What are the causes of hair loss and hair thinning in women?
Hair loss is typically related to one or more of the following factors:
Family history (heredity)
The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition called male-pattern baldness or female-pattern baldness. It usually occurs gradually with aging and in predictable patterns — a receding hairline and bald spots in men and thinning hair in women.
Hormonal changes and medical conditions
A variety of conditions can cause permanent or temporary hair loss, including hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and thyroid problems. Medical conditions include alopecia areata (al-o-PEE-she-uh ar-e-A-tuh), which causes patchy hair loss, scalp infections such as ringworm and a hair-pulling disorder called trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh).
Medications and supplements
Hair loss can be a side effect of certain drugs, such as those used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout, and high blood pressure.
Radiation therapy to the head
The hair may not grow back the same as it was before.
A very stressful event
Many people experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock. This type of hair loss is temporary.
Certain hairstyles and treatments
Excessive hairstyling or hairstyles that pull your hair tight, such as pigtails or cornrows, can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Hot oil hair treatments and permanents can cause inflammation of hair follicles that leads to hair loss. If scarring occurs, hair loss could be permanent.
How does hair loss in women differ from hair loss in men? How does it typically manifest in women?
Female hair loss
Can begin as early as the 20s and 30s, but most common for women around age 45 – 55. 50% of women experience hair loss by age 50.
Signs of female hair loss
Thinning of hair in the middle area of the scalp or a slow widening of the part.
Common causes of female hair loss
Androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium, hormone changes after menopause, stress, nutrition.
More difficult for women as hair loss is tied to femininity and beauty. Women can feel less attractive with hair loss.
How many women suffer?
30 million women experience hair loss, making up 40% of hair loss sufferers in the United States.
Male hair loss
Age: May start as early as their teens, but more aggressive hair loss happens in their 40s and 50s.Two-thirds of American men experience hair loss by age 35.
Signs of male hair loss
Starts with a receding hairline and thinning of hair around the crown.
Common causes of male hair loss
Androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium, stress, nutrition.
In some senses, it’s more socially acceptable for a man to have hair loss or be bald. However, men can also feel shame though as the hair is tied to masculinity and strength.
How many men suffer?
50 million men experience hair loss.
Can hair loss be reversed or simply managed?
What are some of the most effective treatments/strategies for women with hair loss?
Multiple studies establish saw palmetto’s ability to encourage optimal hair growth by targeting DHT, the main culprit of genetic hair loss.
An essential B-vitamin that promotes healthy hair growth and overall hair health. This ingredient strengthens both the hair follicle and the hair shaft, from which the hair grows.
Pumpkin Seed Extract
Studies establish that pumpkin seed extract stimulates healthy hair growth by suppressing the harmful effects of DHT and increasing circulation to the scalp.
Studies establish that caffeine stimulates hair follicles to grow thicker and stronger hair.
Green Tea Extract
Studies establish that green tea extract is rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols stimulate hair follicles, improve hair anchoring and promote stronger, healthier looking hair.
Black Cumin Oil
Black seed oil is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids that can strengthen the hair and improve scalp health.
Pygeum Bark Extract
Studies establish that this extract stimulates circulation to the scalp and helps vital nutrients reach hair follicles where they are needed.
Black Seed Oil
Black seed oil is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids that studies establish strengthens hair.
Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract
Studies establish that this extract contains a high concentration of isoflavones that positively influences the appearance of healthier and thicker looking hair.
Pumpkin Seed Oil
Pumpkin seed oil can contain the phytosterol beta-sitosterol. Studies establish that it reduces the damage caused by DHT.
Cayenne Fruit Extract
Studies establish that capsaicin stimulates blood circulation and provides necessary nutrition to the hair follicles, supporting the growth of healthier, thicker and more voluminous hair.
Jojoba Oil, Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Sunflower Oil
Minoxidil’s use for pattern baldness was discovered by accident. Minoxidil was widely used to treat high blood pressure, but researchers found that one of drug’s side effects was hair growth in unexpected areas.
Minoxidil lotion is applied to the scalp and may work by increasing blood flow, and therefore nourishment, to the hair follicles. The American Hair Loss Association say that most experts agree that Minoxidil is “a relatively marginally effective drug in the fight against hair loss.”
The treatment has zero effect on the hormonal process of hair loss, and its benefits are temporary. Hair loss continues if usage is discontinued.
This involves harvesting follicles from the back of the head that are DHT resistant and transplanting them to bald areas. A surgeon will remove minuscule plugs of skin that contain a few hairs and implant the plugs where the follicles are inactive. Around 15 percent of hairs emerge from the follicle as a single hair, and 15 percent grow in groups of four or five hairs.
At the end of the procedure, the person will still have the same amount of hair – it will just be distributed more evenly around the scalp. Treating hair loss through the surgical procedure can be painful and expensive. There is also a risk of scarring and infection.
Low-level laser therapy
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a form of light and heat treatment. LLLT has been shown to stimulate hair growth in both men and women. Researchers hypothesize that the main mechanisms involved in the process is the stimulation of epidermal stem cells in the follicle and shifting the follicle back into the growth phase of the cycle.
Iron deficiency could be a cause of hair loss in some women. Your doctor may test your blood iron level, particularly if you’re a vegetarian, have a history of anemia, or have heavy menstrual bleeding. If you do have iron deficiency, you will need to take a supplement and it may stop your hair loss. However, if your iron level is normal, taking extra iron will only cause side effects, such as stomach upset and constipation.
Coconut Oil Massage
You can heat up some coconut oil and use it to massage the scalp with your finger-tips. This is beneficial in increasing the blood flow to hair follicles, thereby strengthening and conditioning them.
Corticosteroids medicine or shots contain a type of hormone in it.  They suppress the immune system and thereby help in getting rid of alopecia areata
Aloe Vera contains various enzymes that help in healthy growth of hair. Either you can directly apply the Aloe Vera juice/gel on your scalp or you can take one teaspoon of Aloe Vera on an empty stomach. One of the enzymes that it contains, proteolytic, helps in repairing all the dead skin cells on the scalp. Aloe vera can also be used as a conditioner for smooth and shiny hair. Not just that, it also controls dandruff, itching, and also promotes hair growth.
Better Blood Circulation
It is important to keep blood and oxygen flowing to all parts of the body. However, many people with bad circulation find that their scalp cells die, which means that hair will stop growing. Therefore, it is important to stimulate your blood circulation and maintain proper levels of iron in your body. Iron deficiency is called anemia, and without iron, you are unable to produce red blood cells. Along with iron, it is important to stimulate the surface of the skin itself, which draws blood to the area and stimulates hair growth and life in the follicle cells. Scalp massage is one of the best ways to create this beneficial blood flow. However, if your hair loss tends to come in clumps when it is rubbed (with a brush or while shampooing your hair), you might not want to massage too often, since it will only exacerbate the hair loss.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Also known as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and commonly prescribed at menopause, estrogen and progesterone pills and creams are probably the most common systemic form of treatment for androgenetic alopecia for women in menopause or whose estrogen and/or progesterone are lacking for other reasons.
What products do you recommend for women with hair loss and why?
I highly suggest Hair Restore Shampoo and conditioner by Hair Restoration Laboratories.
For almost two months, my husband and I have been using Hair Restore Shampoo and conditioner by Hair Restoration Laboratories. Normally I don’t mention products in my articles but after using it for a month both my husband and I noticed a significant change.
For me, I noticed that my hair became thicker and the speed of regrowth definitely increased. I also noticed that my hair was much silkier and smooth. It also had a nice shine to it.
Before my hair was not growing as fast and it was not as thick. It was also brittle and breaking easily. I don’t have any of these problems now.
For my husband, he noticed regrowth. He’s been very excited about this and he uses both the shampoo and conditioner daily.