What you need to know:
- Hair growth will not happen overnight, it may take several months to see improvements even if you follow the right advice.
- There are several nutrients that your body needs to make substantial, healthy, and shiny hair.
- Thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism can lead to thinning of the hair or baldness.
The gradual thinning of hair is not something women notice as quickly as men. While for men the receding hairline is usually apparent, many women just think they have shorter hair than before. Of course, it’s no secret that women lose hair as they grow older, but what about those who suddenly begin to see significantly more strands on their pillow or in the shower?
Hair loss can be a severe problem and it is important to understand its causes so that you can take appropriate action.
Here are some of the most common causes of hair loss in women and how to address them.
Symptoms of hair loss in women
- Thinning of hair
- Hair loss on the entire body
- Hair loss in patches or all over the scalp
Triggers of hair loss
Childbirth hair loss
This is a common type of hair loss among women. It usually starts three to four months after childbirth and may continue for up to six months. It's temporary and it’s called telogen effluvium. Postpartum shedding typically occurs when the oestrogen levels drop suddenly, but it can be prevented by taking folic acid supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Women’s hair loss is sometimes caused by inherited genes.
Thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism can lead to thinning of the hair or baldness. In addition, severe anaemia leads to excessive shedding because there is not enough oxygenated blood flowing through your body to transport nutrients like iron and protein that hair needs to survive. Anaemia can also cause hair loss in children and adolescents because their bodies need iron for growth, development, and normal function of the body systems.
Lack of sleep, stressful events such as divorce, or the death of a loved one may lead to significant changes in your hormone levels, leading to hair loss.
There are several nutrients that your body needs to make substantial, healthy, and shiny hair. These include B vitamins such as biotin, vitamin C, iron, and proteins found in eggs, poultry, fish, meat, and leafy green vegetables.
It is important to wear protective hairstyles to avoid traction alopecia. Traction alopecia is the type of baldness that occurs when you put too much stress on your hair by combing, brushing, or pulling tightly into styles such as ponytails and braids.
Handling hair loss
Involves using treatments such as medications, scalp reduction surgery, and lasers. Medications can include minoxidil (Rogaine). Scalp reduction surgery involves removing a bald area and stitching the skin together to form a tighter surface from which hair regrows. Lasers can also be used for stimulating the growth of new follicles in scars or receding areas. Finally, a hair transplant, a surgical procedure that involves taking hair follicles from one part of the head and transferring them to another part can be done.
Choose protective hairstyles
Protect your hair by wearing protective hairstyles that do not pull your hairline or cause tension in your roots. Your hair may become shorter as it grows because of frequent styling with a blow dryer, curling iron, straightening irons, and hot rollers. Wear natural hairstyles to minimise damage to fragile hair, which may lead to thinning or loss of strands.
Choose the right shampoo
Make sure that you choose a good quality shampoo with biotin content or other nutrients for healthy-looking hair because shampoos that contain harsh chemicals can damage your hair.
Use massage technique
Massage scalp daily with natural oils like coconut oil or almond oil to stimulate blood circulation and improve the nourishment of hair follicles for better growth of shiny, healthy hair.
Eat nutrient-rich foods
Eat a diet that includes foods rich in biotin, vitamins C and E, zinc, iron, and sulfur proteins which are all essential for hair growth. Biotin is crucial because it facilitates the production of keratin - one of the main components of healthy hair.
Use natural remedies
Some natural remedies like coconut oil and castor oil promote faster hair growth because they contain proteins that prevent dryness and dandruff. In addition, there are hair masks that enhance hair growth. Including these remedies in your hair routine will help in your hair growth journey.