On the heels of my appearance on “The Doctors” TV show discussing Hair Transplants for female patients, I have decided to write about different causes of hair loss in women. Common causes of hair loss in women can be traction alopecia, which results from constant pulling on the hair as in braiding or tight pony tails. Alopecia Areata, which is an autoimmune disease which results in smooth round patches of hair loss. Medications such as blood thinners, seizure medication, anti inflammatory medications, Beta blockers, prednisone, mood altering drugs, chemotherapy, oral contraceptives, thyroid medications, and illicit drugs such as cocaine, can all be causes of hair loss. Anemia, which is a low blood count can also cause hair loss. Other causes include thyroid disease, connective tissue diseases such as lupus, crash diets, stress, and post general anesthesia. Major events where big hormonal changes occur, such as childbirth and menopause, can also cause hair loss in females. Scars caused by trauma or other surgical procedures can also cause hair loss in those areas. Probably the most common cause of female hair loss is a genetic form of hair loss that is an inherited trait that can come from either the mother or father’s side of the family. This typically manifests as diffuse thinning in the scalp. Often the hairline can be preserved in these cases. Some of these causes of hair loss may be treated with medications or a hair transplant procedure but it is important to have a thorough medical work up and examination to determine the exact cause, and then we can determine the treatment.
I will be appearing on the TV show “The Doctors” this coming Tuesday October 11 discussing female hair loss and why women seek out hair restoration and hair transplant procedures. On that topic I would like to write some tips I have picked up through the years on ways for women to avoid hair loss.
1) Limit the use of pony tails or hair ties. If you are going to tie your hair up in any fashion make sure that there is not too much traction applied to the hair and that you do not leave on a hair tie for long periods. Under no circumstances should you sleep with ties in your hair. Traction on the hair may cause it to fall out and the damage in some instances can be permanent.
2) Avoid hair coloring and tinting formulas that contain ammonia. Ammonia can be damaging to hair and the scalp and can cause permanent hair loss.
3) Avoid using excessive direct heat to your hair while blow drying. Try and keep the setting on warm as opposed to hot.
4) Avoid rubbing your scalp as repeated rubbing can cause permanent damage to the scalp.
5) Do not wash your hair too often especially if you are in a shedding period where you are losing more hair than usual.
These little tips may be useful to avoid hair loss and to minimize hair loss in individuals undergoing an active loss period.