Coming to terms with the reality of hair loss as a woman is difficult, very difficult. Much more difficult than for men. Men are ‘supposed’ to lose their hair, it’s genetic and it is socially ‘acceptable’. Men can work the bald look and even made it sexy. But this is not the case for women, baldness or even thinning hair is not an option for women and it is traumatic.
Hair loss is a scary though for anyone, but as a woman, losing your hair can be especially hurtful. Words cannot describe how deep the prongs of pain can reach into a woman’s soul when they lose their hair. Any loss is painful, but your hair is so intimately connected to who you are, to how you feel and how you perceive yourself it makes it even more grievous.
A woman with female hair loss will often lead people to assume you’re unwell. Perhaps it’s because women losing their hair doesn’t seem all that common? Or, more likely, you don’t appear to be well, it changes the way you look. When we are sick our hair looks dank and lifeless as we don’t have the correct nutrients going to the hair. Also, when sick the hair can thin out, known as Telogen Effluvium and subconsciously we can make this assumption. But the truth is that around 30 million women in America (2.2 million women in Australia) alone have experienced extensive hair loss, not to mention the many more that have thinning hair as a result of menopause and certain medications.
What is normal hair loss for women?
It is normal to lose about 50 to 150 hairs each day if you are healthy and all is well with your body, just as many will grow back. Here is an important point, hair regrowth in quality and quantity. It doesn’t matter if you lose more hairs per day than the average, as long as you have an equal number growing back each day with the same quality of hair. If this is the case, all will be right with your hair.
Most Common Types of Hair loss in Women
Androgenetic Alopecia (Female pattern Thinning)
However, there is an increased number of women who are finding that the rate and quality of hair regrowth has not been matching what their hair used to be. Often the hair grows back much finer, fluffier or fly away and it doesn’t grow to the same length of it once previously did. Symptomatically, this type of thinning is typical of Androgenetic Alopecia, it is a form of hereditary hair loss, often called Female Pattern Thinning. Although it might not be hereditary, even a slight imbalance in the hormones can trigger it off. It is by far the most common cause of hair loss, affecting about 80% of all women with hair thinning. Unfortunately, this type of hair loss it often permanent and will be a long term issue. Without intervention it will gradually become worse.
Telogen Effluvium (Diffuse hair loss)
Telogen Effluvium or diffuse hair loss is more likely to be caused by lifestyle setbacks, including severe stress (death in the family, divorce, relationship breakdown, surgery, job loss) and changes in your diet or nutritional deficiency (crash programs, lack of protein), can cause your hair to shed more rapidly than normal. This form of thinning will usually reverse once the stress factor is removed and the body has time to recalibrate.
Physical medical conditions such as an overactive or under-active thyroid gland, iron deficiency can also result in hair loss in women. When women go through menopause and their estrogen levels fall, their hair often begins to thin. Many women also lose some hair a few months after giving birth because of the hormonal changes the body experiences.
When you first start to notice that you have thinning hair you should consult a doctor straight away; and if you can, a dermatologist who specialises in hair loss. No matter what the cause, the sooner you address the problem the better for you and your hair. The dermatologist will take your medical history, run blood tests and may even do a scalp biopsy.
If the blood test reveals that you have low iron, for instance, your doctor will put you on a supplement. If your hair loss seems to be the result of menopause, you and your doctor can discuss whether hormone replacement therapy would be a good idea. Blood tests can also reveal problems with the thyroid, it’s worth getting a special check for Hashimoto’s syndrome (regular thyroid blood tests do not reveal this) and also check for poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which can also be a cause of the thinning.
Hair Loss Treatments for Women
Minoxidil for women
Studies show that the most effective topical medication for the female hair loss is currently minoxidil (brand name Rogaine) which is the only treatment for hair loss in women that has been approved by the FDA. However Minoxidil can take anywhere between six months or even up to a year before you will see results and even then there is no guarantee. Althought readily available over the counter in Australia, many women are finding that they are getting better results with the oral medication (tablets). You will need a prescription from a doctor to access this.
Low Level Laser Hair Therapy for Women
Many sufferers of female hair loss report success with laser hair therapy devices such as the Hairmax Laserband 82. These are the only lasers that we recommend as they are FDA and TGA (Australian equivalent) cleared and they are easy to use.
The HairMax lasers have been extensively trialled in clinical studies in several medical clinics in the USA and have been found to help in the following ways:
- 93% of participants regrew hair
- 85% of participants stopped further hair loss
- Results in women: 20.4 New hairs p/cm2
- Results in men: 21.5 new hairs p/cm2
- 149 new hairs p/inch2.
You can expect to see results after 16 weeks of use. These lasers have very short treatment times of 90 seconds and 3 minutes respectively, 3 times per week.
Cosmetic Hair Thickening Products
If hair loss treatments are not working for you and your scalp is more visible than you’d like it to be, can also cosmetically cover hair loss and thicken hair with BioTHIK Hair Fibres. They are proven to quickly make your hair look up to 200% thicker – in less than 30 seconds!
Biothik is like a hair thickening powder, but it is much more than a powder. These are actual keratin hair fibres that have replicate the look of your own hair (they are coloured to match). They have been infused with an electro-static charge that causes an attraction between your own growing (albeit thinning hair) and the fibres. It creates and extremely strong bond that lasts all day, they won’t fall out of your hair like some other powders. The result is stunningly thicker, fuller looking hair. Check out some of the before and after photos, it really is quite astounding – sometimes people think the photos have been photo shopped, they haven’t. They have been done on real people with real hair loss concerns.
If you haven’t tried them before, we would recommend the value pack. It contains a 28g bottle of Biothik Hair fibres, about a 3 months supply with average use, and Locking Mist, this is a specially formulated hair spray that dramatically increases the security of the hair fibres making it virtually impervious to wind and rain. The other added benefit of the Locking Mist is how it fixes your hair into your chosen style, it creates long lasting volume and lift in your hair. The value pack really is the perfect combination to thicken the look of your hair and keep it looking good all day long.
Beware of Hair Loss Gimmicks
“If you have thinning hair, be warned that there are lots of female hair loss treatments on the market but few are worth your money.” – Dr. Melissa Piliang, Dermatologist
Americans spent an estimated $176 million on hair loss products last year, and chances are some of that money was not well spent. Don’t let charming salon owners, seductive ads or fancy gimmicks convince you otherwise.
Lots of over-the-counter products that can be bought in chemist’s or supermarkets claim to promote hair growth but they very rarely do. Unless it contains minoxidil there is very little chance you will see your hair restored! Shampoos and vitamins might make your hair look and feel healthier, but they won’t put more hairs on your head. Unless you are nutritionally deficient, you probably don’t need a vitamin supplement and if you do, a simple multivitamin is enough.
Fads and gimmicks probably won’t hurt you, but they will waste time and money. When it comes to hair loss, seek professional medical advice first. Look for products that are scientifically tested and proven. For instantly thicker looking hair, try Biothik Hair Fibres they are an instant cosmetic solution that will make your hair look up to 200% thicker.