Thinning hair is not only unsightly, but is an embarrassing blow to a person's self-esteem. While this condition is more common in men, it also occurs in women. In fact, hormonal changes, genetics, aging and other conditions cause women to lose their hair. Treatment options for this condition can stop hair loss and encourage the growth of new hair.
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Women and Hair Loss
Receding hairlines cause a loss of confidence in some women. Because a receding hairline affects beauty and appearance, many women try to hide this condition with wigs, wraps, scarves and hats. Although many women do not discuss this condition with their friends, it is rather common. Columbia University's Department of Dermatology reports that one in five women experience hair loss at some point in their lives.
What Causes Hair Loss?
A receding hairline has several causes. These include infectious diseases, excessive hair processing, hair pulling, alopecia areata, autoimmune disorders, thyroid diseases, ovarian tumors, adrenal gland tumors and burns. Genetics also play a role in female hair loss. Women 30 to 60 years of age may experience heavy hair loss or hair thinning, according to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. The cause of this hair loss is unknown.
Blood Tests for Receding Hairlines
Doctors use several blood tests to determine the cause of receding hairlines and hair loss in women. Levels of the hormones testosterone, leutinizing hormone (LH), follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), DHEA, prolactin and androstenedione determine if hormonal imbalances have caused hair loss. Serum iron, serum ferritin and total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) tests determine if a woman has anemia. Thyroid studies, which test levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), T3 and T4, identify thyroid issues that cause hair loss. A complete blood count checks levels of red blood cells, white blood cells and hemoglobin to determine if a medical condition is responsible for the hair loss.
Treatment for receding hairline depends on the underlying cause. Hormonal imbalances resolve with hormone therapy that brings levels back into the normal range. Levothyroxine, a thyroid hormone pill, treats hypothyroidism responsible for hair loss. Autoimmune disorders that result in hair loss improve with immune suppressants and corticosteroids that reduce tissue damage. Hair loss caused by harsh chemical treatments, curling irons and straighteners resolves after stopping these harmful techniques.
Solutions to the Hair Loss Problem
It is difficult to prevent a receding hairline caused by medical conditions and hormone imbalances. Stop using harsh chemical straighteners and dyes, curling irons and blow dryers to prevent hair loss caused by hair-styling techniques. Hair pulling is a compulsive behavior caused by nervousness, anxiety or boredom. Seek treatment from a licensed psychologist who has experience treating this type of behavior.