Hair loss for anyone can be a distressing event for anyone. Society has come to accept baldness in men much more readily than baldness in women and so it can be even more difficult for women to deal with hair loss, especially if they have been used to having long, healthy hair all their lives. Hair loss can leave women with huge emotional side effects particularly around confidence and self-esteem which can lead to other issues such as over eating and avoiding exercise.
Reasons for hair loss in women
While losing a certain number of hairs is completely normal there are times when abnormal levels of hair loss can occur. There are quite a few reasons for this. Some of the main reasons include a change in thyroid function, anaemia, deficiency in certain vitamins or proteins or undergoing medical treatment. The likes of chemotherapy, to treat cancer, is well known to cause hair loss.
Pattern hair loss is a type of hair loss that can affect women as well as men and is a type of hair loss that affects the top and front of the scalp. It is very often genetic and can worsen with age.
Hormonal changes that result from the likes of pregnancy and menopause can also affect the hair and result in hair loss.
A condition called a Telogen effluvium causes the hair roots to go into a resting state as a result of a shock or stress can also cause hair loss.
In addition, there are many chronic conditions that cause hair loss. Most well-known is probably alopecia areata which is an auto-immune disease which causes the destruction of the hair follicle.
Treatment of hair loss in women
While it can be very distressing to see clumps of hair falling out each time you wake up or brush your hair there are plenty of treatments that can be used to try to treat the hair loss however it is usually the root cause that is treated and not the actual hair loss itself and therefore treatment options can vary greatly.
In some cases, no treatment is necessary. Once the cause of the hair loss has been removed the hair will grow back. For example, in pregnancy related hair loss the hair will grow back once the baby is born and the same applies for hair loss because of taking certain medications, particularly for chemotherapy. Once the course of chemotherapy or medical treatment is over the hair should gradually come back.
In many cases of Telogen effluvium watchful waiting will result in hair growth recommencing after about 6 months.
Minoxidil is a treatment that can be used in female pattern baldness. It is a lotion that can be rubbed into the and is usually available in 2% or 5% strength however there is debate regarding whether the 5% is any more effective.
If the cause of the hair loss is an infection then once the infection has been treated by antibiotic or other appropriate treatment the hair loss should cease and the hair grow back.
Where there is an underlying condition such as alopecia areata the usual treatment involves corticosteroids. These can be given by injection or applied topically to the scalp.
Hair transplants and surgical options
Growing in popularity are hair transplants. The procedure is done over several sessions and involves removing an area of scalp with hair growth and transplanting the hairs into the bald area of scalp. Fine hairs are placed in the front and thicker hairs further back.
The process is done under local anaesthetic and takes about 6 months for the hair to start to regrow.
Other surgical options include scalp reduction where the bald piece of scalp is removed or artificial hair transplants which use synthetic hair rather than real hair to transplant under the scalp.
Other types of treatment include immunotherapy, UV light therapy or the use of dithranol cream.
In addition, the use of high quality wigs and tattoos for the likes of eyebrows can alleviate some of the confidence and self-esteem issues with being seen in public without hair.
Hair loss shampoo
In addition to the above treatments hair loss shampoos are increasingly popular. Shampoos that claim to help prevent hair loss and to help with regrowth are massively popular. Brands such as ShaprioMD and Keranique are often found as being two of the best on the market.
Please see the list below for our selection of the best hair loss shampoos on the market currently.