How often have you stepped out of the shower and noticed – once again – that the water was draining away more slowly than it used to do about a year ago? Is this starting to concern you? It should because there is a good chance that if you don’t do something about it, you could find yourself with a lot less of your crowning glory than you would like.
The good news is that there are several studies that indicate that the sooner people start to treat their hair loss, the more likely it will be to achieve beneficial results.
One of the first options for treating early signs of hair loss is to take an effective hair loss supplement. There are many good supplements out there. Independent, health supplement review websites are useful to help sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to choosing an appropriate product.
Baldness in men is regarded almost as “normal” – no-one really turns a hair (pun intended) that Prince William is now almost completely bald after sporting a thinning, but respectable head of hair when he married Kate Middleton in 2011. And did you notice Prince Harry’s growing bald patch during his wedding to Meghan Markle?
But imagine Kate without her long tresses; or Meghan without her dark locks? A glorious head of hair is (rightly or wrongly) regarded as an essential part of a woman’s sexuality and gender identity. Many women who have been diagnosed with cancer report crying more about their loss of hair during treatment than when they received the actual diagnosis.
Losing her hair often makes women feel less attractive, resulting in a lower self-esteem and possibly even affecting her quality of life.
For many women, the first signs of hair loss can be almost imperceptible. One of the most common signs is finding that when trying their hair back into a ponytail, their usual elastic is not as tight as it was before. They find that they need to redo their ponytail several times a day. For women with short hair, they may find that their parting seems to be slightly wider. Usually, however, the most noticeable sign is a greater quantity of hairs stuck to the hairbrush, the comb – and in the outlet of the shower.
One of the reasons these warning signs are ignored is the common misconception that women don’t go bald, or that women only lose their hair when they are sick, undergoing chemo treatment for cancer, or really old. Some women also experience hair loss during pregnancy.
However, a scientific study published in 2007, found that most women – more than half of all women – will not retain their luscious locks throughout their lives. In fact, the older one gets, the more likely it becomes that a woman will lose her hair.
The term most commonly used to describe this condition is Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL) rather than female androgenetic alopecia because there is still no clear link between androgens and female hair loss. Hair loss in men is usually referred to as androgenic alopecia or male pattern alopecia (MPA).
Differences and Similarities
Interestingly, the pattern of female hair loss is very different to hair loss in men: men usually start losing their hair in patches – front or back, receding hairline, bald spot on the crown and so on. Women, on the other hand, often suffer from thinning hair all over the crown and frontal scalp, and usually retain their frontal hairline.
What male and female hair loss do have in common, usually, is the miniaturization of hair follicles. Essentially what happens in that women with FPHL have more follicles in what’s called the “telogen” or shedding phase of the hair cycle which typically lasts for eight years, and fewer hairs in the “anagen” or growth phase. No-one really knows why this happens – it could be genetic, or a side effect of a medication. It could also be the result of external factors such as smoking, lack of protection from the sun, insufficient exercise, or stress, hypertension, and diabetes.
However, it can be a progressive condition. Sometimes it may continue for two to three months, and then stop, only to return a few months later, or it may just continue on a seemingly relentless path. The solution, therefore, it to try and do something about it before it requires radical intervention such as surgery.