Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Causes Of Hair Loss In Women
We want to talk to you today about the causes of hair loss in women. Hair loss what's normal. What's not. My name's Melanie. I'm not a doctor, but I have had a hair loss journey where I've learned a lot and want to share it with you.
One of the first things, where does your hair loss journey begin? It begins with, is the amount of hair loss I'm experiencing normal? How do you tell? Let's talk about what is normal. Normal is for someone to lose about fifty to a hundred hairs a day. Believe it or not, women suffer more than men because of the processing.
Fifty to one hundred hairs may sound like a lot, but it's not. We have over a hundred thousand hairs on average. So how do you know if your hair's falling out too quickly? Before we get to that. I'm going to show you a little test at the end you can do on yourself. But before we get to that, I want to run through some causes of hair loss with you.
You may want to make a little checklist. It can help you think about hair loss and how to solve the problem. So there are lots of causes of hair loss. First and foremost, dyeing our hair is chemicals on the follicle. Like chemicals on any living thing, it can cause it not to grow as quickly or cause the follicle damage.
Heat styling causes hair loss because it causes inflammation. When the follicles are inflamed, you have more hair loss. Heat is always associated with inflammation. So we want to be careful with blow dryers and stylers—any kind of heat, even hot weather.
We want to be careful with over-brushing or brushing the hair too hard. Washing too much can cause hair loss because it dries up the follicles. Washing too little can cause hair loss because it clogs up the follicles. With skin, remember, the scalp is skin.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome, hyperthyroidism, or hypothyroidism can cause a significant amount of hair loss. One of the most common is people not getting the nutrients they need. Think of it as a tree, as a plant, and it's a living growing thing. It needs nurturing. It needs regular nutrients, watering, and gentle care.
Stress alopecia, alopecia, means hair loss, and all of its types are growing. Not just because of our population's aging, but because of stress. Stress is a significant cause of hair loss.
Where are you in your life cycle pregnancy? You know, that can cause hair loss. Postpartum can cause hair loss, but not everyone suffers it. Those are often associated with hormones and nutrition. When I went through menopause, my hair got so thin I didn't even know what to do with it. It got thin and brittle too.
This one kills me. I love a glass of wine, but alcohol is inflammatory. Alcohol and excessive use of alcohol can cause hair loss. Not something we want to hear. But moderation is always the key, right? So those are some of the things that can cause hair loss.
Once you determined, I've got too much hair on my pillow. I've got too much hair in the shower. I've got too much hair in my hairbrush. If it's more than that fifty to a hundred a day, look at some of these causes. The dermatologist is the doctor we want to begin with because your scalp is skin.
The dermatologists, they take care of your skin. If you can't afford to go to a dermatologist, um, do your best to keep track of these things in your journal. We encourage you to go to a dermatologist and ask your dermatologist to do the following. You can ask them to take blood work. That can help you. It helps you determine if your hair loss is from a nutrient deficiency or not. You can also have the dermatologist do a scalp biopsy.
This is the key to know what is causing the hair loss. Dermatologists also have hair counting machines. Yes, there is such a thing as a hair counting machine. It's a high powered microscope hooked up to a camera. They take a little piece of your hair. Then they take a portion of the scalp and watch what happens to the follicles.
You can also ask them to do the pull test. Now you can do the pull test at the dermatologist. Or you can do it yourself. Here's how you do the whole test. So you get a little piece of hair like this. You run it through your fingers like this.
Make sure it's smooth. Then you tug on the bottom a little. I'm going to pull this. I'm going to smooth it out a little bit. Okay. I don't know how many strands is it. It's not that much hair. If you lose more than about 10% of your hair, for example, let's say this was a hundred strands, and I pulled it. I got ten strands. That could be a problem. Let me explain it.
There are three phases to your hair anagen, catagen, and telogen. Anagen is when everything's growing. Think of it as a tree, and it's spring. The leaves on the tree are green and happy. Catagen is like fall. Your hair is the tree, and the leaves on the tree are turning to different colors to get ready to fall.
So anagen is the happy face everything's growing. Catagen says nothing's happened, and we're not growing anymore. We're getting ready to fall. Telogen is that stage I was describing as I was pulling out my hair. Telogen is like when the leaves from the tree fall. In the telogen phase, it's normal to lose about 6% to 9% of your hair during that phase.
That's normal. If it goes above 10%, you want to go to your doctor? Look at some of the factors that we listed earlier. Hair is so important to all of us. Don't deny or ignore the information that your hair is giving you, pay attention, get to your doctor. Please, if there are any questions, we would love to hear from you. We want to do anything we can to help you with this hair journey.
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