Exploring the causes of hair loss in women

We lose hair everyday as part of the natural hair growth pattern, but what happens when hair loss becomes a problem. For women, hair loss can be a devastating condition, causing great embarrassment and distress for the sufferer. It might be caused by genetics, hormones or a sign of a more medical condition. Here we look at the main causes of hair loss in women and – more importantly – what’s the solution:

Androgenetic Alopecia

Also known as progressive, genetic or hereditary hair loss, this is the same as male pattern baldness although it presents slightly differently in women as female pattern baldness. Rather than a receding hairline and hair loss through the centre of the scalp, women will usually see a diffuse hair thinning all over the scalp and a widening of the centre parting.

What can be done about androgenetic alopecia?

There is no cure to this form of hair loss in women. However, if you start to see this form of hair loss, then early treatment can slow down and even reverse hair loss. Treatments include Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), mesotherapy and hair loss medications and products. Hair transplant surgery is also an effective option for some women.

Telogen Effluvium

This form of hair loss is usually temporary and the result of a stressor that has caused more hair follicles than normal to move from the growth stage into the resting stage. This resting stage usually lasts a few months before the old hairs fall out which is why you usually see marked hair loss two to three months after a traumatic or stressful episode, such as a serious illness, surgery or even pregnancy. It can also be caused by a reaction to certain medications.

What can you do about telogen effluvium?

This form of hair loss is usually temporary and when the body recovers from the stressful episode the hair follicles return to normal behaviour. If it is a reaction to a particular medication then discuss your options with your medical practitioner.

Hormone-Related Hair Loss

Various medical conditions can cause hair loss in women as one of the main side effects. These include thyroid disease when the body produces too little or too much of the thyroid hormone that controls your metabolism which in turn dictates the growth of your hair, nails and skin.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is caused by a hormonal imbalance where your ovaries produce too many male hormones. While it may cause increased hair growth on the body it can cause scalp hair loss in women.

What can you do about hormone-related hair loss?

Seek medical evaluation as soon as you note increased hair loss as it can be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition. Thyroid disease can be controlled with a thyroid hormone medication or surgery may be required. PCOS can be controlled with birth control pills or medications that block hormones.

Depending on the cause of hair loss, the specialists at Hair Loss for Women can provide effective hair loss solutions as well as understanding and advice for those going through this devastating condition.