Everyone has experienced those moments when they're in the shower and lots of hair comes out while you're finishing with the shampoo. This is usually normal and nothing to worry about, but what if it's a big chunk of hair? What do you do then? Most hair grows at a rate of half an inch per month, and a hair from a specific follicle will grow for 2 to 6 years before it falls out (unless you have small children or younger siblings). After the 2 to 6 year growth cycle, the hair rests and then falls out and starts the growth cycle all over again. You usually have 85% of your hair growing and 15% of it resting at any given time. Sometimes, the hair stops growing and doesn't grow back again. Usually this is associated with genetic reasons and aging, but it's especially linked to levels of endocrine hormones. Changes in hormone levels can change hair production, so many women experience problems during major hormonal changes like menopause or pregnancy. Some women experience thinning hair or coarser facial hair, which can be frustrating. The good news for many women with this problem is that the hair follicles are usually still alive - just not producing hair. There's still the possibility of new growth, and female hair loss rarely progresses to full-frontal baldness the way it does in men. The thinning is all over the head and can often be reversed with help from hair regrowth products like minoxidil. However, there are other reasons for female pattern baldness. Sometimes excessive shedding is just a temporary problem and goes away. Styling treatments and twisting or pulling your hair can cause hair loss. Sometimes an immune disorder called alopecia areata can cause patchy areas of total hair loss. Certain medications, skin diseases, and hormonal abnormalities can cause hair thinning problems. Finally, it can be linked to vitamin deficiencies, iron deficiency or an underactive thyroid can cause hair loss. Many of these problems are treatable - and not all of them need to be treated with aggressive hair regrowth products like Rogaine. If you're experiencing female hair loss, the most important thing to do is to figure out the source of the hair loss. Go to a dermatologist or a doctor to make sure that your hair loss isn't a sign of something else like thyroid problems or hormonal imbalances. However, if it is female pattern baldness, it's typically a permanent condition. Some women respond to minoxidil treatment, which can either stop hair loss or help some of the hair to grow back. Some women like to try hair transplants or hair implants. While transplants are still acceptable because they carry only a small risk for infection, implants of artificial hair are not longer an option because they cause too much infection. However, hair weaves or hair pieces can help to disguise hair loss in a less-expensive, safe way.
2010-04-02 9:10am PDT
wigs and hair pieces have come a long way now.. thanks for a great article