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Steps that can be taken to reduce unnatural hair loss in Women
Hair loss among women can be very common with age. Many women notice more hair than usual in the bathtub drain, stuck to furniture or clothing, or caught in their brush. Although this is somewhat alarming, it is very common and there are steps that can be taken to remedy the situation.
First of all, a certain amount of hair loss is completely normal. According to Rebecca Caserio, M.D of the University of Pittsburgh, most hair lives three to six years. At the end of their life cycle these hairs go into a resting period for three months and then simply fall out. New hairs then grow into these roots. Since we do not lose all of our hair at once, different strands of hair are at different points in their life cycle.
Hair is lost at a rate of 50 to 100 hairs daily. Stresses on the body and changes in the hormonal cycle can trigger more hair loss. This includes, but is not limited to: menopause, pregnancy, hormone changes from birth control or other hormone based medications, severe dandruff or scalp problems, and iron or protein deficiencies. According to Dr. Caserio, dramatic, temporary hair loss of up to 50% can also occur due to serious illness or physical stress. However, these cases are very extreme.
If hair loss is abnormal or accompanied by facial hair, changed or abnormal periods or changes in voice, it may be a sign of hormonal changes. If so, it is time to see a doctor.
Hair loss experienced as a thinning at the crown of the head, known as female pattern baldness (similar to male pattern baldness) is less likely to be the symptom of a medical condition and is most likely caused by genetics. Similar to men, women can inherit baldness. This can be inherited from either parent. However, the social stigma for women and the emotional toll exacted can be far greater. Female pattern baldness can be treated with Minoxidil (Rogaine) in either over the counter or prescription form. Consult with a doctor to find out of you are a good candidate.
There are other options for slowing, reversing, and managing hair loss. These methods are designed primarily for healthy women who are not experiencing hair loss as a result of a medical condition. The following tips can be used to hold on to the hair you have and encourage re-growth.
1. Take care
Be very gentle with your hair and scalp. Do not shampoo hair more than once daily. Do not repeat with a second lather. When massaging shampoo, make sure to rub your scalp gently. The best shampoo to use is a very mild baby shampoo. Follow this with a light detangling leave-in conditioner.
2. Air dry
Letting your hair air dry is much better if you are experiencing hair loss. Do not towel dry hair vigorously and if you must, use a blow dryer on a low setting.
3. Style with Care
Wait until your hair is dry to style. Brushing or combing wet or damp hair can cause stretch and breakage.
4. Switch it up
Change shampoo brands at the beginning of every season. According to Dr. Bihova this may prevent some shedding.
5. Never tease
Teasing or backcombing hair is not recommended even for women without hair loss problems. Teasing breaks hair and can even contribute to the appearance of hair loss.
6. Color treat and perm with care
Perming and color treating, when done incorrectly can cause severe hair breakage. Hair can break very close to the scalp and even cause the appearance of complete hair loss in that follicle. If you suffer from hair loss make sure to read and follow all product instructions with the utmost of care.
In addition to daily care, hair loss in women can be helped with some dietary changes. Make sure to get enough lean, healthy protein (chicken or fish are good choices). Protein is needed by the cells that make hair in order to work efficiently. Iron deficient anemia can cause hair loss, so make sure to get enough iron in your diet. Eat two servings of iron rich foods daily (tofu, clams, soybeans, broccoli, etc.). In addition, according to Dr. Caserio, 100 milligrams daily of vitamin B6 can also been helpful. However, larger amounts and prolonged use can be toxic, so check with your doctor.
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