Noticeable female hair loss can be distressing, regardless of how early you start to recognize the warning signs. The thing about thinning hair is that it can happen to anyone, at any time, regardless of their age.
Often the signs aren’t clear for female hair loss, but if you’ve started to notice an excessive amount of hair on your bathroom floor after you’re done styling your locks, it may be time to pay closer attention to your health to determine whether a specific health condition could be the culprit.
Even before your hair starts falling out, the tell-tale sign for women begins with hair thinning. Fortunately, women rarely experience a receding hairline or hair loss all over the scalp but the warning stages of female hair loss is thinning and an excessive amount of hair loss from the crown.
Sure, you’ve picked up on the thinning, but it’s key to understand what’s causing the hair loss. There are certain health conditions that can trigger female hair loss and it’s up to you to identify them with the help of your doctor before you can take the necessary steps to counter your hair loss.
Therefore, we’ve highlighted 3 different health issues that cause hair loss among women and what steps you should take if you notice the symptoms.
3 Reasons for Female Hair Loss
Anaemia, the medical term for an iron deficiency, can cause female hair loss since iron is one of the most important minerals for your hair. It also optimizes your energy levels, nourishes your skin and keeps your heart condition healthy. An iron deficiency is caused by a low red blood cell count or low haemoglobin levels in the body. Until 2014, anaemia affected 1.62 billion people globally and the highest prevalence was in young children, pregnant women and more generally women after they began their menstruation cycle.
Since red blood cells transport oxygen to other cells throughout your body, a shortage of iron means you don’t have the energy you need to perform certain functions.
- Extreme fatigue
- Pale skin
- Unexplained weight loss
- Cold hands or feet
- Difficulty concentrating
- Hair loss
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should book an appointment with your doctor to analyze iron levels. If you are suffering from an iron deficiency, your doctor will prescribe iron supplements to get your red blood cell count to a healthy level. Your doctor will also tell you to increase your intake of iron-rich foods such as red meat, fish, leafy greens, beetroot, lentils and beans.
It’s extremely important to stick to the prescribed dosage of iron supplements and balance that with an iron-heavy diet. While you’re taking iron supplements, you can also ask your doctor to prescribe you supplements specifically to deal with your hair loss. These supplements to counter hair shedding should include silica, biotin, or L-cysteine.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS):
This endocrine disorder causes a hormonal imbalance in women where the ovaries start to produce more than normal male hormones. It can affect young girls as early as the age of 10 and can also cause infertility. One in every 10 women of childbearing age suffers from PCOS.
This health condition can often result in androgenic alopecia, which is hair loss resulting from high levels of androgens present in a woman’s body. A healthy level of androgen is naturally found in all women and affects the frequency and blood flow during your menstruation cycle. However, if your body is producing too much androgen, coupled with follicle sensitivity, you can experience female hair loss as a symptom of PCOS.
- Unexplained weight gain
- Increased facial hair growth
- Irregular menstruation cycle
- Hair loss
It’s important to see a doctor right away if you suspect PCOS since treatment for the condition can be more complicated than treating the hair loss caused by it. Since there is no cure for PCOS, treatment can vary, but the focus is to lower your risks of heart disease and diabetes. If hair loss is the only major symptom in the case of your PCOS, treatments include taking anti-androgen supplements or topical medications. Common oral contraceptives include Spironolactone or Dianette and most doctors will prescribe both oral and topical solutions to counter hair loss caused by PCOS.
Overactive or Underactive Thyroid:
When your body produces less than the thyroid hormone, it means you have hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid. On the other hand, if your body produces an excessive amount of this hormone, your condition is known as hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid. While millions around the world are diagnosed with the condition, women constitute 80 percent of all thyroid cases.
This hormone is responsible for functions such as your metabolism rate, heart rate, the rate at which your body uses both oxygen and energy to function as well as the growth of your hair, nails and skin. When there is a shortage or increased production of the hormone, you may begin to notice a change in the way your body functions.
- Sudden weight gain
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Brittle Nails
- Hair thinning or shedding
- Sudden weight loss
- Heart Palpitations
- Muscle weakness
- Hair loss
If you experience any of these symptoms, it may be worth a visit to your physician. A simple blood test can diagnose a thyroid disease. Once you’re taking medication to stabilize the production of thyroid in your body, that’s good news. Healthy hormone levels means healthy hair growth so once the medication starts to work, you’ll notice that your hair loss problem is under control, and the rest of your symptoms will also start to recover.
However, since it may take some time (up to a few months) to regain normal hair growth, some women choose to wear hairpieces for women or try topical hair loss medication while they’re dealing with their thyroid issues. You can consult with your doctor during the process to see what solutions will work best for you.
While you’re treating these health conditions and working towards a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to stay positive and avoid stress. If your female hair loss is causing you additional stress or low self-esteem, book a consultation with 3rd Dimension’s style experts and let our expertise put you at ease.
If you’re considering hairpieces for women to help counter hair thinning or shedding, 3rd Dimension offers a variety of hair systems for women. Our stylists support you every step of the way to help you get the look you want. Give us a call today to get back to your confident, beautiful self.