For many women, hair loss can feel like a major obstacle to happiness. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. At New England Center for Hair Restoration, we have helped countless women in and around Boston, MA reclaim their self esteem and boost their outlook on life with the help of hair loss treatments specifically designed for women. Learn more about hair loss in women to see how our team may be able to help you.
What is Hair Loss in Women?
Underlying conditions play a much greater role in women’s hair loss than in men’s. There’s no pattern to the hair loss and unfortunately, it can start at any age. According to the Academy of Dermatology, 40% of women suffer from hair loss prior to the age of 40 and sadly, 24% of women who suffer from hair loss would compare the emotional toll to that of a loss of a limb.
What Causes Hair Loss in Women?
A woman’s physiology is known to be much more complex than a man’s. Between menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, and other conditions that go along with physiologic changes, the female body is a warrior. While the female body is a fighter, those physiological changes can bring about some downfalls. Common causes of hair loss in women are:
- Birth control
- Iron deficiency
- Hormonal imbalances
- Poor nutrition
- Extreme stress
- Various hairstyles (i.e. extensions, dying the hair)
- Crash dieting
The American Academy of Dermatology says that most people lose anywhere from 50-100 strands of hair per day and on days where it’s washed, about 250 strands. It’s not suggested to actually count each individual strand but be conscious of when to ask a medical professional if you become concerned. If you feel as if you’re losing more than 250 strands per day, don’t hesitate to call your doctor. Losing your hair can be an underlying condition to another problem so it’s best to contact your physician as soon as possible.
How is Hair Loss in Women Diagnosed?
When it comes to diagnosing your hair loss, the specific cause may take time to discover. Compared to men’s hair loss, where about 90% of cases is caused by heredity, hair loss in women can have multiple culprits. The key? The process of elimination. Chances are your doctor will order a wide variety of diagnostic tests first to cross off possible conditions that could be causing your hair to thin and fall out. A few examples of the potential diagnostic tests include:
- Complete blood count
- Thyroid levels
- Iron levels
- Hormone levels
- Scalp biopsy
- Hair pull
The degree of hair loss will also be examined by your hair loss specialist. Two of the most common and universally known hair density scales are the Ludwig Scale and the Savin Scale. The Ludwig Scale ranges from stage 1 to stage 3, with stage 3 showing the most amount of hair loss or when hair loss has progressed past the crown of the head. With the Savin Scale, although both scales are almost identical, overall thinning is also measured on top of the actual loss of hair.