Hair loss or alopecia can be difficult for women who suffer from it. Experts give us the best treatments, remedies and tips to keep your hair healthy and silky. They also explain the main causes of hair loss in women.
Hair loss in women: the best remedies, tricks and treatment suggestion.
Hair transplant or hair surgery: an effective treatment to counter female alopecia
Hair transplantation is a technique that aims to remove hair and re-implant it in a more open area. Hair transplants are successful in women who have lost their hair. “They are particularly effective,” says Dr. Wexler.
Surgeons previously transplanted entire scalp strips, but the individual transplanting of hair follicles from the back of the scalp gives better results. Because the back of the head is more resistant to hair loss, there is usually more hair. “It’s tedious and costly, but this approach represents the potential for good outcomes for women,” says Dr. Wexler. Follicular grafts are performed by qualified hair transplant surgeons; some are dermatologists.
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Hair loss can be treated with Minoxidil.
Try the Minoxidil
A first treatment option is Minoxidil. It is a liquid to apply on the scalp that slows down the loss, even accelerates the regrowth of a part of the hair and is sometimes effective in alopecia. There are topical or oral herbal remedies for men and women. They contain natural extracts of fenugreek or dwarf palm seeds, but there is no certainty as to their effectiveness.
‘Minoxidil is a vasodilator that lowers blood pressure and can also slow hair loss and even promote regrowth,’ explains Nick Dimakos. Dr Robert Jones, who recommended this treatment to several of his patients, argues that it is effective in most cases. But before considering taking Minoxidil, you should consult a doctor.
Prescription drugs for hair loss
If the diagnosis is alopecia areata, it is usually treated with corticosteroid creams or injections into the scalp, more effective if taken early. Several medications with hormonal effects (contraceptive pill) help prevent female alopecia, since this hair loss is related to testosterone, but oral contraceptives block testosterone. But these oral drugs present an increased risk of side effects compared to topical treatments. Discuss this with your doctor.
Topical steroids can be recommended for alopecia areata type hair loss and other cases of autoimmune origin, but these treatments will not work for alopecia genetics. In the case of chronic telogen effluvium, alopecia is usually short-term, sometimes accompanied by exacerbations, says Dr Durosier. “Temporary improvement can be seen with short-term treatment with topical steroids,” he says.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment has a different approach. It stimulates regrowth rather than fighting alopecia. “This treatment uses the patient’s own blood and growth factors to stimulate hair growth,” says Donovan. The blood is collected and centrifuged to isolate the plasma that is reinjected into the scalp to stimulate regrowth.
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Hair loss can be treated with low-intensity laser.
Low Intensity Laser Treatment
Other non-surgical treatments include low-intensity laser treatment. The laser is used to stimulate blood supply to the scalp and cause regrowth from the hair follicles.
Anti-androgen or hormone-blocking pills, or even oral contraceptives, can help slow or even stop alopecia. All these treatments block testosterone which can cause hair loss in some women whose hair is sensitive to androgens.
Extensions and wigs
“Hairpieces now look natural, sometimes more than your hair,” says Dr. Wexler. Hair extensions are lighter than hairpieces. Moreover, they are a good option if you still have enough hair. Women can also supplement missing hair with thickening powder of hair fibers. This powder is available at select pharmacies, hair salons and online. Sprinkle the fibers on your scalp and they should stay in place until the next shampoo.
Tattoo of the scalp
Scalp tattoos can be a more durable solution. Disadvantages? Yes, there are risks, such as infection. In addition, the colour of the tattoo changes with time.
Future treatments to better combat and control hair loss
New research is being done on prostaglandins, fat molecules that act as messengers. Although some prostaglandins are known to promote hair regrowth, others may inhibit it. This research could lead to new topical treatments that would restore hair regrowth.
How to better prevent and control hair loss in women
There are also preventive measures to curb alopecia. Doctor Nick Dimakos recommends that you consult your doctor to first check for thyroid imbalance. A quick diagnosis makes it possible to better prevent and control hair loss.
Add volume to it
And what to do until you find a lasting solution? Use products that increase the volume of your hair. Volumizing shampoos can temporarily increase the amount of the hair. This improves the overall look of the hair in women,” explains dermatologist Jeff Donovan. Apply these easy tips to give volume to your hair.
Capillary densification serum
Apply this serum every night to rebalance the hair cycle. You will bring the the follicles from dying to life and so this way more hair can come back to their stage of growth.
Night care for hair
You use night creams to regenerate and soothe the skin of your face while you sleep? Try the night mask for hair that will give the scalp a comparable care. Its antioxidant formula reduces damage to the hair caused by free radicals. In addition, it creates an environment conducive to hair growth.
Anti-fall regenerative serum
Use a regenerative treatment that works thanks to the adenosine triphosphate molecule. This molecule is known to triple the life cycle of hair. It improves the rooting of hair and the survival of hair bulbs: it therefore reduces the risk of falling.
Women with alopecia should avoid the use of gels, dyes and hair extensions. Vitamin B12 and iron supplements are also to be avoided. Ponytails and braids can also accelerate hair loss. It is therefore preferable to leave these hairstyles aside, says Robert Jones. According to him, the extensions weaken the scalp and can cause hair loss.
Hair loss in women: when should we worry about it?
The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) estimates that we lose about 100 of our 100,000 hairs every day, but it’s a perfectly normal action and most of them grow back. It is that our follicles experience continuous cycles of growth, rest and elimination.
What can become worrying is the appearance of bald patches or the widening of your line. “It is estimated that 30% of women over the age of 40 and 45% of post-menopausal women suffer from alopecia,” says Dr. Vincent Durosier, Medical Director of the Ducray Dermatological Laboratories in Toulouse, France. Our hair grows about 3 cm per month. But Dr. Durosier points out that this is not an ongoing process, which means that the 100,000 hair follicles we talked about are not growing at the same rate. Thus, each hair on our head will remain there for three to six years before falling. Find out below the main causes that can explain hair loss in women.
Main causes of hair loss in women: female alopecia and menopause
With age, some women lose more hair than normal. The most common reason after menopause is female alopecia. «Feminine» is a key word here, because this baldness differs from that of men. While men see their forehead bald, in women, hair loss appears as a lightening of the top of the skull or sides or a global thinning that reveals the scalp.
According to Dr.Robert Jones of the Hair Transplant Centre in Oakville, Ontario, hair loss (or alopecia) in women is largely due to genetics. He estimates that 80 to 90 percent of baldness cases are related to family history. This can be caused by thyroid dysfunction, hormonal imbalance, and side effects from medications such as antidepressants.
Hair loss can be related to stress.
Stress and poor lifestyle
Nick Dimakos, founder of SureThik International, argues that stress is also a risk factor. Take a look at your lifestyle: having a balanced diet, learning how to manage stress and getting a good night’s sleep can be all it takes to stop hair loss.
Use these stress management techniques to keep calm.
Hair loss may be due to a deficiency in iron, zinc or silicon.
Iron, zinc and silicon deficiencies
Hair loss associated with dietary deficiencies can often be controlled by improving your overall well-being. A 2012 clinical study showed that Viviscal, a nutritional supplement based on marine proteins, stimulates hair growth (without side effects) in women with temporary hair loss.
“When the body is stressed or deficient, it sees your hair as non-essential, so it stops feeding hair follicles to support vital organs,” says Mark Holland, CEO of Viviscal in North America. Iron deficiencies can also lead to fine-tuning the hair. Healthy eating is therefore very important. “People who are deficient in zinc or iron can experience severe hair loss,” he says. “ A normal person can lose 50 to 100 hairs a day, while someone with iron or zinc deficiency will have a much greater loss.” Like zinc, silicon is essential.
“Good food sources for silicon include cucumber, mango, leafy greens, beans, celery, strawberries and asparagus,” says Jenn Pike, a holistic nutritionist from Keswick, Ontario.
Also consider zinc-rich foods: “pumpkin seeds, fresh oysters, Brazil nuts, organic eggs and pecans,” she says. Find more food to fill up on zinc.
Handfuls of hair fall for no reason. “It is believed to be an immune problem, but it is a complicated disease and the exact cause is unknown,” says Dr. Denise Wexler, a dermatologist from London, Ontario, and former president of the Canadian Dermatology Association. In the alopecia, the body rejects the hair as invaders, although these can regrow without treatment within a year.
Hair loss can be caused by telogen effluvium.
A lot of hair goes into rest and dies. This pathology is triggered by an event that taxes the body, such as high fever or extreme weight loss. You may not notice that much of your hair has stopped growing, but it results in obvious hair loss in the following weeks or months. “This is common among women who have given birth,” says Dr. Wexler. By the time you notice the loss, healthy hair has already begun to grow.
Hair loss can occur after a flash diet.
A sudden drop in calorie intake can lead to hair loss in small strands at a time.
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Hair loss can be caused by tight hairstyles.
The style of hair
Also known as traction alopecia, hair loss is often the result of tight braids or horse tails.
Avoid making the worst mistakes that damage your hair.
Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
A hormonal disorder caused by a hypo or hyperactive thyroid gland can cause hair loss throughout the head. But the hair should grow back after the treatment of thyroid disorder.
Be on the lookout for these signs of a thyroid problem.
Hair loss can occur during pregnancy.
Hair loss can be caused by hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy or after childbirth. Instead of showing bald areas of the head or widening of the line, you could lose whole strands of hair.
Hair loss can be a sign of infection.
Health problem and drugs
Hair loss in women can also be a sign of an autoimmune condition, such as lupus or psoriasis. Do not miss these symptoms of lupus to know. Some medications, skin infections and even lack of sleep contribute to hair loss. This is why it is important to consult a health professional who will assess unexplained hair loss, especially if you notice systemic symptoms, such as weight change or bowel problems. Your doctor will do a “pull test” to see how much hair falls easily, examine your scalp, take a biopsy of your hair or scalp, and check your blood sugar.
If you are worried about unusual hair loss, talk to your doctor. Treating an underlying disease or deficiency may be enough to restore your hair to its former glory. If you are already taking medication for a chronic illness, tell your pharmacist or doctor about hair loss. It may recognize the drug causing excessive hair loss.