While we may expect men to experience thinning or balding hair as they age, we don’t usually think of thinning hair as a woman’s problem. However, approximately 40-50% of women will experience hair loss – often starting in their 40’s and 50’s. The average person loses 50-100 strands of hair per day and even up to 250 strands when the hair is washed. When a person’s hair is longer, the volume of lost hair collected in the shower or in a comb or brush can appear even more alarming.
As we age, it is also normal for the hair shaft to become thinner. This may cause a person to think the hair is falling out when it is actually just becoming finer. Hair texture often changes with age – becoming more brittle and dry.
Hair can often be a gauge to what is happening inside the body. Hair loss can be a symptom of several medical issues: estrogen dominance, pregnancy, menopause, iron deficiency anemia, extreme weight loss, a side effect from surgery or chemotherapy, or thyroid disorders. Fortunately, most hair loss is restored six to twelve months after the underlying issue is corrected.
Hair loss is a common issue for people who have hypothyroidism. Hair loss may be one of the early symptoms of undiagnosed hypothyroidism that may cause a person to seek treatment initially. Having a trusted hair stylist who can honestly discuss your hair loss and encourage you to seek medical treatment can be extremely valuable.
Typically women with hypothyroidism lose hair on the front top of the head and often on the outer third of their eyebrows. When thyroid medication is dosed correctly and the thyroid becomes balanced, hair regrowth will usually occur within six months.
As for my own hair loss, I’m noticing some new hair growth. I will never have mounds of thick bouncy hair, but that’s fine. What’s even finer is that after 28 years of marriage, I know that even if I lost all my hair, my husband and I are there for each other. Having a loving, supportive person to help navigate through life’s ups and downs is one of the best gifts we can give each other.