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 their lives. 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, and ways to help you better understand what it is that is causing those gorgeous locks to fall away. Here is your female hair loss 101:

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 occur. 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

female hair loss 101The 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, and the imbalance can cause problems. Hair loss can also be caused by an imbalance of thyroid hormones as well as menopause.

Stress

why do we develop grey hair

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, transition, and resting 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. This results 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

vitamins for growing hair

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 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. It has been noted that a deficiency in biotin can cause brittle, thinning, or splitting hair. Other vitamins like vitamin C, E, iron, and zinc can effect your hair growth if you find yourself having a deficiency. If you are unable to get the appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals through the foods you eat each day, take a multivitamin. These can be taken orally and found at a local grocery store.

Androgenetic Alopecia

female pattern baldnessOne 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.

Conclusion

Female hair loss is not easy to come to terms with no matter what age you are. Genetics, hormones, stress, nutritional deficiencies, and androgenetic alopecia are at the top of the list for female hair loss 101. Luckily, most of these can be taken care of if treated properly and within a reasonable time frame. Do not let your hair loss get out of control before you start to take action.

 

Do you suffer from female hair loss? Let us know in the comments below! In the meantime, here is another article addressing hair loss treatments: A guide to thicker, healthier hair.