Hair loss can be quite scary, especially when you aren’t exactly sure what is causing it. One in four women will experience hair loss at some point in time in their lives, and while shedding is a normal part of the hair cycle, too much shedding can be something serious that needs your attention. Below are several attributes to hair loss in women, to help you better understand what it is that is causing those gorgeous locks to fall away.

Genetics

Genetics is the most common cause of hair loss within women. An inherited tendency toward hair thinning is passed down from one or both parents, and as you age, a gradual miniaturization of hair follicles can happen. This will take the form of your part widening and more scalp peeking through your hair, as well as a receding hairline near the temples. Your hair could also become thinner, shorter, and wispier.

Hormones

The hormonal process is a tricky one, and works best when they are in a delicate balance. But when that balance is disrupted, it can lead to many things such as hair loss.

DHT is a leading cause of hair loss in both men and women, and although it stems from testosterone, even a lower level can cause DHT triggered hair loss in women. The androgens do not need to be raised to trigger a problem, but when estrogen levels are lowered, it gives an edge to their counterpart, an the imbalance can cause problems. Hair loss can also be caused by an imbalance of thyroid hormones as well as menopause.

Stress

We all have stress from time to time, but extreme stress can cause hair loss known as telogen effluvium. This is caused by a significant stressful event that causes too many of your hair follicles to go into the resting phase. Every hair cycle has three stages; growth, resting, and transition stage. Each of these stages are vital for hair growth and all work together to insure your hair is growing and shedding at a reasonable speed. When we undergo mass amounts of stress, our growth stage is shortened and our resting stage is maximized, resulting in not enough hair growth to replace the hair that is then shedding. What is worse about this type of hair loss is that it happens months after your stressful event. However, this type of hair loss is not permanent, and your cycle will eventually go back to normal

Nutritional Deficiencies

There are many nutrients that are vital for hair growth and stimulation. Vitamin D stimulates hair follicles, playing a role in the creation of new hair. Hair follicles are the tiny pores from which new hair grows, so with vitamin D plays a huge role in maintaining thickness and the prevention of hair falling out. Vitamin B7, also known as Biotin, is equally important for hair growth. When this occurs, brittle, thinning, or splitting hair are most notable when having a deficiency in Biotin. Other vitamins like vitamin C, E, iron, and zinc can effect your hair growth if you find yourself having a deficiency.

Androgenetic Alopecia

One of the most common forms of hair loss is androgenetic alopecia, also known as male/female pattern baldness. This effects millions of Americans every year and although there are remedies such as low level light therapy caps and hair transplants, there is not one single cure for this type of hair loss.

With female pattern baldness, thinning occurs on the top and crown of the head, starting normally at widening the center part and leaving the front hairline unaffected. It often develops after menopause, so hormonal changes can be the cause, as well as genetics. It is also believed to be affected by more difficult problems such as tumors in the pituitary gland or ovary. Make sure to consult with your physician if you think there is an underlying problem to your female pattern baldness.