Think only men suffer from hair loss? Think again. According to the American Hair Loss Association, 40% of hair loss sufferers are women. This is a daunting statistic due in part because society says a woman's hair is considered an integral part of her beauty and identity. Hair loss can cause emotional pain while lowering one's self-esteem. If you've begun to lose hair at a young age, there are many reasons why this may occur.
Reasons for Hair Loss
The reasons for hair loss in young women could be simple or multifaceted, depending on everything from genetics to diet. Here are the most common reasons you may be experiencing the loss of your locks:
If you come from a family that experiences hair loss, you are more susceptible to genetic hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia. While men will experience a receding hair line, women tend to lose hair from that part and outwards. Seek the advice of your doctor if there is genetic hair loss in your family.
Fluctuating hormone levels
Different hormonal stages in a woman's life can be the immediate cause for hair loss. Fluctuating estrogen levels will cause hair, not only on your head, to thin and fall out. Some cases may be gradual, while others are more sudden and may suggest seeing a doctor.
Physical trauma of any kind can cause your hair to fall out. Stress in your life can shock your hair follicles, causing them to push out faster than normal. Severe stress can cause other hair-loss conditions:
- Telogen Effluvium - More than normal hair loss
- Trichotillomania - A person pulls their hair out
Women typically notice hair loss post-pregnancy, due to the amount of stress put on the body during labor. Losing your locks for pregnancy-related reasons is very common, and not a cause for concern. Hair typically grows back within a few months of giving birth.
If you suffer from an eating disorder, and are not consuming enough protein in your diet, you are most likely going to experience hair loss. The body naturally shuts down production of hair when it fails to receive the necessary nutrients. It is important to feed your body protein, and there are plenty of vegan options if you do not eat meat.
Too much washing, brushing, and styling can cause severe damage to your hair. Just simply washing your hair too often can cause hair loss. Applying heat every day, by way of blow drying, curling, or straightening, can have the same effect. Take a break from straightening your hair. Let it go natural!
Things to Try at Home
For those who suffer from temporary hair loss for a non-genetic reason, there are multiple ways you can adjust your life to promote the healthy growth of hair follicles. For example, many women are unaware that certain oral contraceptives can cause varying degrees of hair loss. Those who are predisposed should seek a non-hormonal type of birth control. While there are no Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for alopecia, you can try any of the following to increase hair growth or re-growth:
- Avoid using excessive heat daily (e.g., flat irons, curling irons, etc.)
- Increase your vitamin C intake
- Cortisone pills
- Topical immunotherapy
- Apply aloe vera gel or juice to your hair
- Exercise daily
- Eat healthy
- Drink water
Hair loss in young women is more common than you think, and it can take a depressing toll. It is important to focus on ways to manage and improve the problem daily. Although more severe cases will require medical attention, there are many options to try right at home. For further information towards hair loss follow the link below.
- American Hair Loss Association. (n.d.). Women's Hair Loss. Retrieved January 7, 2015, from http://www.americanhairloss.org/women_hair_loss/introduction.asp
- National Alopecia Areata Foundation. (n.d.). Treatment for Alopecia Areata. Retrieved January 7, 2015, from http://www.naaf.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_alopecia_treatment