Hair Loss in Women Over 50–About 30 million women in the United States face hair loss at some point of time in their life. Over 50% women, above 50 years of age have to put up with this problem. The type of hair loss can be permanent or it may be temporary. Often, this condition is attributed to genetic composition of men and women alike. Besides, there are several other factors which can lead to it. The solutions for hair loss would mainly depend upon its cause.
There are basically three phases of hair lifecycle – anagen, catagen, and telogen. Anagen is the growth phase of the hair, which begins in the mother’s womb. Catagen is the resting phase of hair life cycle, while telogen is the phase in which the hair completes its life cycle and falls off. It is normal for women to lose about 50-100 hair everyday. This number is insignificant and barely noticeable. Hair loss becomes an issue of concern only when you start losing substantial number of hair strands everyday. This is because, due to some reason, hair fall takes place in the growth phase itself. Here are a few factors which lead to this condition in women over 50.
This is a genetic condition which affects about 85% women who experience hair loss in their 50s. These women are genetically predisposed for loss of hair. The genetic composition from both sides of their family is responsible for this. In this condition, the growth phase of the affected hair follicles shrinks, which cause them to fall prematurely. Moreover, the texture of hair begins to degrade as it grows and it also loses its pigment.
This is a non-genetic condition in which the hair falls at the end of their life cycle. However, the cause of hair fall is not natural, but derived. Acute stress, medications for heart diseases, diabetes, liver diseases, etc., are responsible for telogen effluvium. As you must have noticed, these are the medications, which most women over 50 consume, hence, telogen effluvium is also a pretty common cause.
This is basically an auto-immune disorder, in which the cells of the body fail to recognize its own hair follicles. The immune system sends inflammatory cells to attack these follicles, causing them to fall off. Apart from this, the immune system of these women do not show any major problems. A distinct hair fall can be observed, which includes circular bald patches with dense hair growth around.
If you have been abusing your hair with different hair treatments, tight bands, variety of hair serums, all your life, then traction alopecia is what you get at the age of 50. Tight hair bands literally pull your hair out of the scalp, while hair treatments deteriorate the quality of hair, both of which lead to hair loss in later life.
The hormonal changes that occur as a result of menopause can cause female hair loss. This is because during menopause, there is a decrease in the production of estrogen and increase in the levels of testosterone. This, thereby, causes thinning of the hair on the head and gives rise to facial hair that is coarse.
Your hair expert may recommend you an appropriate treatment for curing your problem. Hormone therapy, drugs, and topical solutions can be prescribed according to the cause of this condition. In some cases, hair loss laser treatments can prove beneficial. However, if the cause is genetic, then you have limited scope of growing your hair back. In this case, hair transplant is the only option available. However, if you start taking proper care of your hair in your young age itself, you will have little reason to worry about thinning hair in your later life. Similarly, avoid exposing your hair to harsh chemical treatments, as far as possible.
This problem in women need not be as serious as in men, since men and women exhibit different patterns of hair fall. However, it is imperative that you take all possible precautions and solutions to keep this problem away.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.