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Hair Loss In Women Caused By Stress

Thinning hair runs in my family and so does depression. My grandmother who grew up with a difficult childhood, had substantial hair loss by the time she was in her mid-forties. My sister who went through chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant lost all of her hair and was never able to grow it back.

I can recall my mother crying when they started her chemotherapy and her hair seemed to withstand it the first week. She said over and over again, “Please dear God, don’t take her hair.” Needless to say after caring for her mother, father and my sister over the course of the last 10 years, my mom lost a good chunk of her hair. Fortunately, she avoided depression.

Sadly, her hair didn’t stay and we all saw clumps of her lovely long brown strands surrender themselves to the powers that be. Today, my sister wears a wig that looks almost like her natural hair. She went through every treatment known to man to try and grow her hair back naturally, only to be unsuccessful.

Hair is an identifier, and men aren’t the only gender afflicted by hair loss. According the the American Academy of Dermatologists forty percent of women will have noticeable hair loss. Unlike men, most women will not experience a receding hairline, but instead suffer first from a loss of volume, then later, either caused by stress or hormone imbalances, see a substantial decrease in hair regrowth.

There are three reasons why women lose their hair: stress and habits associated to stress such as pulling one’s hair out, hormone changes during and after pregnancy or menopause, and hair follicle damage caused by strong chemicals.

When a woman is stressed it increases cortisol levels and also can reduce the hormone serotonin in the body.

Certain products that promise hair regrowth work temporarily, and can take up to 6 months to show any benefits. Minoxidil 5% (also referred to as Rogaine) is sold over the counter and is applied directly to the scalp once or twice daily. Some women claim that taking B Complex vitamins or adding a combination of castor oil to the scalp once a week can help.

Hair loss doesn’t have to be permanent. Most women who care for their hair after losing it can encourage their locks to return.

Diet can support healthy hair regrowth. Foods that contain omega-3 and omega-6 as found in salmon, almonds, walnuts, and fish oils are beneficial for hair. Taking a multivitamin with biotin can help.

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About Aria Gmitter

Aria Gmitter writes about parenting and political matters affecting the family.

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