Shedding about 50 to 100 hairs a day is considered normal. With this, there is no noticeable difference in the amount of hair that ideally rests on the scalp. There are no traces of thinning hair because new hair is also growing at the same time. When hair growth cycles are interrupted due to medication, illnesses, chemicals or infection, then hair loss is imminent.
The scalp is a dynamic area and any slight disruption in the hair growth cycle can lead to thinning hair.
What causes hair loss in women?
Though hair loss and balding seem like prominent issues in men, women are likely to suffer from hair loss too. The loss of hair in women is perceptible only when they are in their 50s and 60s.
Women can look for visual cues of hair loss. A balding man’s hair tends to recede from the forehead while for women it starts from the top of the scalp while the frontal hairline stays intact.
Most cases of hair loss are attributed to genetics, especially when there are revealing signs of androgenetic alopecia. 50% of the women suffer from this kind of hair loss and it is most evident by the time the woman is 50.
Medical causes of hair loss:There are several medical conditions that can lead to hair loss in women:
Hormonal imbalances: Not unknown, but hormonal changes can lead to hair loss. Women experience fluctuations in their hormone levels due to pregnancy, menopause, childbirth etc.
Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid disease, hypothyroidism is a common disorder. The gland fails to secrete enough hormones leading to a slowdown of several processes. The body ends up producing far less energy than is required and the overall metabolism is severely affected. As the physical processes slow down, it also diminished hair growth.
Hyperthyroidism: The condition is more prevalent in women than in men. An overactive thyroid gland starts producing excessive amounts of the thyroid hormone. It leads to brittle hair and loss of hair among other symptoms such as weakness, weight loss, irregular heartbeat, inability to concentrate, etc.
One of the primary symptoms of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism is hair loss.
Lichen planus: This is a non-infectious and common skin rash. Characterised by even lesions in the mouth, the disease is triggered due to a breakdown in the body’s immune system. Not a dangerous condition, the potential causes of lichen planus are attributed to viral infections, allergens, stress, and genetics. Variations in the condition can also lead to lesions occurring on the scalp, which leads to hair loss.
Other medical conditions that can lead to hair loss are:
The causes of hair loss in women are predominantly due to an underlying medical condition. Women should consult a physician for a thorough diagnosis before directly administering hair loss treatments.