Hair Loss in Women

For as long as mankind has roamed the Earth, the problem of hair loss has been present. Many people are affected by the issue of hair loss. While more common in men, hair loss can also be a problem for women. As with men, women can experience hair loss in varying degrees, from an overall thinning to an extreme reduction in the number of hair follicles. And, as with men, the causes of hair loss in women can be quite numerous. Determining the cause will guide your physician in the recommendation of treatment options.

Causes of Hair Loss in Women

Many factors can be responsible for hair loss in women, although some cases remain unsolved. There are many that are outside of the woman’s control, while some lifestyle issues are controllable. Current research is being conducted to find answers to the problem of hair loss in women.  Consultation with a specialist can help guide women toward determining possible causes and finding the appropriate treatment options.

The following list contains some causes that may be outside of a woman’s control.

  • Hormonal Imbalances. Hormonal imbalances can result for a number of reasons, including the normal aging process. In some women, this can lead to hair loss and thinning.
  • Illness or Treatment. Hair loss can be experienced after a major illness and some types of auto-immune disorders can contribute to hair loss. There are many medications and treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy that cause hair loss. Hair loss associated with the use of medications is reversible.
  • Family History. Hair loss in female family members can sometimes be traced back through a family tree, pointing to the possibility of a genetic pre-disposition toward hair loss.

There are some lifestyle factors that can be modified or eliminated.

  • Excessive stress
  • Smoking
  • Poor nutritional habits resulting in vitamin deficiencies
  • Environmental factors such as pollutants
  • Repeated over-brushing or severe styling of the hair, causing damage to the hair follicle
  • Frequent tight cornrows, extensions and ponytails
  • Inadequate sleep quality or duration

Women should work toward developing healthier lifestyle habits such as ensuring adequate sleep and following a healthy diet. If at all possible, factors causing excessive stress should be eliminated or reduced. If over-styling or processing is a problem, a woman can change her hair care habits.

Hair loss in women can have devastating psychological effects, causing women to feel unattractive and diminishing self-esteem and their sense of femininity. While not as common as the occurrence of hair loss in men, it is still a very real problem for many women. There are multiple possible causative factors, so a woman experiencing hair loss should consult a specialist for diagnosis and treatment options.  In certain cases, hair loss can be slowed or reversed when treated in the earliest stages and with the appropriate intervention.