September 28th, 2018 Written by a Staff Member of Hair Loss in Women
Why is my hair falling out?
The answer to that question sometimes is a bit tricky. There are many different causes for this to be occurring.
Hair loss can affect women of any age, and there are many potential causes. Below are the more common causes of hair loss in young women under 30.
There are different forms of stress; emotional and physical. Both types of stress can trigger a response in the body that actually disrupts the growth cycle in hair. Normally we go through a growth phase followed by a rest phase and then end with a shedding phase. A traumatic event can trigger stress in the body which will then push us into the shedding phase.
Pregnancy does create stress for the body. Most women experience hair-loss actually after giving birth due to hormones trying to re balance themselves. The good news is that it will begin to grow back in a few months.
Too Much Vitamin A
Believe it or not, too much vitamin A can trigger hair-loss. While vitamin A is necessary, we only need about 5,000 IU (International Units) per day according to the National Institutes of Health.
Too Little Protein
If your body is lacking protein, it may shut down hair growth. This is due to simply not having enough nutrients to nourish the body enough to continue the growth cycle. You may notice this every so often if there is a change in the amount of protein you’ve taken in.
Anemia is caused by a lack of iron in the body. Too little affects the amount of nutrients needed to support hair-growth.
Dramatic Weight Loss
Sudden weight loss or losing an extreme amount of weight is a creates physical stress on the body.
Unfortunately for some women going through chemotherapy treatment, this can affect their hair and cause shedding as well as prevent it from growing during treatment. Once treatment is stopped, your hair will grow back but often times we find that it grows back in a different texture and sometimes a different color.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a hormone disorder which causes female hormones to be balanced. Due to certain hormones being too low or too high, this can impact the hair-growth cycle.
How we treat our hair impacts its ability to grow as well. If we are too harsh with our hair or not keeping it clean then these can have adverse affects on it’s ability to grow.
Sebum Build Up
Sebum is a substance that you secrete through sebaceous glands that keeps the hair and skin moisturized. It’s made up of triglycerides, free fatty acids, wax esters, squalene, cholesterol esters, and cholesterol. Too much can lead to not only oily skin and hair, but also blow the hair follicle from growing and cause hair loss.
According to the National Alopecia Areata Association(NAAF), about 2% of the population is affected by this disease. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition which tends to cause hair loss in scattered circular areas on the scalp.
Alopecia tends to start with small, smooth, circular patches of hair loss on the scalp. From there, the course of hair loss is different for everyone.
A fungal infection of the scalp that is also known as ringworm. This fungus can spread very easily, and it thrives in wet environments. Because of this, people who don’t bath often or remain sweaty for long periods of time are more susceptible.
Also known as female pattern baldness, this is one of the most common causes of hair loss in women. It can start in teenagers, but the chances of hair loss from it increase as women age. This form of hair loss begins with thinning and shortening of the hair primarily around the forehead and near the temples. Family history of this condition, aging and increases in male hormones are the primary reasons behind this. The best way to find out if you are suffering from pattern baldness is through a blood test.
This is usually brought on by things like pregnancy, severe stress and other events that cause hormonal shifts in the body. While this condition is very common, researchers do not understand it very well. Hair loss brought on by telogen effluvium is from the hair follicles resting dormant so that they aren’t producing hair. Generally the condition only affects the top of the scalp. This is normally a temporary form of hair loss that corrects itself with time.
Trichotillomania is an impulse control disorder where a person continuously pulling on and playing with their hair, which will cause thinning and bald patches. Some teenagers do this as a nervous habit, while others may be dealing with major stress or anxiety.
Some people have found success with antidepressants and/or behavior modification therapy.
Other Medical Conditions
There are many other medical conditions that your primary care physician can help with (such as thyroid disease or other conditions) that can be ruled out through basic tests.