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Fighting the Waking Nightmare That is Hair Loss
by Angela Santoriello
When Delilah cut Sampson’s hair while he was sleeping to leave him vulnerable when facing the enemy, he woke weak and without the strength and confidence he needed to conquer evil.
The famous Old Testament tale is a solid example of how balding women must feel when they realize hair loss.
“Women who have it are upset,” dermatologist Jennifer Jones said in a Daily Mail report. About 8 million suffer from hair loss in the United Kingdom alone.
Noting that hair is associated with youth and calling healthy locks “our crowning glory,” WebMD explains the English population of ladies is not alone.
“For women all around the world, it’s also an expression of beauty confidence and personal style,” reported WebMD, noting a nice head of hair can promise fertility in some areas of the world.
With many myths and bogus marketing campaigns promising to restore a healthy skull rug, it is easy to be caught between scams and what really works. If addressed early, existing hair can be saved from unnecessary loss, according to Jones, noting sufferers should set up an appointment with their general practitioner at the first sign of loss.
“Treating it early is helpful to prevent hair thinning too much,” said Jones, adding the worst thing a woman can do is deny it.
Women’s hair loss is not rare. In fact, a reported one-third of women suffer from female-pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia, by age 50. Often related to hormone levels, Jones said she is noticing the condition in teenagers as well as “women who have normal hormone levels.”
While admitting and understanding you’re not alone with female-pattern baldness is empowering, the understanding must be followed through with a doctor’s visit to rule out whether stress or medications are the culprits. Effecting the resting phase — the period after hair has grown steady for up to three years — stress can “cause a disproportionate number of hairs to go into the resting phase at the same time,” Jones said. And according to the doctor, when more hair is lost in the resting phase than usual, “the effect can be alarming.”
While ruling out stress as a hair loss factor, maybe medication is the reason. By interfering with the normal cycle of hair growth, medications can affect different stages leading to two types of loss.
“Telogen effluvium is the most common form of drug-induced hair loss,” reports WebMD. While telogen effluvium affects the resting phase of hair loss, anagen effluvium attacks the growing stage. “It prevents the matrix cells, which produce new hairs, from dividing normally,” according to the medical website.
It takes up to three months for telogen induced hair loss to occur, where anagen almost immediately begins after a medication is taken. “It’s most common in people who are taking chemotherapy drugs for cancer,” reported WebMD. If stress or medication is ruled out by a doctor, the diagnosis is likely to be alopecia or trichotillomania, a psychological cause rather than biological cause for hair loss. Feeling anxious, sufferers seek relief by pulling out their hair, leaving bald spots all over their head.
According to Jones, trichotillomania is often masked by sufferers committing the self-harm and can be misdiagnosed.
“Most sufferers start pulling their hair in adolescence,” said Jones, adding women are more prone to pulling out their hair.
Be it biological or physiological, losing hair for a woman can seem like a nightmare. However unlike Sampson, aware women can remain in power with a healthy head of hair.
If you or someone you know would like more information about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!