How To Stop Hair Loss In Men And Women

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If you are experiencing hair loss, it might be comforting to know that you are not the only one. In fact, more than 80% of men and almost half of women experience some form of hair loss during their lifetime; whether it’s from male pattern baldness or telogen effluvium, there are plenty of treatments available.

There are many ways in which you can slow down or even stop hair loss. But the solution always depends on the cause. Some situations may require different solutions. For example, a common side effect of chemotherapy is hair loss. Once the treatment has finished your hair should start to come back, whereas other causes may require hair loss treatment to help resolve the issue. 

It’s important to remember that everyone sheds 50-100 hairs a day, a perfectly normal part of the regeneration cycle. It’s whether the hair loss is persistent and in high quantities that you may want to seek help and explore possible hair loss treatments. Your healthcare provider may be able to diagnose whether your hair loss is caused by factors such as thyroid issues, stress, scalp infections, androgenic alopecia, or simply aging.

What causes hair loss?

Noticeable hair loss can occur at any stage of life due to a variety of factors, such as:

  • Stress
  • Age
  • Hormones
  • Genetics 
  • Illness

 

Stress

Stress induced hair loss, or ‘telogen effluvium’, refers to temporary hair loss that has fallen out due to a shocking or traumatic event; such as hair loss after pregnancy or a period of acute stress. It can even be the result of a poor diet or underlying health conditions. 

Sudden bald spots or patchiness can be a sign of telogen effluvium. It occurs when stress essentially pushes hair follicles into a ‘resting’ state so they stop producing new hair strands to replace ones that have previously fallen out. Overtime, your hair becomes more delicate and falls out easily, even if you are just touching it.

If you notice any of these symptoms, we recommend contacting your GP as soon as possible to receive a professional diagnosis before looking at treatment options.  

 

Age

Age is a significant factor in hair loss for both men and women. As people age, the hair cells do not replicate at the same rate, resulting in thin, wispy hair. A change in hormone levels also affects hair growth, particularly in men, as well as women who have gone through menopause. Around 55% of women experience hair loss by the time they reach 70 years of age. 

Unfortunately there is no cure. Only preventative measures can stop the rapid progression of hair loss. Whether that’s eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy haircare routine, or using products like Regaine Extra Strength Foam with the active ingredient minoxidil to increase hair density. 

 

Iron deficiency

In some cases, an iron deficiency can cause weak, brittle hair and hair loss. When your body doesn't absorb enough iron it cannot produce enough hemoglobin to regenerate hair follicle stem cells. Hemoglobin is a protein found in your red blood cells that carries oxygen through the blood to grow and repair the cells in your body.

 

Improper haircare

Neglecting or using certain methods to style your hair can result in hair loss. Improper haircare like using bleach, perms, dying, straightening and even tying your hair back in tight buns or ponytails is damaging to your hair follicles. It can strain the hair by making the fibers brittle. If your hair starts to feel weak and begins to snap, we suggest giving your hair a break by letting it grow out. 

 

Cancer treatment

Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, often cause temporary hair loss. Chemotherapy attacks the cancer cells in your body, but it also kills off hair follicles. 

Some people choose to shave their head before treatment starts if they are certain that their hair will fall out. This helps many people feel more comfortable as they are losing their hair on their own terms. However, not everyone who receives chemotherapy experiences dramatic hair loss, and some experience no hair loss at all. 

If you are receiving cancer treatment, speak to your medical team about your risk of hair loss and how to cope. The doctor may be able to recommend a scalp cooling cap, which can reduce hair loss.

 

Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disease that usually results in unforeseeable hair loss anywhere on the body; including the scalp, eyelashes and eyebrows. It occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own hair follicles. 

 

Other causes

Other less common causes of hair loss include:

  • Scalp infections
  • Scalp psoriasis
  • Hair-pulling (trichotillomania)
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Medications 

 

For more information on the causes of hair loss in both men and women, or to browse our range of hair loss medication, we suggest visiting our hair loss treatment page. 

 

Hair loss in men

Men experience hair loss more frequently than women do, and this is mainly due to the very common condition, male pattern baldness. Studies show two-thirds of all men will eventually experience some form of male pattern baldness in their lifetime. In fact, this condition affects 50% of men over the age of 50. But why?

This genetic predisposition for hair loss can come from one or both parents. While it is not harmful, some people have difficulty with the emotional impact or have trouble adjusting to their changing appearance. 

Male pattern baldness occurs when a male’s hormone levels change overtime. The male sex hormone, Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), is what scientists believe is the main cause of male pattern baldness. DHT is converted from testosterone by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. DHT can interfere with hair follicles and shrink them over time, which makes it hard for them to regenerate. 

Luckily, there are a number of hair loss treatments available for men that stop this process from happening. Finasteride is a highly popular hair loss treatment used to stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss. It is clinically proven to treat male pattern baldness in 90% of men. 

 

Hair loss in women

While hair loss in women is less common than in men, there are still many reasons why it might occur. In addition to the causes that commonly affect men, women are prone to hair loss due to hormonal imbalances or conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome. 

Hormone fluctuations and stress also commonly cause hair loss during pregnancy or after childbirth. After menopause, as many as two-thirds of women experience some hair loss or thinning.

 

Hair loss due to pregnancy or childbirth

Hair loss during pregnancy and after childbirth is common. Factors such as tiredness, stress and fluctuating estrogen levels make the hair follicles more sensitive and hair more prone to falling out. 

Sleeplessness and extreme fatigue contributes to hair loss, and many new parents will be adjusting to a temporary period in which they get very little sleep. Hair loss due to exhaustion after childbirth should resolve on its own without medication once your sleep schedule gets back to normal.

Steps that you can take to minimise or prevent hair loss during and after pregnancy include:

  • Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Taking prenatal vitamins if you are breastfeeding
  • Keeping long hair in a loose braid rather than a tight hairstyle

 

How to prevent hair loss without medication

There are many positive habits you can follow to help prevent hair loss, such as:

  • Using mild shampoos: Many commercial hair care products contain harsh chemicals that may strip the good oils from your hair. Try mild, natural products instead
  • Not wearing hairstyles that pull the hair too tight: Tight braids, ponytails and buns pull the hair away from the scalp. A loose braid can keep long hair away from your face without tugging on your hair
  • Using a silk pillowcase: A silk pillowcase will not pull on your hair. Additionally, keeping it in a loose braid will help prevent tugging and breakage overnight
  • Avoiding heated hair-styling tools: Curlers, hair dryers and straightening irons that use heat can dry out the hair, leaving it brittle and more likely to fall out
  • Not dying or bleaching the hair: Chemical hair dyes, bleaches and permanent waves all damage the hair follicles. If you still want to colour your hair but are concerned about hair loss, try natural products like henna
  • Using a soft brush and not pulling the hair: Use a hair brush made of natural fibers to promote protective sebum oil production and always brush the hair gently. Do not pull at knots; loosen them with conditioner instead
  • Using light therapy: If you have alopecia, a doctor may prescribe low-level light therapy. This can encourage hair growth without the use of medications

 

Hair loss treatments

If you are having concerns about hair loss, there are prescription and over-the-counter medical treatments that can help. 

At Chemist Click, we provide a range of effective hair loss treatments that are available through our online pharmacy. Once a short online consultation has been approved, we will send the medication to you in a discreet package. 

Hair loss treatments include:

 

Finasteride tablets

Finasteride tablets stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss. It is usually used for male pattern baldness. Doctors sometimes prescribe it to women with hormone-related hair loss. 

As mentioned previously, finasteride is clinically tested and has a success rate of treating male pattern baldness in 90% of men. It is sometimes called ‘generic Propecia’, as they contain the same active ingredient. 

 

Propecia tablets

Propecia tablets contain the active ingredient finasteride and works in the same way as the generic medication. Over several months, it works to reduce hair loss and, in some cases, reverse balding. As with finasteride, Propecia is effective for 90% of men.

 

Regaine Extra Strength Foam

Regaine Extra Strength Foam contains the active ingredient minoxidil. Minoxidil increases blood flow to the hair follicles, which in turn stimulates hair growth. It is effective in about 80% of cases.

 

Treatments specifically for women

For hair loss in women, a doctor may prescribe or recommend:

  • Oral contraceptive pills
  • Iron supplements, if hair loss is due to heavy periods or anemia
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), for women who have reached menopause
  • Anti-androgen medications

 

If your hair loss is due to cancer treatment, pregnancy or another underlying issue, talk to your doctor about how to safely reduce hair loss, as some prescription and over-the-counter medications may not be right for you. 

Whether it is in response to temporary stress or part of a long-term pattern baldness, consult with a healthcare professional if you are concerned about hair loss. Hair that falls out in clumps or leaves bald patches could indicate an underlying health problem. 

Hair loss is common, particularly in men. While it is not harmful in most cases, it can be distressing. Fortunately, there are many medical treatments available to stop balding and encourage new hair growth. 

Using these products alongside preventative measures can help stop further hair loss. If you would like more information on hair loss or you want to browse our range of effective medications, please visit our hair loss treatment page. 

If you are interested in finding out more about hair loss and various treatments, take a look at our list of hair loss related literature below:


Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.