Thinner & Thinner
There is always a thing or two that women don't really like to talk about, call it superstitious but they give us the heebie-jeebies... Like if we talk about them, suddenly they are going to be real. ... One of these things is hair loss.
As women get older hormones cause them to start thinning in the one place we don't want to be thinner, our hairlines!
But did you know that age & hormones aren't the only contributors? Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can also cause premature hair loss, wearing your hair up in tight top knots and ponytails every day is a HUGE, HUGE contributor & anything that puts your body into shock and stress is a major reason for young healthy women to start losing hair.
So if shock and stress can contribute to hair loss in women and the election was on November 9th, then by our reasoning by March half of the women in America will have thinning hair.
Lately, we have been more vocal about this problem and as usual, once you open up about what you are going through, you realize you are not alone! So for any of the ladies out there reading this, please know, we've got you!
We are not alone, these pictures of beautiful celebrities who always look great show you that if a ponytail is pulling your hair too tight, too often then hair loss at the temples is happening to everyone. Thanks to the ponytail, messy bun and topknot trends of our generation, most women are having the issue of what is called Traction Alopecia.
So what can we do about it?
As always our first step is education and research, here is what we found.
"It's estimated that hair loss affects 1 in 5 women. The most common types of hair loss are telogen effluvium and alopecia areata. Although it's more common than alopecia areata, telogen effluvium is less severe. This occurs when the hair follicles stop growing and lie dormant and fall out within two to three months. Being that telogen effluvium is oftentimes caused by stress, trauma or medications, hair growth is typically restored within 6 to 9 months. On the flip side, alopecia areata occurs when white blood cells attack hair follicles, causing the hair to thin and fall out, usually in patches. This type of hair loss may require treatment as hair may not grow back on its own.
Your hair says a lot about your overall health. When the body goes into crisis mode, hair growth is stunted to redirect energy to other cells throughout the body. So hair loss is oftentimes the first sign of trouble. While age is definitely a factor of hair loss, other factors, such as hormonal imbalance, emotional stress, medications and hair care products can also lead to thinning of the hair and even male pattern baldness. The best way to get to the root of the problem is to determine the underlying cause."
FIND THE CAUSE-
1. Get checked out by your doctor... Rule out hormone imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, and complications with your medications. (Ask your doctor to do a full thyroid panel & check your iron levels) Once you know if your overall health is a contributor you can move on to other questions.
2. Have you had anything traumatic or shocking happen to you in the last 3-9 months? If you have, your hair loss could be attributed to that. "When the body is in shock it upsets the circulatory system and the essential nutrients that the skin and hair need can be compromised. Hair loss due to physical trauma is not normally permanent and once the body recovers the hair will start to grow back. It can take time, hair can still be lost up to 3 months after the accident. During this time taking care of the hair is important."
3. Are you wearing your hair up every day? Are you a ponytail queen? Do people not recognize you when you wear your hair down? If you are one of these ladies, you know it. When you wear your hair up in a style that pulls it up to the top of your head with the elastic placed above your ears, you are putting stress on your hair ALL DAY LONG!!!! "A ponytail that pulls all the hair into a tail centered at the crown area ends up resting with the majority of the weight of the hair being placed on the leading edge of the hairline. The tighter the hair is pulled into the ponytail (and more specifically, the tighter the hair is HELD) the more tension is placed on the forward edge of the hairline."
FIND THE SOLUTION-
1. If your condition is medical then your doctor should help you be able to help you figure a way to balance your hormones or nutrients and that should help your hair get back into the regular growth cycle, this shouldn't be a permanent problem.
But you can also do these things to help speed up the process:
(This also stands for the hairloss due to stress & shock)
Take a hair vitamin, I have one that I swear helped me grow out my pixie haircut and made my hair thicker and stronger. Although my partner Erin will kill me for putting it up on TWH because she hates the packaging & the name... I am putting my word on it that this vitamin, Hairfinity works, packaging be damned!
TWH also suggests you give your scalp some extra loving.... The skin needs to be taken care of to encourage the hair follicles to be stimulated. We found this video from Annie Jaffreythat gives you the lowdown on a perfect scalp massage.
Ok ponytail Mamas, Now we need to talk to you. TAKE YOUR PONYTAIL OUT!!!
We aren't trying to make you feel bad because we are in the same boat... So are millions of women. Ballerina's, gymnasts, cheerleaders, swimmers, horseback riders anyone who grew up wearing their hair up in a ponytail or bun most of the time has a long history of thinning at their temples.
Unfortunately, if this is something you have dealt with over time the hair follicles are probably damaged beyond repair with everyday home remedies. "Traction alopecia causes scarring of the hair follicle. Hair that is lost from permanently scarred follicles will not regrow."
So here are some of your choices.
1. Cortizone shots - "It can also stimulate hair to grow again in those areas after about four weeks. The injections are repeated every few weeks. Alopecia may return when the injectionsare stopped. Side effects of corticosteroid injections include pain at the injection site and thinning of your skin (atrophy)."
This is a common first step from a lot of Dermatologists but reading on-line, it seems results are mixed. Some are helped by it, some see no results and some even say it seems to have accelerated their hair loss!
2. Hair transplant- This is only for people suffering from serious extreme Traction Alopecia. If you are considering this treatment make sure you find a reputable doctor and make sure you have seen his work not just in pictures but in real life. Professional doctors are used to these requests and will usually be able to arrange for you to meet a previous patient.
A new treatment is also on the horizon.
– PRP, or Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy –
PRP starts by drawing blood from the patient. The blood then goes into a machine that separates out the platelets filled with growth factors.
Those growth factor-filled platelets are then injected into the scalp to stimulate new-hair growth, decrease hair loss and make the hair grow thicker.
Producing platelet rich plasma is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
You can get PRP done at a California location called Facile.
The number one takeaway we got after all of our research is you can't wear your hair in a high & tight pony all the time. Try styling your hair down or if your need to put it up opt for a low bun or pony at the nape of your neck. If you have to put your hair up to the top of your head, don't wear it like that all day long. Your hair shouldn't hurt when you take it out of a ponytail and if it does your hair was under to much pressure and you may have damaged the front follicles, so massage it till the hair feels normal again.
Most of all remember you are not alone, we are in this together and more women are dealing with this than you would ever guess.