What’s the Issue?
A person with normal hair growth will lose 50-100 strands of hair a day. If the hair growth cycle is disrupted, however, a person may experience excessive hair loss called “alopecia.” Many factors can negatively influence the hair growth cycle. Below are a few possible causes of hair loss:
- Anemia, a condition caused by iron deficiency in the body
- Thyroid diseases
- Lower levels of testosterone that are often associated with menopause
- Certain illnesses such as syphilis
- Chemicals, such as the ones in chemotherapy
- Major surgeries or physically traumatic events including pregnancy and childbirth
- A hereditary condition called androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern balding
- Vitamin deficiency
Why Should I Care?
Hair loss is popularly portrayed as a men’s health condition, but 40% of all adults who suffer from hair loss are women.
Approximately 30 million American women are affected by androgenetic alopecia.
It is estimated that 50% of women will experience hair loss at one point or another in their lives.
Hair loss can be distressing and greatly reduce one’s self esteem. This is especially true for women as alopecia is not a commonly discussed or understood female condition.
What Can I Do?
While some hair loss such as that due to stress or hormone imbalance, etc. is impermanent and will cease/grow back when the event has passed, other types may be permanent, especially if not treated correctly. If you believe you are suffering from alopecia, make an appointment with your primary care physician to assess possible causes of hair loss.
Testing methods for alopecia include blood work, a simple hair pull test, personal and familial medical history, and a scalp biopsy.
There are treatments available for hair loss but they depend on the specific cause. Ask your physician for further information on treatment options that are best for you.