Hair Loss Common in Women Over 50

When men start losing their hair at a certain age, most don’t sweat it too much.   Gone (mostly) are the dreaded comb-overs and bad rugs of days past. Most guys now just cut their hair very short or shave it entirely and put on a baseball cap whenever possible.  But when women find their hair is thinning whether its due to changes in hormones, genetics or stress, it is a very different experience.

According to the Mayo Clinic, most people shed between 50 to 100 hair a day.  When more than this number start clogging the shower drain, it may indicate a medical condition.

Often stress-related hair loss isn’t evident until 3-4 months after a particularly stressful time.  It is different than genetic hair loss which occurs primarily on top of the head, often first noticed by a widening of the part.  Stress loss in more uniform all over the head and women may find more hair in the drain or in their brush.  They may notice a ponytail is smaller than usual and feel an overall thinning.

Women of all sizes, ethnicities and ages place a high stock on their lovely locks.  It may be short  or long, natural or straightened, dyed or left to silver with age but thinning hair strikes fear in the hearts of most women.

Although not as common as with aging men, one in four women suffer from thinning hair.  It can be the result of illness, medication side effects, trauma/stress, alopecia, menopause, thyroid disease, significant weight loss, iron deficiencies and damaging hair care practices.

There are many reasons why women may find their hair thinning.  By visiting a doctors and treating the symptoms early, further loss may be avoided or slowed.  Some women may want to try minoxidil (Rogaine) in a 2 per cent solution;  this is the only FDA approved treatment for hair loss.

Tips for Thinning Hair

  • Eat a good diet rich in iron, biotin and zinc found in leafy greens, beans, tofu and lean red meat
  • Try massaging scalp with coconut oil before washing to increase circulation
  • Switch your part to the other side
  • Use fewer heated styling tools
  • Cut hair shorter and layer for volume
  • Use colour to mask hair loss, lighter shades will make loss less apparent
  • Keep hair clean – greasy hair may lay flat making loss more noticeable

For more information about the types of hair loss and current treatment options, visit the Canadian Hair Loss Foundation website at .