Female Hair Loss

Causes of Female Hair Loss

Today, serious hair loss is an increasing problem that affects about 30 million women in America of all ages. Every month, our hair grows at the rate of about half an inch, and each hair has a growing phase of from two to six years. After that, the hair "rests" for a while, then proceeds to fall out, and the follicle which nourished it starts to grow a new strand as part of an ongoing cycle.

female balding

Some of us are genetically predisposed to hairloss, and a group of hormones disturbs the growth process. These hormones (androsteinedione, testosterone, and dihydrotestosterone) are present in a man's body in greater amounts and in a women's body in lesser amounts. In time, some of the hair follicles die, and others are no longer able to produce or maintain normal hair growth.

Female Pattern HairLoss

In women, medical professionals refer to this as "female pattern hairloss," a broad term indicating that many other causes are also related to this condition. These include other enzymes, blockers, and hormone receptors. Since it is diffuse, female pattern baldness encircles the top of the head, and enzyme and hormone receptor sites vary throughout the scalp.

Other causes of female pattern hair loss include polycystic ovary syndrome (a female hormonal problem). Certain autoimmune disorders may cause inflammation of the scalp, and the hair comes out in patches or clumps. Women's natural hair growth patterns can also be altered by severe emotional trauma, childbirth, surgery, "crash" dieting, anemia, thyroid conditions, and certain medications.

Since the causes are varied, it is essential for women who suffer significant hair loss to obtain a correct diagnosis of their condition and find the underlying medical problem that should be treated initially. This is often done with blood tests or, when it becomes necessary, a scalp biopsy.

female hair loss


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