Most people think of hair loss as primarily an issue affecting men, but hair loss is common among women, too. In fact, it’s estimated that more than half of women will have noticeable hair loss by the time they reach age 50.
At Starkey Medical Esthetics in Salem, Virginia, Michele Meinhart, FNP, helps women manage hair loss, so they can feel more confident as they get older. If you’re dealing with hair loss, here’s what could be causing it.
Female hair loss: Why it happens
Maybe one reason why hair loss is so common among women is because a lot of factors can cause or contribute to hair loss. Some causes you should know about include:
- Tight hair styles that put continual pressure on your roots
- Overprocessing hair with perms or other chemicals
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Rapid weight loss
- Some medications
- Radiation therapy and chemotherapy
- Excess stress or shock
- Thyroid disease
- Genetics or heredity
- Hormonal fluctuations associated with menopause
- Other age-related changes
Some of these causes are reversible; some are not.
Female pattern hair loss (FPHL)
Also called female pattern baldness, FPHL is the most common cause of hair loss in women. This type of hair loss is directly related to a few, specific underlying causes, including hormonal fluctuations (particularly during menopause), aging, and — yes — your genes. If you have very heavy periods and develop anemia, you could also experience this type of baldness.
Hair loss vs. hair shedding
Many people confuse natural hair shedding with hair loss, so it’s important to understand the differences. Hair shedding is a normal part of the hair cycle — old hairs shed to make room for new, healthy hair growth from the same follicle. Typically, we shed about 50-100 hairs per day.
However, if you’re shedding more than 100 hairs per day, it still doesn't mean you’re dealing with hair loss. It could be excessive shedding, a “ramped-up” shedding cycle that develops in response to temporary causes, like excess stress, illness, or even extreme weight loss. Even though excessive shedding can be alarming, over time, your hair growth will return to normal, usually within six to nine months or so.
On the other hand, hair loss is caused by an underlying factor that causes the hair to stop growing. Sometimes, hair growth resumes once that underlying factor goes away. An example of this is hair loss that happens during chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Typically, once therapy stops, hair growth will begin again. Other times, this loss is permanent, like when your hair loss is caused by genetics or permanent follicle damage.
Treating hair loss with PRP
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma, a product that’s derived from your own blood. PRP is rich in platelets, tiny blood components that aid in healing and tissue regeneration. PRP is widely used in many types of medicine, including orthopedics and esthetics. In fact, it’s widely used in the so-called “vampire facial” to rejuvenate skin and combat signs of aging.
In hair loss treatment, PRP works by restoring follicle health, delivering important proteins called growth factors that help stimulate new cell development. PRP also promotes circulation to the follicles, providing them with increased oxygen and nutrients vital for follicle health and healthy hair growth.
Because PRP uses your own blood, you don’t need to worry about allergic reactions or rejection. And since it’s delivered via injections, there are no incisions or sutures to worry about and no downtime after your treatments.
Most people benefit from a series of PRP treatments over time to see maximum results. We’ll customize a treatment plan just for you, based on the amount of hair loss you have, your goals, and other factors.
Learn more about PRP for hair loss
Don’t let hair loss get you down. There are solutions that can help. To learn more about PRP for hair loss, call 540-389-0909, or book an appointment online at Starkey Medical Esthetics today.