Women?s Hair Loss Issues
The term Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) tends to lay credence to the thought that hair loss is primarily a male problem. While males do lose hair more readily and tend to lose hair in sections, women suffer baldness and hair thinning also, except the thinning is more uniform throughout the head. With this is mind, women are better candidates for surgical hair replacement and weaving treatments, because large portions of the scalp are highly un-likely to be bald on a woman suffering with androgenetic alopecia.
Because a great deal more emphasis is put on the beauty of a woman?s hair, this is becoming a great concern for today?s woman. While the general information covered thus far is good for all persons in general, there are a few things specific to women concerning hair loss.
Many women suffer hair loss and an increase of facial hair after the onset of menopause. This is because of the drop in estrogen production, changing the ratio of estrogen to testosterone in a woman?s body. Prior to menopause, a woman?s body is constantly producing estrogen, which binds excess testosterone to proteins called globulins. Therefore, there is little excess testosterone in a woman?s body. After the onset of menopause this estrogen is no longer present, thereby exposing it to a similar although milder type of syndrome that males go through concerning the overproduction of DHT. An interesting note is that once again, the syndrome of menopause and its unique effects are not as common in the Eastern world, but are specific to Western civilization. The key differences are the consumption of less red meat and fatty foods in Eastern lands than in the West and less daily stressors in most Eastern lands as compared to Western civilization.
Anorexia is an eating disorder that is becoming more prevalent among women in the past few decades and is psychologically driven in Western society due to the emphasis put on slender women being the ideal in Western civilization. Needless to say, if you or a loved one is suffering with this disorder, a qualified physician should treat any cases of anorexia. However, some of the side effects of anorexia can be hair loss due to the malnutrition the syndrome caused. In this case, it is vital to carefully follow the advice given in the sections Nutrition, Diet, and Hair Loss, and Natural Hair Remedies.
It is of course recommended in all cases that you reduce your intake of red meats, fatty foods, and reduce stress, however due to your profession and engrained habits there may be a limit to how much you can change this part of your lifestyle. There is another factor in Eastern civilizations that may cause a stark difference in their women not suffering through typical menopausal symptoms here in the West. The consumption of soybeans and soybean products is much higher in the East. This is significant because soy contains estrogen-like substances and work in the body similarly to estrogen. Therefore there is not an extreme drop in estrogen levels in women who consume soybean products, thus reducing the symptoms of menopause typically suffered in the West.
Some women who suffer hair loss tend to have gastrointestinal problems that do not allow them to absorb proteins and zinc that are necessary to maintain a healthy head of hair. If you think that you have problems with your gastrointestinal system and are experiencing unusual hair loss, of course see your doctor. You may be able to take some natural non-dairy acidophilus after meals for a couple of months in order to increase your digestion of these nutrients.
There are a number of myths associated with hair loss in women particularly. Many were told that brushing the hair 100 strokes each night will promote healthy hair growth. As mentioned earlier, extreme brushing of the hair can cause stress on the hair which can cause breakage and hair loss. Also, just as hats have been rumored to cause hair loss, wearing wigs has also been rumored to cause hair loss. This is very untrue, especially if the scalp is given sufficient time to breathe at night and hair is washed regularly to avoid buildup. Although stress can cause temporary hair loss, permanent hair loss is usually unconnected to stress. Last but not least, the belief that there are cosmetic products that are out on the market that grow hair is simply unfounded. There is only one product on the market that has been proven to grow hair on women safely, and that is women?s RogaineŽ discussed later in the section Over The Counter Treatments.
During pregnancy hair growth increases dramatically in most women. This increases the usual percentage of hair normally growing on the head. Therefore, after childbirth there may be an increase in hair loss due to more hair follicles than usual entering the rest phase. The temporary excessive loss of hair usually occurs between one and three months after childbirth and is quite normal; it should balance out a few months after childbirth at most. Similar syndromes occur after ceasing birth control pills or switching types of birth control pills.
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