One of the great hallmarks of beauty for a woman is long and beautiful healthy hair. Hair is one of the first things people notice about you and perhaps something they use to describe you to others. It hints at your personality, youthfulness, and health. But certain health conditions and lifestyle can make thinning hair and hair loss a problem for some women. Thinning hair can create the need to change or limit styling options, and losing one’s hair can be emotionally impactful for women, causing stress, embarrassment, and negatively impacting self-esteem. Here we explore some of the reasons you may be noticing hair loss.
Many women devote large portions of their day and their paychecks to improving the appearance of their hair. Some of these measures (braids, weaves, extensions) can backfire, producing traction alopecia. This is when your hair is quite literally ripped from your head! Over time, tight braids or heavy extensions pull on the hair and damage the follicles that are under stress. The hair loss can occur anywhere on the scalp that the hair is pulled tightly but is most evident along the frontal hairline. If caught early, it is entirely reversible.
Given enough time under tension, however, and the follicles become damaged to the point that they stop producing. In some women this does not correct itself after the weight of the braids is removed. Once permanent damage to the follicle occurs, the only solution to restore the hairline is hair transplantation.
Pattern Hair Loss happens to women too, and like the diagnosis for men, there is a strong hereditary link. If you have been noticing above average hair loss (look for the evidence on your brush, on your pillow and in the shower), you may have a condition called androgenetic alopecia, a condition that impacts approximately 30 million American women, and about 50% of women aged 50 to 60 years or older.
Grab a few older female relatives and a magnifying glass to get to the root (literally) of the problem. If your female family members have hairs that are visually variant in size and thickness, that is one of the indicators of androgenetic alopecia. The hair follicles begin to shrink and become non-productive due to hormonal effects, and eventually the hair stops growing.
Other Causes of Hair Loss for Women
Sometimes it is our daily habits and lifestyles that contribute to hair loss. These conditions can include, but are not limited to:
- Oral contraceptives and implanted birth control methods can contribute to hair loss for women under the age of 50.
- Pregnancy and childbirth.
- Certain types of prescription medications can cause thinning hair.
- Chronic emotional or physical stress.
- Anemia and other diagnosed autoimmune diseases.
- Chemical hair coloration and/or excessive use of hot drying or curling appliances on the hair.
It is important to talk to your primary care physician or dermatologist first, to discuss your concerns about hair loss and to rule out serious health conditions that may be present. Supervised hormone treatment, dietary and nutritional changes, and adjusting how you ‘wear your hair’ can have a huge impact, and help your scalp recuperate and stimulate new hair growth.
Why Hair Extensions Are an Expensive and Temporary Solution
The average cost of quality human hair extensions can run anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 for women. The results are non-invasive and immediate, which is why many women turn first to hair extensions to address problems with thinning hair.
But hair extensions have a limited lifespan of about 90-days, before they need to be removed and replaced, or augmented with an additional service. Over time, hair extensions can also significantly damage healthy hair that becomes stressed and chemically impacted by the adhesives used in the aesthetic procedure.
For this reason, many women are exploring the benefits of hair transplant services. While the cost of initial treatment is more expensive, it offers a long-lasting and often permanent solution, by seeding the areas of hair loss with your own natural hair.
At Natural Restorations, we can counsel you on which of our treatments would be appropriate for your particular cause of hair loss, whether it be Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) or FUE transplantation with the ARTAS® Robotic System. Schedule your free consultation with our team today.