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Having too much hair loss?

We have approximately five million hair follicles on our bodies and over one million of those follicles are on our heads and we typically lose 50-100 hairs daily.

Hair loss (alopecia) affects about 50% of women.

Hair has three different phases: anagen (growth), catagen (transition), and telogen (rest).

Anagen Phase

The anagen phase is when our hair is actively growing. This is when our hair follicles are actively producing new cells that form the hair strand. About 90% of follicles are in the anagen phase. This phase lasts anywhere from two to seven years.

Catagen Phase

The catagen phase is a transitional phase that follows the anagen phase. This is a short phase lasting about two to three weeks. This is when the hair follicle shrinks and detaches from the blood supply. About 1% of hair follicles are in the catagen phase.

Telogen Phase

The telogen phase is a resting phase that follows the catagen phase. This phase lasts about three to four months. During the telogen phase the hair strand is fully formed but not actively growing. The old hair strand remains in the follicle while new hair starts to grow beneath it. At the end of the telogen phase, the old hair is shed, and the new hair takes its place. About 10-15% of your hair is in the telogen phase at any time.

What Causes Hair Loss in Women?

Hair loss in women can be caused by a variety of factors, both genetic and non-genetic. It's important to note that while some degree of hair loss is expected as people age, excessive or sudden hair loss may be a sign of an underlying issue. But what are some typical causes for hair loss in women:

  1. Hormone imbalances that happen with changes in our estrogen and progesterone levels. We see this during menopause and after having a baby as well as pregnancy. During menopause and postpartum we see a drop in both estrogen and progesterone. This drop causes a disbalance with other hormones that cause our hair follicles to become smaller and shortening our hair growth stage (Anagen phase). We also see the same thing with thyroid issues. Both hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) can cause hair loss

  2. Nutrition deficiencies also will play a role in our hair growth. It is important to evaluate the following when women have complaints of hair loss as they can be playing a key role in the issue.

    • Iron

    • Zinc

    • B vitamins

    • Vitamin D

3. Stress, we never give stress the credit it deserves. Both physical and emotional stress can

Reak havoc on your hair. Even the chemicals we put on our hair can cause stress. This stress can

cause damage to our hair and can lead to hair loss.

Since hair loss is normal, how do we know if we are having TOO much hair loss?

When applying traction to your hair (at least 60 strands) a positive test would be a pull test of SIX or more hairs falling out.

Treatment options

When treating hair loss there are more than on approach. The use of medications like Rogaine, oral spironolactone can be helpful but be sure to have a proper work up with lab work to help find the possible cause. Look at diet and ways you can make changes to help with hair growth. Considering a mediterranean diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods may help to promote hair health. While limiting red meat as it may contribute to hair loss. The use of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has shown to promote hair growth by increasing the activity of the hair follicles as well as microneedling the scalp. If you are concerned about hair loss or think you are having more hair loss than normal be sure to get the proper blood work to look into possible causes.

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