Hair Loss in Women: Myths and Truths
Hair Loss: one of the most confounding conditions men and
women have ever struggled with. People consider their hair
as kings consider their crown; an important part of one's
identity, an important part of one's self. Hair and hair loss
are often considered as indicators of one's youth. That is
why people are always appalled whenever faced with the possibility
of hair loss. Hence we often do whatever they can and believe
whatever we hear just to make sure that we get to keep that
precious hair of ours as thick and as healthy as can be.
Hair loss can be common in females and is more common following
the menopause; however, alopecia will not manifest in all
cases. In many cases the sufferer will simply notice increased
hair loss and thinning of the hair; early treatment can improve
the outcome. Although alopecia tends to be socially accepted
in males it is unacceptable in females and in many cases it
can have devastating effects on the sufferer's emotional state
and confidence. But you should not despair - hair loss can
be prevented and stopped once you know what causes it and
what you should do.
The real causes of hair loss or alopecia, as it is clinically
known, have already been explained by science, however, before
we proceed to know the real causes of hair loss, let us first
see and examine the prevalent myths about why hair loss occur
There are many websites that try to dispel the "myths"
of womens hair loss but some of these so-called "myths"
do have a basis for truth. Let's now examine many of these
popular "myths" and provide a balanced response.
Myth Number One: Frequent shampooing contributes to hair
loss. Many websites say this is "rubbish", however,
in textbooks of trichology it is recommended that "extra
care" should be taken for fragile and thinning hair.
These measures include using gentle shampoos as heavily medicated
shampoos can affect the scalp and brushing should be gentle
as well. Any tangles of hair should be separated without pulling
of the hair. So, it's not so much how frequently you wash
your hair but what you wash your hair with!
Myth Number Two: We often hear that bad blood circulation
starves the hair follicles which make them fall out. Although
patients with poor blood circulation do not appear to be more
likely to suffer from alopecia, tight fitting hats and wigs
may cause hair loss in a very small minority of people. The
mechanism is still unclear but if it occurs, this may be due
to the impairment of blood flow in the scalp. That is why
extreme care should be taken by alopecia sufferers who wear
these garments on their heads.
Myth Number Three: Hats and wigs cause hair loss. This is
untrue on the whole, all hats and wigs do is just cover your
hair. Hats may even help shield your hair against the damaging
causes of direct sunlight. However, if you are a sufferer
of alopecia you should avoid tight fitting hats and wigs in
Myth Number Four: 100 strokes of the hair brush daily will
create healthier hair. Brushing your hair does stimulate the
glands on your scalp to produce oil that will keep your hair
healthy. However, a hundred brush strokes does more damage
to your hair than what you wish intend. A hundred brush strokes
on thinning and fragile hair will be more devastating than
helpful. It is important to look after thinning and fragile
hair and gentle brushing should be sufficient to maintain
the condition of your hair and can be of benefit. Tangles
should be separated by fingers without pulling the hair.
Myth Number Five: Permanent hair loss is caused by perms,
colors and other cosmetic treatments. Whilst treatments on
hair can damage the nutrients and make it less healthy it
will not lead to permanent alopecia. However, should hair
loss be experienced after perms etc. then you should avoid
them. That is why you have to scrutinize whatever you use
in your hair since improper use of products may cause potential
Myth Number Six: Women are expected to develop significant
hair loss if they are healthy. Utter rubbish.
Myth Number Seven: Shaving one's head will cause the hair
to grow back thicker. This is just not true. In fact, if you
are suffering from androgenetiic alopecia, this will actually
severely quicken your hair loss.
Myth Number Eight: Standing on one's head will cause increased
circulation and thereby stimulate hair growth. We're afraid
not; although poor blood circulation may cause some hair loss,
increasing blood circulation just does not stimulate hair
Myth Number Nine: Dandruff causes permanent hair loss. This
is simply not true. Dandruff is a condition of the scalp,
not the hair. Dandruff occurs because of the excessive shedding
of cells on your scalp skin. For dandruff sufferers, the natural
process of scalp-cell renewal is accelerated when fighting
off P. ovale, a normal fungus found on every human head.
Myth Number Ten: We often see TV personalities and even some
doctors say that stress makes your hair fall out! Although
it is unclear whether stress coming from severe life events
can cause alopecia, there are case reports indicating that
this may be so. It is however very rare and frequently no
cause can be found for severe and rapid developing alopecia.
Patients who have suffered hair loss following a stressful
event may still benefit from specific treatment to assist
in hair re-growth.
Myth Number Eleven: Hair loss does not occur in the late
teens or early twenties. Whilst fairly rare this is not true.
Alopecia or hair loss may happen to anyone regardless of their
Now what really causes androgenetic alopecia or hair loss
The most common type of hair loss seen in women is androgenetic
alopecia, also known as female pattern alopecia or baldness.
This is seen as hair thinning predominantly over the top and
sides of the head. It affects approximately one-third of all
susceptible women, but is most commonly seen after menopause,
although it may begin as early as puberty. Normal hair fall
is approximately 100-125 hairs per day. Fortunately, these
hairs are replaced by the mechanisms in the body. True hair
loss occurs when lost hairs are not re-grown or when the daily
hair shed exceeds 125 hairs. Genetically, hair loss can come
from either parents' side of the family.
There are two different types of hair loss, medically known
as Anagen effluvium and Telogen effluvium. Anagen effluvium
or loss of hair that is in the anagen or growing phase is
generally due to internally administered medications, such
as chemotherapy agents, that poison the growing hair follicles.
Telogen effluvium on the other hand, is due to an increased
number of hair follicles entering the resting stage. The most
common causes of Telogen effluvium are: (1)Physical stress:
surgery, illness, anemia, rapid weight change; (2)Emotional
stress: mental illness, death of a family member; (3)Thyroid
abnormalities; (4)Medications: High doses of Vitamin A, Blood
pressure medications, Gout medications; and (5)Hormonal causes:
pregnancy, birth control pills, menopause. When the above
causes of telogen effluvium are reversed or altered you should
see the return of normal hair growth.
Hair loss in women: androgenetic alopecia, anagen effluvium
and telogen effluvium can be lessened and reduced, even stopped.
All you need to do is know the right information about alopecia
and do the right things to combat these conditions. There
are lots of hair loss treatment medicines available out there;
all you need to do is to know which one is the right one for
you, depending on the extent of the hair loss. Remember, that
the longer you wait to treat your hair loss, the harder it
will be to achieve good results. So if you want to win this
hair loss battle, stand up and do it now! The quicker you
take action the easier it's going to get.
Written by: Combat Hair Loss
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