Reasons for Hair Loss in Women
Women all over the world recognize that hair is an essential part of her beauty and sexual attractiveness. Women spend lots of money on hair care products, special shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks. Women style their hair when she wants to change up her image because a good hairstyle can completely transform a person. So it’s no wonder that women will panic if they notice they are losing their hair.
Hair gives vital cues to health status, but more importantly, health status over time. You can think of hair as a record of health over the years, and this is an indicator to potential mates out there. So even from a biological and health perspective, women should pay attention if her hair is falling out or if it’s breaking easily and look thin.
The reasons for female pattern hair loss can be many. Below I will explore and share a few of the important reasons for both sudden and chronic hair loss in women.
A sudden change or drop in hormone levels can cause female hair loss
Hormone levels in women change all the time, depending on her cycle. But when a woman reaches menopause, and estrogen levels decline, this can signal to the scalp to start producing less hair. During youth, the body does all it can to keep us healthy and attractive, but after a certain age, hair becomes nonessential, even if you think otherwise.
There are ways to combat this hair loss. One way to prevent hair loss after menopause is to take hormone replacement therapy – this does come with risks such as breast cancer, but it would be worth discussing with your doctor if you feel this is the right course of action for you.
When a woman is pregnant, estrogen levels rise rapidly, especially in the first trimester. This is actually the cause of what is known as morning sickness. In this case, it is great for the baby because it is designed to prevent poisoning during the most important part of the pregnancy; but it will also give you thicker locks. Have you ever noticed your hair get thicker during pregnancy?
Well, now you know why.
After the baby is delivered, estrogen levels start to decline, and it is not all that uncommon for women to notice a lot of shedding. This should not be any reason to panic, because sudden changes in hormone levels are responsible for this. Any hair that has fallen out, will regrow later on.
Female hair loss after pregnancy is only temporary, so don’t worry.
Hair loss caused by a lack of essential vitamins and minerals
In women, just like in men, hair loss can be caused by not getting enough of the essentials. First of all, you should be getting everything you need within your diet, but if you aren’t, then it’s crucial that you take a multivitamin to support hair growth or target specific nutrients that you are likely to be deficient in.
One of the common causes of thin hair in women is lack of iron. Iron is usually included in women’s multivitamins, but you can also buy it separately. Before taking iron, I recommend that you have a blood test to look at your Ferritin level. This will determine if you are deficient or not.
Low normal level of iron is healthy, and may actually reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, because iron may increase – by acting as a catalyst – oxidative damage within the body.
Taking a supplement like Biotin may give your body the extra oomph to grow healthy hair, faster.
Stress is one of the main reasons for hair loss in women
Chronic stress or severe stress can really harm the body and put everything out of whack. When we are stressed, cortisol rises, and we tense up. The blood in our body is diverted to the essential organs, and hair is not one of them as I previously mentioned. Stress can trigger the hair to go into its resting state earlier than it should have, and a woman can lose as much as 70% of her hair with severe stress.
Women are more likely to report that they lose hair after a sudden traumatic event. This can be the death of a loved one or a breakup. Stress has all kinds of negative effects on the body, but the good news is that once you’ve got it under control, the body will heal and the hair will grow back.
Tips to reduce stress
- Mindful meditation. Pick up some books or watch some youtube videos on meditation, and start doing this as part of your daily ritual or routine.
- Talk to friends. Don’t keep things bottled up inside of you, make sure you speak to a close friend and talk it out. You’ll feel much better for doing so.
- Take up a yoga class. Find a class in your area and do some yoga. Yoga is about the breath and movement. You will feel like a new woman in no time! And it will boost your confidence and get you flexible and in shape!
- Go for regular walks or go running. Everyone feels better after going out for a walk, especially in the park. Green areas are found to be stress reducing.
- Take supplements that help change our you react to stress. Omega 3 supplements have been found to help people deal with anxiety and depression. Magnesium is important for the production of certain neurotransmitters being a co-factor in the synthesis of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Magnesium also relaxes the muscles and relieves tension build up. Vitamin D3 is the sunshine vitamin and will help boost your mood also, especially if you stay indoors a lot and don’t get much sun.
- Get plenty of sleep one overlooked factor that determines how you can handle and bounce back from stress is the amount of sleep you get. Are you getting enough? If you’re not, then try to work on this and create a healthy sleeping pattern where you wake up feeling rested every day.
Other factors which can affect hair growth: medications, acute or chronic infection, fever, other illnesses like autoimmune diseases. Chemicals and heavy metal poisoning. Seborrheic dermatitis and fungal infections of the scalp will also affect hair growth. In most cases, once the cause is eliminated the hair growth cycle should return to normal. If you think any of these other factors might be the reason for your hair loss, then consult a doctor.
Seasonal hair shedding is a common cause of temporary hair loss. Typically, after the summer a woman may notice she is shedding more hair than usual. This can last a few weeks or months before it settles down. This is entirely normal, and nothing to be concerned about unless you think you are losing more hair than you normally would. For many people, around the fall is when they experience it.
Androgenetic alopecia in women
Androgenetic alopecia in women is another important reason for hair loss in women and occurs with age. It is the sensitivity of androgen receptors to the effects of DHT.
In women, however, they tend to follow a different pattern of hair loss. Women tend to experience more diffuse hair loss, rather than in any specific pattern.
Genetics play a very important role here, but there are ways in which it can be treated. Medications that can be used for this may typically involve spironolactone, which is usually used to treat fluid build up in the body but can also be used to suppress testosterone, and thus reduce the level of DHT in the body.
You may also refer to this page to find some natural treatments if you wish to go with those first.
Hair thinning which is not related to scalp problems or hair follicle damage
Women tend to use all kinds of chemicals and products on their hair. It’s important to differentiate thinning caused by neglect or mismanagement of your hair and what might be an underlying issue with the hair growth itself. Common causes of hair thinning are hair straighteners, blow dryers (or anything which applied heat to the hair), and also bleaching and chemical treatments which dye the hair.
Hair is made up of dead protein, once it is damaged it cannot repair itself, so you must look after it if you wish to maintain the thickness of the hair from root to tip.