the next step.