We normally lose fifty to one hundred hairs a day, but they are constantly being regenerated. Only 15% of a healthy hair shaft is in telogen. After a traumatic experience of extreme stress, it is possible that up to 70% of one’s hair will go into the final rest phase of telogen, causing severe hair loss symptoms. Although menopausal hair loss is usually not as harsh as this, it may still have an enormous impact on a woman’s self-confidence. Being able to recognize immediately the signs of possible hair loss symptoms is crucial to stopping and/or reversing them.
Hair Loss Symptoms
Normal hair shedding might sometimes be mistakenly considered as a condition that needs urgent treatment, especially when hair falls out in large clumps when washing or brushing it. If you purposely wash and comb your hair less often, in order to avoid putting additional strain on it, then this phenomenon is quite normal. However, if you also notice any of the following symptoms, then you need to consult a dermatologist as soon as possible.
- Diffuse thinning of hair right above the temples, front and/or crown of the head
- Receding hairline above the forehead and/or balding at the top of the head
- Bald patches with itching and redness
Female pattern hair loss is due to reduced estrogen levels. It results in a more diffuse thinning over the entire head and should not be confused with male baldness, which is very noticeable and manifests as a receding hairline and/or baldness in the crown area. Nevertheless, this type also appears in women, when during menopause their testosterone levels increase, but fortunately it occurs less often. Female pattern hair loss is also significantly slower than male hair loss and it is usually related to menopause age and disorders instead of hereditary factors.
There are five types of hair loss:
- ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA: This is the type most women suffer from during menopause. It is related to an imbalance in androgens, specifically dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which seems to cause shrinkage of the hair follicle. Both men and women suffer from it, although in women it mainly manifests with hair thinning on the entire head and is called female pattern alopecia. It is also linked to polycystic ovarian syndrome and oral contraceptives with high androgen index.
- TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM: Occurs when a massive portion of the hair shaft simultaneously enters into the telogen phase, due to an emotional shock, severe malnutrition, child birth, anemia, crash diets and other health factors. Recovery is possible, when the reason that caused it ceases to exist.
- ALOPECIA AREATA: This is an autoimmune disease. Approximately 2% of the American population suffers from it. It starts by losing hair in patches on the head and it can spread to the whole body, if not treated on time. It occurs more often in children and young adults rather than women in menopause.
- TRICHOTILLOMANIA: Is an impulse control disorder, which mostly children and teenagers suffer from, although its symptoms can also be aggravated by menopause anxiety attacks. Those suffering from it, feel an irresistible urge to pull out their own hair.
- TRACTION ALOPECIA: Is caused by excessive, constant strain on hair from long-term hair styles, such as braiding and extensions.
Further research on the causes and symptoms of female pattern hair loss, will help you find the right treatment for you.