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Female Hair Loss

When we think of the typical person who struggles with hair loss, most of us likely think of a middle aged man. Look at any television commercial or magazine advertisement for hair loss, and the products are likely to be targeted towards men. Increasingly, however, women are more and more likely to struggle with this issue as well.

It is normal for us to lose upwards of 250 pieces of hair a day, particularly when we wash our hair. Some women, however, lose far more than this, and their hair loss consequently becomes noticeable over time. If you regularly see a lot of hair in your comb when you brush your hair, or if your pillow often has a lot of your hair on it after you wake up, you may want to consult with your doctor. Because certain medical conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, can be associated with hair loss, your doctor will likely want to rule certain possibilities out.

Women who experience hair loss are most likely to start noticing thinning in their hair in their fifties and sixties. Hair loss does have a genetic component to it, so if the women in your family, particularly your more immediate female relatives, have dealt with hair loss, this might explain any hair loss you are facing. Other women experience hair loss because of conditions like pregnancy or illness. Severe weight loss can also cause hair to fall out. Certain medications, as well as chemotherapy, can additionally cause hair loss.

One of the first things that women often ask about their hair loss is about the permanency of it. In other words, can hair loss be reversed? In short, it depends on the nature of your hair loss. If your hair loss is due to self-inflicted reasons, such as excessive hair dying, regularly wearing braids that are too tight, etc., your hair will grow back if you modify your hair habits accordingly. Additionally, if hair loss is due to pregnancy or illness, your hair will likely grow back.

A variety of treatments are available for those of us who are dealing with hair loss. These treatments range from moderately successful to ineffective, so it will pay to do your research. Discuss possible options with your doctor; he or she may recommend one type of treatment or several in combination with each other. Be patient; many products can take several weeks at the least to see results.

Do not underestimate the impact of a good hair style on thinning hair. Your stylist may be able to suggest styles that will help your hair appear fuller or hair styles that you should avoid. He or she will likely caution against longer hair styles, as these can often accentuate thinning hair, and can discuss styling options with you.

If you struggle with hair loss, you are not alone. For many of us, our hair is a source of pride, and it can be a challenge, emotionally-speaking, to face hair loss. But you do not need to face it alone.

Coping with the Problem of Female Hair Loss

Hair loss is part of our daily lives, whether you realize it or not and is generally more common as people grow older, but can affect younger people as well. Hair loss is a gradual process, some research has indicated that it takes 5 years or more for follicle roots to fully cease. For many patients, hair loss is a major emotional problem and is quite normal after major surgery, so it is important for patients to speak to their surgeon about this possible side effect before undergoing surgery.

Hair loss is quite a likely occurrence for children being treated for leukemia. In male- and female-pattern baldness, the culprit is something called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which is derived from androgen, a male hormone.


Women’s hair tends to thin all over and the pattern of hair loss in women is different to the typical receding hairline and crown loss that is common in men. Women develop hair loss as frequently as men do, but because of hormonal differences between men and women, women typically lose their hair in a more diffuse way than men. Women rarely experience loss of all their hair. A reasonably common cause of hair loss in women is birth control pills.

Women may be given minoxidil or a hormonal or iron supplement to help prevent hair loss. Women with hair loss due to androegenetic alopecia tend to have miniaturizing hairs of variable diameter over all affected areas of the scalp.


Healthy diet, enough time of sleep, regular exercise, and not worrying too much can prevent hair loss, whereas problems such as lupus, thyroid condition, and diabetes can cause hair loss. Eating habits vary from healthy eating habits on one end of the scale, to serious eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia on the other end. While hair loss is more harmful to the psyche than anything else, some of the causes of baldness may represent serious health problems.

Certainly a good healthy diet will tend to reduce hair loss and it is important to keep your health good, but hair loss can affect the emotional health of both men and particularly women and it can be a rather glib statement to tell people not to worry about their looks. Coping with hair loss depends a lot on your attitude and the support of your friends and family.


The thyroid gland is in the front of the lower neck and makes important hormones that keep the body healthy. Hormones called androgens, commonly testosterone, can cause hair follicles to shrink, causing thinning of hair or eventual hair loss. In pregnancy, hormone levels increase in the early stages of pregnancy and cause the hair growth cycle to slow down.

Doctors refer to common baldness as “androegentic alopecia” which implies that a combination of hormones and heredity (genetics) is needed to develop the condition. The hormone imbalance that occurs in polycystic ovary syndrome can cause hair loss in teenage girls as well as in adult women.

Female-pattern androegenetic alopecia is a common condition, its traetment includes minoxidil 2% and antiandrogens (cyproterone acetate) in case of obvious hyerandrogenism; finasteride, not currently approved for women, is however being tested in postmenopausal women.

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