Women’s hair loss 101

Photo courtesy of freeparking

Photo courtesy of freeparking

Hair Loss 101 with Rob Hardwicke, President and Product Master at Awakening Mineral Therapies.

This blog is about hair loss in general; menopausal and stress-related hair loss with women in specific. Since many Awakening customers are women who have struggled with the issue of menopausal hair loss, and who are seeking alternative hair loss treatments, I thought it was time that we addressed this issue on the Awakening blog.

We haven’t focused on this issue as much as we should, since the hair and skin are 100% interconnected (and since we actually make a Dead Sea hair loss formula!). In fact, most people don’t even realize that hair is part of the skin organ, meaning that the growth and health of your hair are regulated by the same cells and general functions as your skin. Believe it or not, hair loss is technically a skin condition.

So today I’ll begin this series of articles by introducing the concept of Alopecia, which is the medical term for hair loss. Alopecia does not refer to a particular “hair loss disease.” Rather, any form of hair loss is referred to using the term Alopecia. I should mention right off the bat, however, that hair loss – even what seems like a lot of hair loss – is usually completely normal. At any time, as much as 20% of the hair on your head is either approaching or at the point of falling out, so please don’t jump to conclusions before getting a medical opinion!

There are different kinds of Alopecia, but they all share the common symptom of hair loss as a reaction to some kind of change in the human body. So although my focus in this series will be on hair loss in women, I feel that it’s important to give a “30,000-foot view” first. The fact is, if there is no hormonal imbalance (and this includes the entirely natural hormonal changes that happen with aging and during various “hormone shock” events — like pregnancy), disease, environmental shock, or other change, hair loss will not occur – and this is true whether you are a woman going through menopause or anyone else.

A lot of people are surprised to find out that it’s those same kinds of hormonal imbalances that are responsible for the very common condition known as “male pattern baldness.” Like other forms of Alopecia, male pattern baldness is the result of a hormonal shift, but in this case the shift happens to be genetically traceable. Women also suffer from what is called “female pattern hair loss,” which is not genetic in nature and results in diffuse thinning of hair on most of the scalp. This somewhat poorly understood condition can be the result of any number of causes.

And, as many menopausal women can tell you, women also are prone to hair thinning and hair loss leading up to and during menopause. In fact, menopausal hair loss is one of the primary kinds of Alopecia that dermatologists are seen for. But no matter what type of Alopecia we’re talking about, the fact is that your hair will stay on your head unless there is something to trigger it.

Now, depending on your individual situation (and your feelings about hair loss), hair loss might not be such a bad thing. For example, if you have the genetic makeup that predisposes you to male pattern baldness, and you recognize that these days, “bald is hip” (for men and certain fashion models and divas), then you really have nothing to worry about. On the other hand, if you are not a model or fashion diva or have hair loss as the result of disease, medical treatment, or some other long-term shift in your hormones, Alopecia can be one of the most trying, difficult, exasperating, and emotionally debilitating conditions you can ever have to deal with.

In our experience as makers of a mineral hair loss formula, women experiencing menopause, hair loss, and other associated symptoms have a particularly hard time. The sad fact is that from a cultural standpoint, a thick head of hair equated with vigorous health (despite the fashion trend toward baldness in men), and the loss of that hair immediately conjures up a stigma of poor health – especially for women. Indeed, no lesser a source than the Old Testament tells us of the most famous hair loss story of all time – that of Sampson, who, upon having his hair cut off by his beloved Delilah, experienced a total loss of his famous super-human strength. This shows just how long the association between hair and health has been with us. And although we no longer make the sick into true outcasts as was the case in the Middle Ages – sending them off to islands or putting them on ships with no destination – the same attitudes still exist, as anyone who has gone through a major illness like cancer will confirm.

Fortunately, most cases of Alopecia are short-term in nature; when hormonal balance returns, so does your hair. Stress, pregnancy, and certain medications can all cause short-term hair loss. But while this may be challenging to your self-esteem and confidence, it will generally not last longer than a few months. And while Androgenic Alopecia (that is, male or female pattern baldness – or AGA) is by far the most common form of hair loss, there are in fact several hundred diseases that have hair loss as a primary symptom, and most of these result in only temporary hair loss.

And as it turns out, there is some very encouraging evidence that mineral-rich Dead Sea mud (our area of expertise, happily) can have positive effects on certain types of Alopecia. The bioactive properties and dense mineral content of Dead Sea mud, combined with certain very effective plant extracts, has been shown to slow hair loss and support its healthy return. These ingredients also have a documented soothing effect on the “peculiar sensation” experienced in the scalps of patients who have undergone chemotherapy.

So Dead Sea minerals, and particularly the high mineral concentration of Dead Sea mud, can have a very positive effect for people suffering from certain types of hair loss. I will address these Dead Sea hair loss treatments in a later article, but if you are suffering from certain types of hair loss, you will be thrilled to know that there may be a new approach you can take for treatment.

Later this month, you can expect follow up articles about alopecia in which I’ll go into more detail about the different types of hair loss and the ways that Dead Sea minerals and mud can help with this problem. In particular, I’ll be focusing on the issue of hair loss in menopausal women and hair loss in people undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

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5 Responses to “Women’s hair loss 101”

  1. All these tips seem to be pretty good, if one starts to implement. Frankly speaking this is a long process to stop hair from failing. But for a immediate results there are different techniques for hair restoration. The only thing we need to do is to find good surgeon for hair loss treatment

  2. We must make sure that our daily vitamin tablet includes minerals.
    Zinc, magnesium, calcium are but a few of them.
    Dr.David Black
    http://www.blackchiropractic.com.au

  3. The body suffers a lot of modifications and because of other problems like urinarry stress incontinence this can prove to be a very hard period for any kind of woman. Luckily there are products like the Zoft gum or similar which help reduce these simptoms but overall it's a tough stage in any woman's life.

  4. hi I JUST READ YOUR ISSUE REGARDING TREATMENT FOR SHEDDING HAIR OR LOSS HAIR FOR WOMEN CAUSE BY PRE MENOPAUSAL SYNDROME..PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHERE,AND HOW CAN I GOT HOD THAT PRODUCT HERE IN MY COUNTRY.(PHIL.) THANK YOU..

  5. Hi Yogie. You can order Awakening SCALP at http://www.awakeningskincare.com If you order before 10/31/10 and use the following discount code at checkout, you will receive a 40% discount. The code is wow2010me