Stop the shedding, ladies

By Mina Radman • Published: October 11th, 2012
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

If your brush is full of hair that should be on your head, and you suddenly feel like you’re shedding more than your dog, you may be suffering from hair loss. More than 60 percent of women will suffer from hair loss, and the experience can be stressful and terrifying. By contrast, about half of men begin to bald by age 30 and almost all face some degree of hair loss during their lives.

The average scalp contains more than 100,000 strands of hair, and it’s common to lose about 100 strands every day. But if the hair is falling out in clumps or the scalp is becoming unusually visible, there could be an abnormal cause for the hair loss.

Abnormal hair loss can be caused by autoimmune conditions, such as lupus, thyroid diseases, excessive shampooing, radiation therapy and anemia. These conditions can be diagnosed through a blood test, and it’s important for anyone worrying about hair loss to find out if a medical condition is the cause.

If it’s not an internal imbalance, hair loss can be caused by Telogen (TELL-uh-gen) effluvium (eff-FLU-vee-um), a condition linked to sudden physical or emotional stress that causes hair to fall out. When the stress occurs, the majority of hair transitions from a growing stage to a resting stage and begins to fall. Telogen effluvium can also be caused by childbirth, high fever, crash diets and medications such as birth control pills.

So what can you do to stop hair loss? If there’s an internal imbalance, a doctor can prescribe medication. If you’re suffering from Telogen effluvium, the hair loss should gradually stop on its own.

A high protein diet rich in zinc and biotin can help slow down hair loss and strengthen your hair. Try to avoid blow-drying hair and protect your locks from the sunlight.

Hair loss can be terrifying, but it’s often reversible for women. Be patient and treat your body well and your hair may just respond in kind.