09/12/2022
Hair Loss

Hair loss in women – 2022

hair loss

Hair loss in women

If the hair on the whole head becomes evenly “thinner”, i.e. no longer as dense as before, there is diffuse hair loss. The scalp shines through more than it used to. However, individual bald spots are not recognizable.

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Diffuse hair loss: thin mop

If the hair on the whole head becomes evenly “thinner”, i.e. no longer as dense as before, there is diffuse hair loss. The scalp shines through more than it used to. However, individual bald spots are not recognizable.

Two main forms of diffuse hair loss

In one form, hair loss usually begins two to three months after the damaging event or after the onset of the disease – due to the increased entry of the hair into the resting or shedding phase (also known as the telogen phase, then referred to as telogen effluvium). After switching off the trigger, the hair loss comes to a standstill. It usually takes six to twelve months for the hair to grow back fully. This applies to most causes.

Rarely, telogen hair loss lasts more than four to six months and can also return. The reasons are unclear here.

In the other, quite acute form, the hair falls out in the growth phase (anagen phase, anagen effluvium). Rapid hair loss can then occur after only one to two weeks from the time of damage, as is the case with some chemotherapy, radiation treatments or severe poisoning with heavy metals.

In most cases, the hair starts to grow again after the end of the treatment. Amazingly, hair can be thicker afterwards, previously straight hair can become curly, and vice versa.

Diffuse hair loss: numerous causes

Grooming mistakes

Some people put too much “hair care” on their hair. This can cause damage to the hair itself, for example through intensive hot blow-drying, curling irons, frequent bleaching or perms. This can make the hair look brittle or break more easily. Hair loss itself is not usually provoked by this stress on the hair.

Stress

Some research suggests that stress can lead to hair loss.

Pregnancy, hormone intake

During pregnancy, the female hormone balance changes. One consequence is that many expectant mothers can look forward to particularly thick and healthy-looking hair, as the hair’s growth phase is longer. However, the hormonal changes after birth often lead to the hair falling out more than usual over the entire head.

These fluctuations are often frightening for those affected, but usually level off again at the usual level after a short time. Women who start with the “birth control pill”, switch to another preparation or stop taking it sometimes also notice effects on their hair.

Hyperthyroidism/hypothyroidism: A disorder of the thyroid gland, an important metabolic organ, can also have a greater impact on the hair in some sufferers.

Symptoms (selection)

In the case of an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), lack of drive, increased sensitivity to cold and cool, dry skin can lead to dull, brittle hair and hair loss.

An overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) can manifest itself with soft, thin hair and diffuse hair loss as well as with increased irritability, heat intolerance and warm, moist skin.

Infections, skin diseases: Diffuse or circumscribed hair loss can also be caused by various (skin) diseases: fungal diseases, an infection with bacteria or viruses such as with herpes zoster, tumors on the skin, psoriasis or eczema of the scalp.

Iron deficiency

An iron deficiency, especially a deficiency of the storage iron (ferritin), is detected more frequently in patients with diffuse hair loss. Whether this is really the cause of the increased hair loss has not yet been finally clarified. Iron deficiency can be caused by an insufficient supply of iron through food, insufficient iron absorption through the intestines or increased blood loss. Possible causes are then, for example, heavy menstrual bleeding or gastrointestinal ulcers.

 

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