Women's Hair Loss: Causes, Treatments, & How to Get Your Locks Back
Oct 04, 2013 11:27 PM EDT
Think hair loss is a problem only men have to deal with? Think again.
A recent study by the International Society of Hair Restoration revealed that nearly 25 million women are experiencing thinning hair. Now, while this number is definitely alarming, we should point out that every woman loses hair. Whether it's during a morning shower, blowing it dry or a quick brush through - and that's normal! In fact, the average woman loses about 50-100 strands PER day! Say it ain't so!
The problem is, how do women determine when hair loss is normal and when they should be concerned? Luckily, we have been able to turn to our favorite hair restoration specialist, Dr. James Marotta, to discuss some of the common and not-so-common reasons why women might be losing their locks. Read below to get Dr. Marotta's expert take on this hair situation and what remedies he cites for each cause.
Dr. Marotta, what's the real source behind women's hair loss?
The cause of excessive hair loss can be as simple as too much stress or a lack of vitamins, so it is important to take a look at your lifestyle when hair loss becomes an issue. However, hair loss can also become prevalent due to hormonal, immunological, and infectious issues, so it is important to see a doctor for treatment in these cases.
Should we be alarmed by the occasional shedding?
Hair loss in women is, to a certain extent, normal. The average woman loses between 50 and 100 strands of hair per day, even up to 150 in some cases. If you are nervous that you are losing an excessive amount of hair per day, you can try this trick: Take about 60 hairs between your fingers and pull, running your fingers through your hair. Usually between 5 and 8 hairs will come out-this is normal. An excess of 15 hairs, however, is not as common and means you are losing more hair than you should be.
Is female hair loss treatable?
Before starting any treatment, you need to understand why you are losing hair - treatment is more effective when it's geared to the real cause. For this, it is often useful to see a professional who can help you diagnosis what the cause of your hair loss is and what would be the best treatment option, whether it is hair supplements or for more serious hair loss situations, hair restoration.
On average, how much does hair grow? Can we do anything to stimulate more growth?
For most, 90% of the hair on your head is in the growing phase, while about 10% of your hair is in the "resting" phase, meaning that 10% will fall out and leave room for new hair growth within a certain period of time. If you are losing more than 15 hairs per pull, it likely means more than 10% of the hair on your head is in the "resting" phase. While this still may not be a true cause for concern, it would be a good idea to ask an expert about what to do to halt this process.
Are there any foods or vitamins that are proven to help promote hair growth and strength?
Some vitamins help promote hair growth, most notably Vitamin C and Vitamin B, so taking supplements or eating foods rich in these vitamins is a good remedy. Protein is essential for hair growth, so consuming enough protein can make sure that the body has the necessary building blocks for hair.
What about our daily hair care routines should we avoid doing to help hair get healthier?
Excessive heat or blow-drying can also lead to excessive hair breakage. To prevent that, give the hair an occasional blow dryer holiday and allow it to air dry at least once or twice a week. Anything that puts excessive pressure on the hair whether a towel, hair band, clip or extensions can lead to traction alopecia or areas of patchy hair loss and should be avoided.
Thanks Dr. Marotta! Look out for more super helpful tips from our resident experts soon!