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Thinning Hair Women: 3 Causes Of Hair Loss You Might Not Know About
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Thinning Hair Women: 3 Causes Of Hair Loss You Might Not Know About

Think about it: Most of us do not even bat an eye when we see a bald man. We just assume his dad or grandfather is probably bald, and he was the unlucky inheritor of that particular pesky gene. When we see thinning hair women, however, our first thought is that she must be ill —chemo, radiation, something along those lines. Why is that? Why are we so desensitized by male baldness, yet we become shocked at the sight of a woman who has thinning hair?

Did you know that there are at least as many women with thinning hair as there are men? In most cases, men will not cover up the fact that they are bald, but women are so embarrassed by this “unfeminine” change that they will go to great lengths to cover their shame.

Thinning hair on a woman does not necessarily have to be the result of a medical situation, but can actually be spurred on by a number of different catalysts. Although there are many, we will explore three of the conditions unique to women who are experiencing hair loss:

  1. Telogen Effluvium
  2. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  3. Depression

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium, or hair shedding, is an abnormality of the scalp that most often occurs following such major events as a pregnancy, surgery, dramatic weight loss, or traumatic event. Thinning hair women with this condition tend to lose unusually large numbers of hair each day while performing such grooming activities as washing, styling and brushing. This condition takes place when hair growth occurs rapidly, and moves from the growing period to the stage in which the hair will die and then fall out.

Women with this condition will typically notice the thinning of their hair within a period of several weeks and up to three months following an acute and traumatic event. When such an event does occur, handfuls of hair will shed from the scalp.

There are no diagnostic tests for this condition at this time; however, your physician will likely question recent events that have taken place in your life that may have precipitated this hair loss. If it is determined that your current levels of stress and anxiety have become unmanageable, then your physician may suggest a course of antidepressants to get you over the hump until you are feeling yourself again.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a common condition that afflicts up to five million women in the United States alone. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is an imbalance of hormones in which the ovaries generate the production of more male than female hormones.

There are certain accompanying symptoms that are unique to this condition. Tell your doctor if you experience irregular menstrual cycles, have acne, notice facial hair growth, or have been diagnosed with cystic ovaries. Women who have this condition report that, in addition to thinning hair, they have also noticed hair loss on other parts of their bodies.

In order to ascertain a conclusive diagnosis of polycystic ovarian syndrome, your doctor may order a simple blood test to check for increased levels of testosterone.

Depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome

Depression is probably the most common condition of the three mentioned in this article. Depression can wreak havoc on a person’s mental, emotional and physical well-being.Unfortunately there are some thinning hair women who are too ashamed of their depression, and may even see it as a sign of weakness, and will therefore refuse to address the issue from a medical standpoint.

Speak with your doctor if you notice you are losing more hair than normal (normal being 50-100 strands each day) and you have just experienced a life-changing or traumatic event, or if you have feelings of sadness that will not lift. This may be a sign of depression, and there are a number of different medications called antidepressants that are available to put you back on the path to wholeness.

The above causes of hair loss may not pertain to all women. When it comes to a thinning hair treatment, well that's a whole different article.


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