Losing hair can be normal as you age, but it can be extremely embarrassing, especially for women. Studies show that 40 percent of those who deal with balding are women and it affects more than half of women by age 50. First learn about what causes hair loss so you can help avoid it:
- Hormones caused by menopause or taking oral contraceptives can cause hair loss in women. Pattern baldness is trigged by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a male hormone testosterone, but women can have it too. Birth control such as the Progestin implants, hormone injects and the patch also have side effects which include hair loss. Ask for birth control with “low-androgen index”, which helps prevent hair loss or if you have a strong family history of hair loss, ask for non-hormonal birth control to be safe.
- Stress is also known to cause hair loss, especially if you are going through something extremely stressful like childbirth, a surgery, disease, malnutrition or anything very emotional like divorce or death. These forms of stress cause a condition called telogen effluvium, which causes your hair to fall out. Seek help if you’re stressed and your hair is falling out by the handful.
- If you develop cancer or an autoimmune disorder, either your body or the treatment to cure your disease may attack hair follicles, making your hair fall out.
- If you regularly rock a hairstyle that pulls your hair too tightly, you may want to think again. Braids, cornrows, tight buns or ponytails all stress your hair out. Using too many chemicals and hot tools on your hair can also cause it to fall out.
If you find yourself with hair loss, here are some treatments to consider:
- Ask your doctor for a testosterone-blocking drug, especially if you’re reaching menopause and your levels of estrogen are lowering.
- Try Rogaine. You can buy it easily at a drugstore.
- Treat the underlying condition. If you find you have an auto-immune disorder, treating the disorder could help reverse your hair loss.
- Ask your doctor about topical or injected cortisone.
- You can also inquire about hair transplantation or laser phototherapy if the hair loss is severe. It can help make your hair look fuller or help regrow hair.
Have you ever dealt with hair loss? How did you feel and what treatments did you use? Share with us!