Women, hair loss, and what to do about it

Female hair loss. For most women this is just about one of the scariest things they can think of. Women are not supposed to lose their hair…are they? Well I did a little research into this problem because I was one of those women. Blessed with a beautiful head of thick, naturally curly hair, I became panicked when I realized that I really was losing more hair than normal. This was hard for me to recognize at first. People who have naturally curly hair tend to shed more hairs per day than people with straight hair. Also, since curly hair tends to be drier than straight hair, I didn't shampoo every day to help remove loose and falling hair. But as the months went by, I had to admit that my hair was definitely thinning.

As a hairdresser with 20 years of experience, I had begun to notice that more and more of my clients were experiencing thinning hair. Typically, we see this with women in their menopausal years when hormone levels decline. Though not all menopausal women lose noticeable amounts of hair, most do thin. However, I was seeing women in their mid twenties and thirties with concerns about hair loss. If you are having concerns about hair loss I recommend that you pay a visit to your dermatologist to have your scalp checked, visit your PCP to have your hormone levels tested, or try 2% Rogaine for Women which is now available over the counter.

When I started expereincing hair loss, I went straight to the doctors office and had my thyroid checked along with my estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels. They all came up normal, but I was still losing hair. I ruled out anemia, poor nutrition, and serious illness which are also causes of female hair loss.

Finally, my dermatologist recommended a clinic that specializes in hair loss. While it was expensive, vanity prevailed and I spent the dollars. I can honestly say it was worth the money to have some peace of mind. This was the final stop I thought. There was no place else to look. No more tests to take. Whatever, this doctor said I would just have to live with it. If you are experiencing significant hair loss, and you want a definitive answer I recommend this procedure.

First, they examine your medical history, and photograph your hair and scalp for posterity. Then, a topical anesthic is applied, and an instrument sort of like an apple corer is used to take a biopsy of the scalp. The biopsy is then analyzed to determine if your hair loss is genetic, temporary etc. The procedure amazed me, and I discovered that men aren't the only ones who expereince genetic hair loss. Contrary to popular belief, women can also expereince genetic hair loss. The primary difference is that women rarely go completely bald as men do.

The clinic recommended Rogaine for Women and a return in 3 months. Of course they considered my case mild as I had started with so much hair. To them my hair loss was mild and wasn't cause for immediate alarm. However, significant hair loss that continues for more than 3 months is cause for concern and you should see a doctor. The fact is hair loss in women can be a symptom of a much bigger problem and shouldn't be ignored. The best advice I can give is to seek medical help as soon as you start to experience significant hair loss.


By Penny Sadler
Penny has worked in the beauty industry for over ten years, and frequently does hair and make-up for films, commercials, and print ads. She was key hairdresser on the hit TV series Walker:Texas Ranger, and her work has appeared in TV Guide, Mcalls, People and many other national and regional ad campaigns. To find out more about Penny or to set up an appoinment with her visit PennySadler.com