Hair loss in women – not just a vanity issue, a health issue
Although we mainly think of hair loss in men, hair loss in women is also a problem. We normally shed 50 – 100 strands of hair daily but under certain conditions, we lose more than this. To see if hair loss is a problem, look for clumps of hair on your pillow, on your comb, or bare patches on your scalp. Men’s hair tends to recede from the forehead or crown of the head. Women’s hair tends to thin on the top 1/3 to ½ of scalp.
Some causes for hair loss are:
- Normal aging
- Hormonal factors such as thyroid and sex hormones
- Medications such as cancer drugs, drugs for cardiovascular disease and depression
- Medical conditions such as infections, autoimmune disease and skin diseases
- Other causes such as physical and emotional trauma, hair pulling disorders
- Certain hair care practices and hairstyles that put stress on the hair
Some risk factors for hair loss are:
- Family history – ask about hair loss in mother, aunts, grandmothers
- Hair treatments – overuse or improper chemical treatments such as hair coloring, permanent wave or straighteners; blow drying, using a flat iron
- Nutrient imbalances
Some hair regrowth is possible depending on why the hair is lost. Using the principles of naturopathic medicine, we can improve nutritional status, treat the underlying medical conditions and help make appropriate life style changes. Increasing the health of the hair results in an improvement in general health.