There are many possible causes for loosing hair, especially for women, which are quite sensible to a variety of internal and external factors. This is the reason why, if you notice an unusual amount of hair falling after brushing or after a shower, a consult with a hair specialist is the best way to find out what is going on. To do it yourself might result in complications and suffering and, in most cases, time is of the essence. Read more about the importance of a good diagnosis and about what kind of doctor is to be consulted for your hair. Or, ask a specialist right here!
Genetic Hair Loss
Hereditary thinning (androgenetic alopecia or female pattern hair loss) is the most common cause of women’s hair loss. The tendency to develop it can be inherited from either side of the family and do not necessarily leads to complete balding, but the thinning of the hair; it starts in the teens, twenties or thirties.
Female hair loss usually presents in a diffuse pattern, over the entire scalp. Sometimes thinning can be seen in a patterned distribution where it occurs mostly on the front and top of the scalp. The type of hair loss, diffuse or patterned, it’s important to be diagnosed properly because it will impact over the type of treatment: medically (for women with diffuse hair loss), or by hair transplant surgery (for women with patterned hair loss).
Localized Hair Loss
Some dermatological conditions can cause localized hair loss. The resulted hair loss pattern is usually quite different from the diffuse one of genetic hair loss and the diagnosis can be put by an experienced dermatologist, sometime after some tests, such as a scalp biopsy.
A tipe of localised balding is Alopecia Areata – a genetic, auto-immune disease manifesting as hair falling out and leaving round coin sized smooth patches on the head. Can be treated with the help of a dermatologist and it responds quite well to local injections of cortico-steroids.
Some other causes for localized hair loss are: constant pulling on scalp hair, through braiding, tight clips or hair systems (Traction alopecia); some medical or dermatologic conditions (Discoid Lupus, Lichen Planus, infections), thermal burns or local radiation therapy and face-lift surgery.
Systemic medical issues often cause a diffuse form of hair loss pattern that can be mistaken with genetic balding (especially at women), it is very important that undiagnosed alopecia be correctly evaluated by a dermatologist or a physician specializing in hair loss.
Some medical causes of women hair loss:
- Eating disorders (such as anorexia, bulimia)
- Ovarian tumors
- Anemia (iron deficiency), protein/calorie deficiency, essential fatty acid or zinc deficiency, malabsorbtion, and hypervitaminosis A
- Thyroid disease
- Stress from surgical procedures, post-partum and post-menopausal states, severe emotional problems
- Severe infection, flu or a high fever can be a cause of women’s hair loss.
Medication or chemicals have the potential to interrupt the proper cycle of hair forming, for example: prescription drugs used for arthritis, depression, gout, blood thinning, heart problems or high blood pressure. Nutritional factors affect the hair directly including crash diets, zinc and iron deficiency, malabsorbtion, pancreatic disease, hypervitaminosis A, vitamin D deficiency, fatty acid and protein deficiency, severe caloric restriction. Oral contraceptive agents, especially those high in progestins.
Also, improper hair cosmetic use is another common cause of women’s hair loss: bleaches, hair dyes, straighteners, tints or perms. Overuse can cause the hair to become weak, brittle and leads to hair loss.
- Find out about your options for hair loss treatment
- Explore the multitude of options for managing this condition.
- Look at the products for treat or mask balding