For decades, stand-up comedians have joked about the many differences between men and women. But it’s doubtful that they would get any laughs if they started riffing about female hair loss. While many cases of hair loss in women arise for the same reasons they do in men, such as stress or genetic predisposition, the distinct nature of female biology and life changes are behind a significant proportion of female hair loss problems.
While you will need a professional diagnosis by a hair restoration physician to determine the exact cause of your hair loss, it is likely that if you are noticing an increase in hair shedding or thinning areas on your scalp, it is due to one of these common reasons behind female hair loss:
Women going through menopause produce lower levels of estrogen and progesterone – two hormones critical for hair growth and follicle health. As these hormone levels decrease, hair growth slows while follicles become thin, brittle, and more vulnerable to damage.
Making matters worse, the decrease in hair-promoting hormones is accompanied by an increase in androgens – hormones that trigger follicle miniaturization on the scalp. This makes hair more susceptible to falling out.
The hormonal fluctuations of menopause also contribute to other mental and emotional conditions and lifestyle changes, which themselves can cause hair loss. These can include:
- Emotional decline due to diminished self-confidence
- Lack of exercise
- Imbalanced nutrition
- Damaging hairstyles
Pregnancy causes wild fluctuations in hormones, as every mom knows. But these hormonal upheavals don’t end after delivery. The months that follow childbirth also see dramatic changes in hormone levels as the body works its way back to its normal state. This hormonal whiplash can take a toll on hair as well.
Many women notice that their hair seems thicker and fuller during pregnancy than it did beforehand. This is because of elevated estrogen levels that increase the percentage of hairs in the growth cycle while simultaneously freezing hair in the resting phase of hair growth. After pregnancy, estrogen levels fall dramatically, and all the hair that was growing so impressively starts to fall out. While we all shed hair regularly, at a rate of around 80 hairs per day, the extent of postpartum shedding can raise that number to closer to 400 hairs a day.
The good news is that this type of hair loss is almost always temporary, and hair growth will return to normal in short order.
If you apply constant tension to your hair follicles, you will damage, weaken, and ultimately kill them. This is called traction alopecia, and it affects women who wear certain types of hairstyles or engage in other destructive habits.
The five primary causes of traction alopecia are:
- Wearing unnecessarily tight ponytails, pigtails, or braids for extended periods.
- Trichotillomania, a psychological condition characterized by constant (and often unconscious) hair twisting, pulling, or plucking.
- Hairstyles in which hair is tightly wound for a prolonged period.
- Hairpieces and weaves that are affixed/clipped to the hair.
Anemia involves an insufficient amount of iron in the blood and is one of the most common causes of dietary-related hair loss in women. Low iron levels restrict proper blood flow and reduce the amount of growth-stimulating nutrients that hair follicles need. Changes in diet and iron supplements can help, including eating foods such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and other leafy greens.
No Matter The Reason Behind Your Hair Loss, The Miami Hair Institute Can Help
At the Miami Hair Institute, our world-renowned hair restoration physicians diagnose and treat hair loss cases no matter what the underlying cause. Through advanced hair restoration surgical techniques, technology, and alternative non-invasive treatments, we can help patients suffering from hair loss regain their hair and self-confidence.
To receive your personalized evaluation and treatment plan, contact us online or call our office directly at 305-925-0222.