The causes of hair loss in women may differ from those in men due to a number of factors, most significant of which is biology. One of the biggest biological differences between men and women are hormones. Hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and thyroid, to name only a few, largely dictate the outward appearance of both males and females. This includes height, weight, and of course, hair. Other causes of hair loss in women include genetics, nutrient deficiencies, and general health of the skin (in particular, the scalp). This article has been created to help women identify the 6 most common causes of hair loss including thinning, shedding, and balding.
Top 6 Causes of Hair Loss in Women
1. Unhealthy Scalp
It comes as no surprise that certain scalp conditions may be causal factors for hair loss. The scalp is the foundation from which healthy hair grows, and growth may be inhibited when the foundation is compromised. Specifically, the following skin conditions may lead to hair loss in women:
- Seborrheic dermatitis: This condition makes may agitate the skin of the scalp, face, and torso. When affecting the scalp, most individuals know this condition by the name dandruff.
- Psoriasis: An autoimmune disease, psoriasis appears in the form of scaly red and white patches on the upper most layer of skin.
- Dermatophytosis: Known by the common name ringworm, dermatophytosis is caused by a fungal infection and appears as a light red circular mark on the skin.
2. Thyroid Disorder
Thyroid disorders are relatively common among American adults, affecting a reported 5 percent of the population. Thyroid disorders come in one of two varieties: Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Both hypo- and hyperthyroidism may contribute to hair loss in women. In the case of the former, the body under-produces the thyroid hormone and individuals may notice weight gain, persistent feelings of fatigue, and a general inability to concentrate. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is marked by an over-production of thyroid hormone that may cause other side effects like rapid weight loss, muscle atrophy, and irritability.
3. Telogen Effluvium
Another common cause of hair loss in women is telogen effluvium. This disorder is characterized by unnatural thinning or shedding of the hair and is most commonly triggered by periods of immense or abrupt body stress. Women who are pregnant, experiencing extreme weight loss, or feeling persistent mental/emotional stress may develop this scalp condition in which hair spends an abnormally short amount of time in the growing portion of the hair growth cycle. This causes hair to enter the telogen phase (shedding phase) more quickly than is normal, increasing the rate at which hair is expelled from the scalp.
4. Androgenetic alopecia
The American Academy of Dermatology has named androgenetic alopecia as the most common cause of hair loss among both men and women. Androgenetic alopecia is hereditary; the “gene for hair loss” may be passed down from parent to child. Contrary to popular hair loss myths, androgenetic alopecia may be inherited from either the mother’s or father’s side of the family.
5. Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata affects an estimated 4-5 million Americans, making this condition a very common reason for hair loss among women. Though the precise cause of alopecia areata is not known, women who suffer with unhealthy amounts of stress or general illness are most susceptible to developing the condition.
Anemia is caused be an iron deficiency in the blood. This is marked by a low level of red blood cells and may be the result of a diet that is significantly lacking in iron rich foods like egg yolks, dark green vegetables, lentils, and artichokes, among others. Anemia is also characterized by extreme fatigue and pale skin, as a low blood cell count renders the blood unable to transport adequate amounts of oxygen.
Learn More About Preventing Hair Loss
Early detection is the best means of identifying, treating, and overcoming hair loss. To learn more, please visit our quick-reference guide titled Women and Hair Loss: Top 4 Signs. If you are experiencing thinning, balding, or shedding hair, you are not alone. A reported 20 million women suffer with hair loss in America alone, and there is a wealth of treatment options available.
Our clinic proudly represents the top team Florida hair transplant surgeons, lead by Dr. Bernard Nusbaum and Dr. Paul Rose. To learn more, please schedule a hair loss consultation with the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami or call toll free 1-877-443-9070.