In this blog, we’ll go over why women experience hair loss and how treatments like Plasma-Rich Platelet Therapy can improve hair loss symptoms.
While hair loss is often considered to be an issue faced by men, women are also susceptible for a variety of factors. Women also tend to experience hair loss for entirely different reasons than men. So why does hair loss in women occur, and what can be done to treat it?
On The Skin Report podcast, Dr. Simran Sethi, an Internal Medicine doctor and the Founder and Medical Director of RenewMD medical spas, shares her professional insights on female hair loss and treatment methods. Hair loss can stem from various conditions, and determining its cause is the first step toward resolving it. Read on to learn the common reasons for hair loss in women and how lifestyle changes and treatments like Plasma Rich Platelet Therapy can bolster hair growth!
Why Women Experience Hair Loss
If you are noticing signs of hair loss, you are not alone. According to a study published in the NHS Foundation Trust, about 30% of women are impacted by female pattern hair loss by age 70. You may notice hair thinning due to pregnancy, menopause, or disorders like PCOS – or you may not know the cause. However, zeroing in on the factors leading to hair loss is necessary in determining the most effective treatment plan.
So what causes hair loss in women? Let’s go over some common factors and how women can address them before turning to more intensive hair loss treatments.
Androgen-Mediated Hair Loss
Androgen-mediated hair loss in women is frequently seen in disorders like Polycystic ovarian syndrome, in which women tend to have higher testosterone levels. Conditions that cause elevated testosterone levels in women commonly result in hair loss. A professional should treat women for androgen-mediated hair loss before considering hair therapies if the hair loss issue does not improve.
Post-Partum Hair Loss
After birth, women tend to experience 3-6 months of hair shedding, where they lose the excess hair growth that occurs during pregnancy. Usually, the hair will return to its baseline hair thickness after the shedding period ends. However, in some cases, the hair can end up thinner than it was pre-pregnancy. If this is the case, hair therapy treatments may be helpful.
Perimenopausal Hair Loss
Women can also experience hair thinning when in a perimenopausal state, which refers to the years leading up to menopause to a few years after menopause. These changes are caused by women’s decline in estrogen and progesterone levels. In response to this, androgen or testosterone levels increase, and excess androgen levels lead to hair loss on the scalp. Women experiencing perimenopausal hair loss can get hair treatments as an effective solution to their hair loss.
People with hypothyroidism also commonly experience hair loss along with additional symptoms, such as unexplained weight gain and cold intolerance. If other symptoms are present, patients should be evaluated for hypothyroidism before starting any hair loss treatments.
Stress can lead to hair loss in women, as Cortisol hormone levels increase in acute and chronic stress. In addition, cortisol disrupts normal androgen levels, which can lead to hair loss.
Sleep disruptions may also lead to increased cortisol levels, causing hair loss. Women experiencing stress-induced hair loss should remove the stressor to see if hair growth returns. If hair growth issues persist, they can seek further treatment.
Decreased Caloric Intake
A significant decrease in caloric intake will lead to hair loss. Diets that are too restrictive, consisting of less than 1000 calories per day, may have this effect, as they may not contain the healthy amount of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins necessary to support hair growth. Additionally, nurturing the body with food reduces cortisol levels and communicates to the body that it is not in stress mode so that it can support optimal hair and skin growth.
Unfortunately, practicing a restrictive diet while adding vitamins or supplements will not help with hair loss. When the body senses a severe decrease in caloric intake, it conserves energy by redirecting it to essential functions rather than hair, nails, and skin growth.
Instead, women can maintain balanced, active lifestyles or practice healthier diets to help in their weight loss journeys. Furthermore, returning to a healthy, balanced diet may result in regular, healthy hair growth!
Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron deficient anemia can occur if women experience heavy bleeding, leading to hair thinning. One way to combat this effect is by taking iron supplements for anemia, which would improve overall health!
Traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that is brought on by wearing hairstyles that cause excessive hair pulling. Examples of these hairstyles include tight ponytails, extensions, or other styles that pull hair out of their follicles with excessive force. Excessive hair pulling over a long time results in hair loss that can be permanent if not treated.
While choosing hairstyles that do not cause excessive pulling is best, you can still reduce the wear and tear on your hair by using less damaging styling tools like silk crunchies, gentle combs, and satin bonnets. If the hair growth issue persists, women may seek hair therapy treatments for their hair loss.
Treating Hair Loss in Women with PRP Therapy
We’ve mentioned hair therapy treatments a lot in this article – but what treatment method is most effective for female hair loss?
Plasma Rich Platelet Therapy – or PRP Therapy – is a hair growth method that is effective in all the types of hair loss I mentioned today. But, of course, starting treatments early and getting treated consistently is key to combating the effects of hair loss. Women who start their PRP treatments when hair is thinning will respond best to PRP treatments.
First, you should seek to determine and address the cause of your hair loss. Hair loss caused by thyroid disorders, diet, traction alopecia, stress, and post-pregnancy will likely improve once the cause has been addressed. However, if hair loss symptoms persist after six months, PRP hair restoration can be an excellent treatment option!
To learn more about how Plasma-rich Platelet therapy can improve hair loss symptoms in women, tune in to Season 1, Episode 31 of The Skin Report podcast. This episode contains more information about how PRP therapy treats hair loss, and will help you determine whether this treatment option would work for you!