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Three little-known causes of hair loss in women

by , 10 October 2017
Three little-known causes of hair loss in women
You're familiar with common causes of hair loss, such as excessive styling, scalp conditions and iron deficiency. But let's get real, ladies - if you start seeing globs of hair in your hairbrush (or, even worse, the shower drain), it's sure to freak you out no matter the cause!

After all, thick, luscious hair is a big part of a woman's identity. Plus, hair loss is meant to be a man's problem, isn't it? You might be shocked to learn that women make up for about 40% of the Americans suffering from losing strands, and that 50% of all women experience female pattern hair loss (yup, it's a real thing!) by age 50!

That's right - it's nothing but a myth that hair loss is typically a man's problem. We're sure there are more truth about your tresses you didn't know about, so we're sharing three little-known causes of hair loss in women…

Three surprising causes of hair loss in women

#1: You’re on the birth control pill
“A number of androgen (male) hormones can interact with the hair follicle to make it thinner and finer,” explains Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic in the United States. Some types of a hormone called progesterone, which is commonly found in oral contraceptives like the birth control pill, can act like androgens. That being said, hair loss associated with taking the birth control pill is more likely if you’re on an older version of the pill. “Newer ones developed have fewer of these side effects and are really more antiandrogen,” Dr Piliang clears up. Believe it or not, sometimes doctors actually prescribe the pill to treat hair loss in women!

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#2: You colour your hair
Colouring your hair won’t make you go bald, but it can weaken your locks and cause strands to break of. “Any treatment done too much can make hair break more easily,” says Mary Gail Mercurio, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in the United States. This includes colouring or bleaching your hair, overusing hair dryers or straightening irons and using chemical straighteners. “When hair is under extreme tension for long periods, it weakens and the growing part of the hair gets damaged,” Dr Piliang adds.
 
#3: Your testosterone levels are high
While excess testosterone doesn’t cause baldness, it dos play a major role in hair loss. Your body converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone – a process that can cause damage to your hair follicle, according to Dr Mercurio. Therefore, women whose bodies convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone most efficiently lose more hair than those whose bodies are less efficient. Luckily, a prescription anti-androgen medication can help block the effect that hormones have on hair follicles, says Dr Piliang.
 
Did any of these causes of hair loss in women surprise you?

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