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Facing The Uncomfortable Truth Of Female Hair Loss

Alopecia, baldness, hair loss

All these words mean the same thing and have, at least initially, a great amount of concern and self-consciousness associated with it. Many women start experiencing hair loss in their early 20’s or 30’s with the majority only after reaching menopause. Although the percentage of women experiencing hair loss or hair thinning is not as large as that of men experiencing the same conditions, the causes remain largely the same with an increased sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone in the scalp area as the front runner.

But naturally there are other causes, most of which differ between men and women. These include a sudden hormonal change, child birth (also indicative of hormonal changes), cessation of birth control medication, illness, sever trauma caused either by surgery or physiological trauma, crash diets that result in various nutritional deficiencies, abnormal activity in the thyroid and various types of medication. In addition to these, conditions such as diabetes or chemotherapy treatment could also result in hair loss.

But hair loss remains a hereditary condition with about 20 million women affected by it at some stage in their lives. And because the causes of this condition vary slightly from those of men, the treatment will also be different. Primarily you should consult your healthcare specialist to ensure that the cause of hair loss is not due to any abnormal activity in the thyroid or because of disease. If you are suffering hair loss due to a recent pregnancy or some form of temporary trauma, then your hair will return after a period of time. Hereditary hair loss may be corrected on its own by one of the following procedures:

  1. Minoxidil is a drug originally developed to treat high blood pressure but has as a side effect a reduction, and a possible reverse of hair loss.
  2. Hair transplantation is an operation where bits of the scalp, where there are still hair growth, are inserted into small incisions in the area of hair loss. This operation is usually performed with the patient under local anaesthetic and awake. Swelling will reach its peak within 36 to 48 hours after the operation, but will be gone about 4 days after the operation, after which, normal activities may be pursued.

These are but some of the treatments available to women who suffer from hereditary hair loss.

Chemicals that straighten, perm and bleach the hair can cause the shaft of the hair to break and may resemble hair loss. This will, however, stop once the use of the particular product has been discontinued. Tying the hair in a tight ponytail or the permanent pull of hair extensions and braiding could result in permanent damage of the hair follicles.

As there are many causes of hair loss and because it is such a traumatic experience, people are often inclined to spend money on products that claim to restore hair growth in no time. Take care when spending your money on these products as they are more likely to have no effect other than draining your bank account.