Today, a rerun of ABC’s The View had a very important segment that many women hopefully had a chance to watch…about female hair loss. It was an intriguing segment because so many women are defined by their hair. Look at all the celebrities in Hollywood…Jennifer Aniston, Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, even Halle Berry are known for their hair, whether it’s long or short. And although sometimes, we don’t like to admit that our hair means that much to us, it really does, otherwise we wouldn’t spend all that money at the hairstylist for highlights and haircuts or on expensive flatirons and products to keep it looking shiny.
According to Medline Plus, a great website from the National Institutes of Health that is always a wealth of knowledge, a hair grows from its follicle at an average rate of about 1/2 inch per month. Each hair grows for 2 to 6 years, then rests, and then falls out. A new hair soon begins growing in its place. At any time, about 85% of the hair is growing and 15% is resting.
According to research, approximately 25 million women suffer from female hair loss in the US and there are many reasons. From hormones to vitamin deficiencies to genetics to immune diseases, female hair loss can occur at different times in your life and unfortunately, it can also occur in more than one pattern. Also, balding in men and women are different.
There are several causes for hair loss, here are some to name a few: Alopecia areata: an autoimmune disease, where the person’s immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicle, which can lead to hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere. Alopecia areata cannot be cured, however, it can be treated with drugs and hair can grow back, but unfortunately every person is different when dealing with this disease. Trichotillomania: compulsive hair pulling Triangular alopecia: loss of hair in the temporal areasScarring alopecia: hair loss due to scarring of the scalp areaTelogen effluvium: a common type of hair loss caused when a large percentage of scalp hairs are shifted into “shedding” phase.Androgenetic Alopecia: genetic hair loss that can be seen any time after puberty with an increasing occurrence as we get older. 50% of all women will suffer from this form of hair loss at some point in their lives, most notably after the age of 40. While this condition may be pre-determined by our genes- stress, medications or hormones can also affect the thinning process.
Of course, this blog isn’t meant to give you any personalized medical advice or give any in-depth details about hair loss, but it is meant for you to realize that it is important that you make an appointment with a dermatologist if you are experiencing hair loss.
Seeing how happy those women who were the “Before & After” models on The View today is proof that you can seek treatment. Hair loss can be devastating to many women, so much so that they don’t want to go out in public. It can affect their jobs, social life and self-esteem. And like the physician mentioned on the show, men deal with hair loss much differently than women do. So if you are experiencing hair loss in any way, make an appointment with myself or my dermatology physician assistant, Holly Carter today at 843-881-4440 and we’re happy to help you.