suntimes
CRISP 
Weather Updates

Women can combat hair loss in variety of ways

Updated: November 15, 2012 10:32PM



When we think of hair loss, we tend to think of men. After all, most commercials and advertisements for hair loss treatments tend to focus on the male audience, and it’s not uncommon to see male celebrities from Ed Harris to Bruce Willis to Larry David openly own their baldness with humor and sex appeal.

However, the truth is that women also grapple with hair loss. Conditions such as alopecia can strike men and women alike, and aging can impact hair growth and volume regardless of gender. In fact, 40 percent of women over the age of 40 report that they have experienced noticeable hair thinning as they age.

Moreover, that likelihood only continues to increase as women age. According to the North American Menopause Society, almost half of all women experience hair thinning by age 50. Shifting hormones during perimenopause and menopause could be to blame for hair loss, and stress, illness and other health conditions (such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism) also could play a role. And, while many people know that cancer drugs could lead to hair loss, medications for common conditions such as depression, acne, high blood pressure and arthritis also could lead to hair thinning and hair loss.

Hence, while some hair loss can sometimes be inevitable, it also can be a symptom of a serious health condition (such as a thyroid issue), so if you notice sudden hair thinning or hair loss, it’s important to talk to your doctor to find out why this is occurring. It will ease your mind to find out if there is something serious to be worried about, your doctor also can talk to you about your options for treatments if you so desire.

Personally, I think there is a new bald trend happening among women lately, and embracing your baldness can be powerful and inspirational. We all inevitably change as we age, and whether it’s wrinkles or loss, these marks of aging don’t have to shied away from or hidden.

If you want to try and improve the volume and strength of your hair, consider these tips:

Avoid extensions. It might be tempting to turn to extensions to bulk up your hair, but these can actually be damaging to your hair as they pull on the strands. Not to mention, they often are uncomfortable and unpleasant to deal with. Instead, ask your hair stylist for a light, layered cut that will play up your volume and frame your face.

Cut down on styling. Frying your hair with a blow dryer and a flat iron will only further weaken your strands. Let your hair dry when possible or use the lowest heat setting possible.

Make sure you are getting enough vitamins. Hair and nails can become weak and break easily when your vitamin levels are low. Make sure you are getting enough B vitamins and eat a plant-rich diet. Fruits and veggies are the best beauty secret out there, and they make you feel good to boot!

Try Viviscal. Viviscal is a dietary supplement that has been proven to reverse hair loss and promote hair growth. Viviscal can be used whether you recently have noticed hair loss/thinning or you just want to keep your hair healthy due to overstyling or harsh chemicals from hair dye. And, best of all, it is approved for use by women (some treatments are approved for men only and may be harmful to women).

Use a hyaluronic acid shampoo. It helps to keep your scalp healthy and your locks strong.

Lastly, make sure you are managing stress and getting enough rest. Whether you are rocking long locks, a pixie ’do, or a shaved head, the most important thing is being healthy and loving the woman you see in the mirror.

Dr. Berman is the star of “In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman.” The second season will premiere at 9 p.m. Dec. 4 on OWN.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.