We all know that it’s common for males to lose their hair but unfortunately so is hair loss in women. We’re talking excessive hair loss, not the average 50-100 hairs that most women lose each day.
Why do women lose hair?
There are many reasons for hair loss in women, including stress of any kind, thyroid problems, genetics, hormone imbalance (say after child birth or menopause), Alopecia, vitamin deficiencies, excessive dieting, surgery and/or medications such as anti-depressants, beta blockers, birth control pills, to name a few. It can also be a combination of things.
It affects women's hair in different ways - some may lose it just around the hairline, some all over, some in patches. Some also lose their eyebrows, lashes, hair on their skin and even pubic hair.
What should I do about hair loss?
Unfortunately there’s no one magic cure but we do have some suggestions for you. Hair growth comes from within - that's where you need to concentrate your efforts. It’s important to note, that many of these are not quick fix remedies, some take as long as a year or more to work their magic.
1. Visit your doctor
They’ll run tests to help determine the cause of your hair loss. This is very important. They may subscribe medication and/or vitamins and minterals. Natural therapy practitioners are a great alternative.
2. Get your health back on track
- De-stress - stress is believed to be one of the key contributing factors to hair loss in women. See our blog on de-stressing techniques.
- Exercise will help your body de-stress but it will also benefit your overall health and wellbeing.
- Eat well - a good balance of healthy, nutritional foods will ensure your natural vitamin and mineral intake is maintained. This will help reduce hair loss and encourage growth. You may also need supplements - discuss this with your doctor. Protein is also important to help build and restore body tissue, including hair.
- Drink plenty of water - the hair shaft is largely made up of water so this is important.
Smoking - smoking reduces circulation, including blood flow to the scalp which is important for hair growth.
Alcohol and caffeine can interfere with the immune system and also impact hair growth.
3. Increase the blood supply to your scalp
Scalp massages may help revitalise the nerve endings and also help to de-stress your body. Use a non-perfumed oil, like almond or coconut oil. Lavendar, rosemary and thyme have been known to help hair growth and prevent thinning and balding. Add a few drops of one of these essential oils in with your massage oil. Do this on a regular basis.
4. Natural remedies
There are an abundance of websites with natural remedies for hair growth. One that caught my interest was onions! On a daily basis, rub a slice of raw onion on your bald patch.
A study published in the Journal of Dermatology1, examined the effectiveness of onion juice in people with hair loss. It was a small study, but within six weeks, 87% observed hair regrowth. Improvement was significantly higher among males for some reason. Worth a go we reckon!
5. Hair replacement treatments
Talk to your hair stylist or hair treatment clinic about treatment options like Nioxin which includes shampoos and conditioners. Hair transplants are another option, though we understand it to be painful and expensive.
6. Wear a wig, a hat/cap or scarf
Wigs nowadays are so life-like that you can’t tell the difference. I have also seen women be very creative and look fabulous with headscarves and hats.
7. Accept it and get on with life
Possibly the hardest option of all, but a very real one, is just to move on with life. This may end up being a great option, because you’re no longer worried or focused on it, you will relax more and with that your hair may grow back.
Hair loss in women, and regrowth, is a complex, specialist subject so it’s important you seek professional advice.
1. Sharquie KE, Al-Obaidi HK. Onion juice (Allium cepa L.), a new topical treatment for alopecia areata. J Dermatol. 29.6 (2002): 343-346.