Hair is a big part of our identity. A noticeably thinner hairline or dull, flat hair that seems to have lost its volume can be a cause for alarm in women. Men aren’t the only individuals affected by hair loss. Female pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is a type of hair loss affecting women. The pattern is more difficult to predict and treat as women lose their hair differently than men. It typically starts at the part and ultimately diffuses to the temporal region. Unfortunately, more than 50% of women will experience visible hair loss as they get older. Many women experience it postpartum or during menopause. 

Humans regularly shed between 50 to 100 strands of hair per day. However, if you’re losing a considerable amount of hair, this condition can indicate an underlying health issue or pattern loss. Women also experience different types of hair loss directly attributed to hair styling. Men may as well, but it’s less common for men to have tight hairstyles, weaves, extensions, and wigs that may cause traction alopecia. Using glues or too many chemical relaxants, tight weaves, and hair extensions can cause consistent traction on the hair, ultimately weakening it and causing hair to fall out of the scalp. The continued application ultimately destroys the hair follicle, and baldness appears. If the application of these products or styling continues, this usage can also progress to scarring alopecia. Identifying the problem early and correcting it, whether it be traction alopecia, female pattern baldness, autoimmune disorders, lifestyle habits, or a combination of these causes, is more likely to yield a positive result for hair loss.

While many possible causes for hair loss exist, the most common causes have a clear treatment path. Thus, finding a solution that works for your specific situation lies within a proper assessment of your hair.

Causes of Hair Loss in Women and How to Treat Each One of Them

When women lose their hair, they often seek solutions that can help fight hair loss. Have you noticed hair clogging in the shower drain or feel that your hair seems to be thinning? Learn more about some common causes of hair loss in women and how to treat each one of them.

Genetics – Androgenetic Alopecia (Female Pattern Hair Loss)

Have you ever found yourself ashamed and frustrated about your thinning hair? Losing one’s hair can affect your confidence and increase anxiety, which can also hurt your physical well-being.

Statistically, men are more prone than women to experience hair loss at some point in their lives. However, female pattern baldness is common and should not cause shame.

Female pattern baldness, also called androgenetic alopecia, is hair loss that affects women. It is similar to male pattern baldness, except that women’s hair loss occurs in a more unpredictable atypical pattern. In men, hair loss is typically first seen at the forehead or crown of the head. In women, hair usually thins out around the part, and then it may go to the temples, hairline, crown, or another area of the head.

At first, most women may not even notice that they are losing hair. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, losing 50 to 100 hair follicles each day is normal for women. Those with female pattern baldness may lose significantly more hair than this, and unlike normal hair, these hairs may not grow back.

You may notice more pull-outs when showering or brushing when you begin to lose hair from your head. It’s normal to see some hair fall out, but if you see clumps of hair or notice a pronounced increase in loss, another hair loss factor may be the cause.

Unfortunately, women also do not follow traditional finasteride treatments available to men. Finasteride is toxic to women of child-bearing age. We have developed a female-specific topical treatment that uses estradiol, cetirizine, minoxidil, and fluocinolone. These elements combine with growth peptides. In total, these products help decrease scalp inflammation, improve blood flow and tissue oxygenation, stimulate regeneration, and interfere with DHT uptake.

Female hair loss may also be challenging to treat if the individual’s scalp donor area is likewise experiencing hair loss. Many women aren’t candidates for transplants as a response. However, if the loss can be controlled or reversed in the donor area, you may become a candidate. The sooner you seek professional attention, the more likely you will experience your desired results.

Currently, a procedure called follicular unit extraction (FUE) can be conducted, moving single hair follicular units (one to four hairs) to other parts of the head. The procedure is quite tolerable with minimal downtime. Alternatively, women sometimes opt for follicular unit transplantation (FUT), which removes a linear strip from the donor area and dissects it into several units that get transplanted. 

An FUE procedure requires small areas shaved for harvesting. As such, women often like the idea of pursuing a FUT procedure, which limits shaving in this instance. Some women are suitable candidates for either procedure, and patients could easily hide the small shaved amount for an FUE within their existing hair. 

The results are typically permanent, but continued maintenance is essential for women as their donor hair isn’t always resistant to hair loss. Our clinicians can better help you determine whether this procedure is right for your hair loss concerns.

Thyroid Conditions

A wide range of conditions can lead to hair loss. One condition is abnormal hormonal activity that plays a vital role in why most people experience thinning or balding areas of the scalp. Some women lose their hair after childbirth and before reaching the menopausal stage. Others lose their hair due to other genetic factors, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. 

When women lose hair because of these abnormal hormone levels, they experience a diffuse hair loss pattern that affects the entire scalp rather than localized areas. In this case, hair regrowth can be achieved through successful thyroid disorder treatment, although it may take several months to complete. If you are aware that you suffer from this condition, consult an endocrinologist for treatment.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a condition that occurs when a person does not have adequate iron stored in the body, or the body cannot use iron sufficiently. This type of anemia occurs mainly in women. While some people with severe iron deficiency anemia can experience shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain, some also experience hair loss.

You can treat iron deficiency anemia by taking an iron supplement. When someone has endured hair loss for an extended time, even if the missing nutrient gets replaced in the body, this nutrient replacement typically will only halt hair loss instead of restoring hair. You will need to see a doctor who can recommend other hair loss treatments and medications to help restore your hair to its natural state.

Severe Stress or Anxiety Disorders

Telogen effluvium often results from physical or mental stress, but hair loss from this condition should not be permanent. Typically, your hair should regrow once you restore a healthy life balance. In some cases, this form of hair loss can progress to chronic telogen effluvium, in which case you may need a more aggressive treatment approach. 

Any number of stressful situations can trigger hair loss, such as the following:

  • Pregnancy.
  • Chronic illness.
  • Injury.
  • Relationship issues.
  • Financial concerns.
  • Poor nutrition.
  • Surgery.
  • Medications such as antidepressants.

Medication

Certain drugs can stimulate excessive hair growth, hair color or texture changes, and hair loss. Like any other type of hair loss, drug-induced hair loss can have unwanted effects on your self-esteem. However, in most cases, there is a good chance that hair will grow back on its own after you stop taking medication, assuming that the medication use is temporary. Several types of drugs can induce hair loss, including:

  • Retinoids.
  • Antidepressants.
  • Statins.
  • Birth control pills.
  • Immunosuppressants.
  • Beta-blockers.
  • Steroids.
  • Antimetabolites.

Talk to your doctor about the possible side effects of any medications you take. If stopping the drug does not result in progress, you may need hair loss treatments such as FUE, FUT, topical compounds, or nonsurgical injections.