Female vs Male hair loss
Hair loss is not just an issue that is limited to men. While many people may think of hair loss as a male only issue, research and statistical evidence shows that women also experience some degree of hair loss throughout their lives.
Dealing with hair loss can be a difficult and challenging experience because truth is, no one wants to get bald. People that have naturally light and thin hair, suffer the consequences of hair loss even harder because even a small amount of hair loss has a huge impact on their overall appearance. Whereas people gifted with naturally dark and thick hair suffer the emotional impact of dealing with finding extra hair fallen in the sink, pillow, ground or wrapped around their comb.
While there is ample amount of information available about male hair loss online, unfortunately female hair loss isn’t a topic that’s given much attention and so is not covered in so much detail as it should.
Sad result of this is that many women with hair loss fail to understand what they should do in order to salvage the situation and take action. This often has even more worsening effects on confidence and self esteem as the hair fall progresses.
Just like male pattern baldness, even female hair loss can start surprisingly early so If you’ve noticed hair loss, the reality is that proven, safe options are available to help you bring it to an end. Using medications like minoxidil, it’s almost always possible to bring back some or all of the hair you’ve lost over the past few years.
How and Why Female Hair Loss Happens ?
Female hair loss can occur at any age and for a variety of reasons ranging from stress, nutritional deficiencies to hormonal issues.
Some of the most common factors for Female Hair Loss are listed below –
- Male sex hormones – Androgens also known as male sex hormones,despite being primarily male hormones are also present in women in small quantities. Women who are genetically sensitive androgens such as DHT (dihydrotestosterone), can experience hair loss with a receding hairline. However not everyone experiences this kind of hair loss as androgenic hair loss is a result of genetics. Hair Fall due to activity and action of androgens is usually gradual. Slowly with the course or time the hairline and hair thickness gradually changes and becomes brittle over several years or decades.
- Pregnancy – Many women experience some hair loss during their pregnancy. This is due to fluctuating hormones and sometimes even lack of nutrition. Hair loss during pregnancy is almost always reversible soon after you give birth. This means that whatever hair loss that has happened would likely be reversed and you will grow back almost all of the lost hair within a few months.
- Hormonal fluctuations – Fluctuating levels of body hormone can affect your hair thickness and health. If the hormonal balance isn’t right you could lose hair due to the same. Follow a healthy lifestyle, good diet and routine to improve your hormonal health. Meet your health care provider and discuss if any change is required in your use of hormonal birth control as it may also be a factor responsible for hair loss.
- Stress – Stress can be both physical and emotional and in both ways it isn’t good for you.Both physical and emotional stress can trigger female hair loss. So if you are someone with an overly stressful professional life or have undergone a traumatic experience in the past, your hair fall could be because of these factors. If you’ve noticed that your hair is starting to thin, try to stay away from stressful conditions.
- Autoimmune diseases – Sometimes, in diseases like alopecia aerate, your immune system can mistakenly target your hair follicles and damage them, resulting in thinning and hair loss.
- Nutritional deficiencies – If your diet is low in protein, iron or other essential vitamins and minerals, it could affect your hair health. Anemia is also one of the key factors behind hair loss.
- Medications – Certain medications, such as antidepressants and drugs used to treat cancer and other serious diseases, can result in hair loss. People undergoing chemotherapy and taking medication for long standing diseases and disorders experience hair fall at a greater rate. However it is seen that when the treatment ends most of the lost hair comes back after a little care.
- Damaging hairstyles – Hairstyles and treatments can stress your hair. Hairstyles such as weaves, braids, high ponytails and procedures like hot oil treatments can damage your hair over the long term, causing it to thin and fall out.
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How does Minoxidil Stop Hair Loss in Women?
For both men and women, hair follicles go through four different stages as each of your hairs grow, rests and eventually sheds:
- The anagen phase – This is the first phase which lasts for years in the hair growth cycle. During this phase, the hair grows from barely visible to its full length.
- The catagen phase – During this phase, the hair follicle begins to shrink. Slowly the hair eventually detaches from the scalp.
- The telogen phase – It is also known as the “resting” phase as during this stage the old hair rests while a new hair begins to grow under the skin.
- The exogen phase – It is also known as a “shedding” phase as in this phase the old hair starts to fall out and the new hair breaks through the surface of your scalp to replace it.
You can almost think of minoxidil as a regrowth button that commands dormant hair follicles to start growing again.
- Minoxidil works by speeding up the hair’s growth cycle as it prematurely puts hair follicles into the anagen phase.
- This causes hair follicles to quickly go through the resting and shedding phases before they start to regrow.
Unlike many over-the-counter hair loss treatments, minoxidil is actually backed up by a large amount of scientific research and its effects are far more greater than many available treatments.
However, minoxidil is not a miracle cure for hair loss, as regaining hair depends on the severity of your hair loss and after using minoxidil you might not regrow everything. But minoxidil is nothing less than a wonder drug as it’s proven to work effectively for both men and women as a hair loss treatment.
How to Use Minoxidil to Treat Female Hair Loss?
Using minoxidil is simple,it is used as a once-daily topical treatment.
- You can apply minoxidil to affected areas of your scalp in the morning.
- You can apply the solution using clean hands and fingers, make sure to wash hands immediately after use.
- Minoxidil is safe to use with most hair products, however if you are using any special hair care products contact your health care provider to cross check.
- It is not necessary to make any changes to your existing hair care routine if you aren’t using any other medications on your hair alongside minoxidil.
While minoxidil is highly effective at stimulating hair growth, it’s not a cure for all causes of hair loss in women. If your hair loss is caused by a nutritional deficiency or the use of another medication, minoxidil might not be the best solution.
What are the things to keep in mind before using Minoxidil?
Before you start using minoxidil, it’s important that you meet your healthcare provider and ensure if it is a suitable treatment for you or not. Refrain from using minoxidil without your doctor’s prescription.
Following are a few situations in which you shouldn’t use Minoxidil and be careful about –
- If you’re currently prescribed medications like antidepressants, cancer or epilepsy drugs that could contribute to hair loss, talk to your doctor before considering minoxidil as a treatment option.
- If your hair loss is the result of a nutritional deficiency, and you have anemia or other diet-related health issues, first improve your diet and take necessary steps to improve your lifestyle. Make sure you consume all of the essential nutrients for healthy hair growth prior to using minoxidil. Meet your healthcare provider and dietitian to get help on the same.
- If you have hair loss due to pregnancy, consult your doctor before considering minoxidil as a treatment option. Minoxidil is listed in category C drugs which are likely to be risky if used in pregnancy.
How to Apply Minoxidil to Your Scalp?
Minoxidil is designed for a once-daily application.
- Early morning time is the best time to apply the liquid solution to your scalp.
- Before applying minoxidil, make sure your scalp and hair are dry as moisture can affect minoxidil’s absorption rate.
- If your scalp is wet then a reduced amount of the medication would make its way into your hair follicles.
- You should completely avoid shampooing your hair up to at least two to four hours after using minoxidil.
- Wash your hair before the treatment and apply minoxidil only when your hair and scalp is completely dry.
- Apply the minoxidil solution to the affected areas of your scalp and spread the minoxidil solution properly over the target area using your fingers.
- Make sure you wash your hands and fingers immediately after applying the solution to your scalp.
- Allow the minoxidil to dry naturally.
- Do not use a hairdryer or sit in the sun to dry the liquid solution.
- Avoid wearing scarfs, hats or other garments that cover your scalp for the next two to four hours after using minoxidil.
Minoxidil can be highly effective at preventing female hair loss. It also has one of the best and safest medications out there to save hair. It has the best track record of any hair loss medication. Minoxidil is definitely something that can be used to stop falling and thinning of hair. If you’re at the verge of losing your hair minoxidil can still help you get most of it back.
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