What Is Female Hair Loss?


Many women deal with hair loss, and the reasons are often hormone related. There are hair loss treatments for women, but the options are few.

Female pattern baldness or hair thinning, also known as female pattern alopecia, is thought to affect about a third of all women, with some estimates going even higher. Female baldness usually involves hair loss over the entire scalp. The hair loss may be most visible on the top of the head, making the natural “part” of the hair appear wider. Unlike hair loss in men, female hair loss generally don’t go involve complete baldness. In fact, women usually maintain their hairline in the front and on the sides. Treatments for female pattern baldness and thinning hair depending on the cause of the problem.

Causes of Female Pattern Baldness

Normally, the average individual hair grows slowly and continuously for two to six years, then rests for a few months before it falls out. Usually a new hair grows from the same follicle shortly thereafter. But sometimes certain conditions prevent new growth.

Causes of female pattern baldness are not completely understood, but genetics may play a role, particularly if either parent had a similar condition. Hormone imbalances or sudden health changes are also factors in many instances of hair loss in women.

Hormonal changes include pregnancy and the birth of a baby, starting or stopping birth control pills, and menopause. Other causes of hair loss in women are:

  • Certain medications, including some antidepressants, blood thinners, and chemotherapy treatments for cancer
  • Infection or serious illness
  • Thyroid problems
  • Iron, vitamin, or other nutritional deficiencies

Hair loss may indicate the onset of a disease, including medical conditions as varied as diabetes and lupus. Your doctor may order a blood test to determine if your hair loss could be a symptom of a more serious medical problem.

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