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What hair loss is normal for women? 60? 100? 200? Everyone loses hair as part of our hair's natural growth cycle and we drop a certain amount of hair every day. On average, people usually lose up to 50-100 hairs each day. Hair shedding is a part of every day life, and so are clogged shower drains with hair. So, don’t worry, you are not alone and hair loss is totally normal.
Common Questions our Waseyo Beauty Community Ask About Women Hair Loss
Is hair loss genetic?
There's a chance that hair loss is hereditary and that hair thinning could be due to genetics. Scientifically, this is known as Androgenetic Alopecia, which is a female pattern hair loss. It’s one of the leading cause of hair loss in women, and don’t usually experience noticeable thinning until their 40s.
Hair loss from androgenetic alopecia occurs because of a genetically determined shortening of anagen, which is the growing phase of a hair follicle.
In simple terms, the hair’s growing phase becomes shorter. It also takes longer for new hair to begin growing. Hair follicles shrink, leading the hair that does grow to be thinner and finer. This miniaturization can result in hair that is more fragile and easily breaks.
What causes hair loss?
Androgenetic alopecia involves the action of hormones called androgens, which are the most common cause of hair loss for both women and men. In both sexes, the hormone responsible for hair loss is similar: dihydrotestosterone (known as “DHT”), a hormone that your body produces as a byproduct of testosterone.
Both men and women need testosterone. In men, the body has a large amount of testosterone and a small amount of estrogenic hormones. In women, this ratio is reversed, with a small amount of testosterone and larger quantities of estrogen and progesterone hormones.
Testosterone is important for several functions in your body, from keeping your bones and muscle tissue healthy to regulating your sex drive.
Unfortunately, an excess of DHT affects our hairline by miniaturizing hair follicles, and is one of the reason for our hairs to stop growing normally and eventually thin and drop. And because androgenic alopecia can miniaturize your hair follicles, the hair that you lose is often gone permanently.
What is the difference between men and women hair loss?
Generally, while men tend to notice hair loss as a receding hairline and sometimes hair loss in patches, women’s hair loss appears more as overall thinning. Some of the first signs of hair loss are a progressive, gradual reduction in hair volume.
In women, androgenetic alopecia hair loss symptoms begin with gradual thinning at the part line. Female pattern hair loss occurs in a pattern, usually starting in the centre of the crown with widening of the part line.
How does hormonal imbalance affect hair loss in women?
Some other reasons for hair loss is due to hormonal fluctuations. One of them is postpartum hair loss. And one of the most common question we get from our new mums - “Is this normal? Why am I dropping more hair than usual!”
Post pregnancy hair loss during first two to six months after giving birth is perfectly normal. Losing about 80 hairs a day is norm, but that number could go up to about 400 hairs a day for new mums. Nevertheless, by six months to a year after birth, the hair loss should slow to pre-pregnancy numbers.
What causes hair loss after a baby? The body experiences increased levels of estrogen and progesterone levels during pregnancy, which causes hair to remain in an ongoing stage of growth, creating thicker lustrous strands. But all good things must come to an end, and your hormones equalize in the months after childbirth. And these means the extra hair drops too.
But don’t worry, because your body is just adjusting back to its normal self and it takes time. More importantly, hair loss postpartum experience can vary among women, so trust the process and enjoy motherhood!
Can oily scalp lead to hair loss?
A little oil is ok, as the sebum’s important role is to help protect healthy hair. But it is essential to keep your scalp cleansed. After all, the sebum from the scalp will also weigh down on your hair, and who wants their hair looking flat and greasy to touch.
Oily scalps when left unmanaged, especially in hot and humid climates, tend to get even oilier. If too much sebum builds up on the scalp, it traps dead skin cells and dirt particles. This clogs up the hair follicles and can lead to scalp problems such as hair thinning, premature hair loss, itching and scalp acne.
While certain factors like genetics and hormones are out of our control, personal hygiene to ensure our scalp are well cleansed definitely is within our means. This is important why we have to regularly do scalp treatment to remove the excess sebum, dead skin cells and product buildup on our scalp and keep our hair follicles healthy. This is to prevent scalp problems like dandruff, pimples on scalp and worse, cause hair loss!
Is hair loss and stress associated?
Other triggers for hair loss in women is due to significant emotional stress which is linked to telogen effluvium. Our hair follicle is constantly either in the growth or rest stage. A majority of your hair follicles will remain in the growth phase at any given time. Slowly, when the hair follicle transitions to the resting phase (telogen phase), the hair will shed off at the end of it and new cycle repeats.
During telogen effluvium, a trigger like significant stress causes a sudden, abnormal shift of hairs into the telogen phase all at once. Stress pushes hair follicles into a resting phase, and simply means our hair stops growing and falls out more easily. So take it easy and stay happy for healthier hair!
How to treat hair loss?
Medications are the most common treatment for hair loss in women. They include the following:
Topical Minoxidil is an over the counter medication which can available as a spray or liquid form. Minoxidil when applied directly to the scalp could stimulate hair growth. Over the counter use usually comes in 2% minoxidil to treat hair loss in women. And some could go up to 5% solution when a stronger solution is needed for a woman's hair loss.
However, it definitely is not a miracle drug. While it can produce some new growth of fine hair in some women, it can't recover the all of the lost hair. Neither is it a quick fix, and you won't see results for at least two months. For most, it usually takes 3-4 months, but it could take longer. And if it does work for you, you'll need to keep using it to maintain those results. If you stop, you'll start to lose hair again.
Ketoconazole may also help treat hair loss in some cases, where inflammation of the hair follicles often contributes to hair loss. Topical ketoconazole might help reduce inflammation and improve the strength and look of the hair. One of the best hair loss shampoo which contains Ketoconazole as an active ingredient is Nizoral and is available for purchase over the counter. Stronger concentrations will require a prescription from a doctor.
5 Tips and tricks to help you deal with hair loss
- Massaging the scalp daily stimulates the hair follicles. This also helps increase blood circulation and oxygen flow to our scalp area to keep our hair follicles healthy.
- Be gentle with your hair locks especially when brushing your hair after shower. (Tip: use Carediem shampoo to ensure your hair is silky smooth. Don’t believe, see our comb test comparing with other shampoos that always cause your comb to get stuck in your wet hair and create unnecessary stress on your hair roots)
- Avoid fancy hairstyles like tight braids or ponytails that may pull on hair at the root and potentially lead to more hair drop.
- Let your hair air dry to avoid irritating your scalp. Heat stylers, like curling or straightening irons, may damage or break the hair shaft.
- Avoid heavy styling creams and sprays that may clog the scalp and hair follicle. (Tip: use our home scalp treatment COSSU scalp detox to deep cleanse your scalp if you style your hair regularly)
Emotional impact of hair loss for women
It goes without saying that hair loss – regardless of gender – can be emotionally devastating. It can dent a person’s self-esteem and negatively trigger a wide range of social and emotional issues and affect overall quality of life. As a woman, dealing with hair loss can be difficult. Luckily, it’s almost always treatable using a range of safe, effective medications.
There is no definite and 'sure-work' remedy for hair loss – you must look at your overall health, lifestyle, as well as ensuring the health of your scalp and the condition of growing hairs. Due to the nature of the hair growth cycle, it takes at least 3 months to see results. We all know hair loss prevention is difficult but always be patient.
If you know of an effective treatment, drop us a comment below :)