Hair Loss in Women

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For most women, it is disturbing when they have a thinner hairline or their hair seems to be losing volume. While losing 50-100 hairs each day is normal, more than that can indicate an underlying condition. The reason for thinning hair could be anything from styling your hair to genetics. Of course, it is easier to solve the problem if it is purely cosmetic and not based on any health issues.

A lot of women have hair loss. It can happen to anyone and no one is immune. However, there are ways to stop it from happening and make your hair thicker again. The good news is that there are a few easily diagnosed reasons that your hair might be thinning. But, you need to find a solution for your specific situation.

Let’s take a look at some of the causes of hair loss in women and how to treat it.

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8 Causes of Hair Loss in Women and How To Treat Each One of Them

Genetics: Androgenetic Alopecia (Female Pattern Baldness)
How To Treat Female Pattern Baldness
Thyroid Conditions
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Iron-Deficient Anemia
Severe Stress or Anxiety Disorders
Alopecia Areata

Genetics: Androgenetic Alopecia (Female Pattern Baldness)

It is normal for men to lose their hair, as men are more likely to lose their hair than women. But women can lose their hair, too. Hair loss can make you feel frustrated or embarrassed.

Female pattern baldness is hair loss that only happens to women. It is similar to male pattern baldness, but it affects women differently. In men, hair loss often starts at the front of the head and recedes to the back until they are bald. But in women, it starts all over their head at their part line. Hair on the temples might also recede.

As you age, it is normal to lose your hair. Statistically, two-thirds of women lose some hair after menopause, and by 65, less than half of women have all the hair they had in their youth.

Genetics is the cause of female pattern baldness. Hormones may be the cause if you lose your hair after menopause. If you notice that you have a thinning hairline, see a doctor to make sure the problem is female pattern baldness or some other type of hair loss. If it’s female pattern baldness, treatment will stop the loss and probably help with regrowth.

Female pattern hair loss is when the anagen stage slows down and it takes longer for new hair to grow. This can cause hair follicles to shrink, which leads to people’s hair growing thinner and finer. It also becomes more likely that their hair will break. Losing up to 100 hairs each day is normal for women. But, if you have female pattern baldness, you could lose even more than that until your head is mostly bald or thinning all over.

You might lose your hair based on the genes you inherit from your parents. If someone close to you has had female pattern baldness, then it is more likely that you will also experience hair loss. If this is the case, then some things can be done to stop the problem like oral medications or topical treatments like minoxidil. Some people might even need a hair transplant.

How To Treat Female Pattern Baldness

In the past, people were reluctant to do hair transplants because it involved a doctor cutting strips of skin from their scalp and moving them to other parts of their head. The scalp would have to be stretched so that it could be sewn back together, which could actually make it seem like they had less hair than they did.

Now, we can perform a procedure called follicular unit extraction (FUE). In this procedure, the doctor takes hair follicles from parts of your scalp where there are a lot of them and moves them to other parts of your head or eyebrows. This is an extremely difficult and tedious process, but it usually yields great results. 

During the procedure, the doctor will take up to 20% of those follicles before your hair becomes noticeably thinner, but most will stop at about 15%. At that point, the hair follicles are moved to other parts of your scalp where you would like more hair growth.

Thyroid Conditions

Some other elements that cause hair loss are severe and prolonged hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. It is a type of hair loss that goes all over the scalp rather than in one place. You will likely grow your hair back if you get treatment for the thyroid disorder, but it might take several months.

In rare cases, people who take carbimazole or propylthiouracil for their thyroid may also lose their hair. It can be hard to tell when the hair loss is because of thyroid overactivity or from taking these drugs. In all cases, it can be hard to find a cure for hyperthyroidism.

Screening for thyroid problems can be a difficult process. You need to know which tests to take, but you also need to understand how the results work. The symptoms of thyroid problems may not show up in the lab results because they are normal, and this means you might have a problem that is less common or has another cause.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common disorder. Some people with PCOS have thicker hair, while some people with PCOS have thinner and less hair.

Your body makes male hormones called androgens. PCOS causes your body to produce too much androgen, which can cause virilization. When you have this condition, you may have male-pattern hair growth and other masculine physical traits. 

Having too many male hormones in your body can make hair grow in places like your face, neck, chest, and belly. Conversely, these hormones can also make your hair start to thin.

If you have PCOS, you can’t grow your hair back by yourself. But with the right kind of treatment, it may be possible for your hair to start growing again. Besides, there are ways to cover up the hair that is not growing back. Remember that if you have PCOS and your hair does not grow back on its own, it is because of hormones going out of balance. To fix this problem, some medications can help with hormone regulation.

You may need to try different medications before you find one that works best for you. Most people experience good results if they use a combination of treatments such as minoxidil (Rogaine), finasteride (Propecia), and hair transplant procedures.


Lupus is a medical condition that can cause fatigue, joint pain, and joint stiffness. It can also make your skin get a butterfly-shaped rash on the face. Some people may also lose their hair from lupus. It can be hard to deal with, but there are ways to mitigate the condition like taking medicine, getting treatment, or even just staying well hydrated.

A study looked at women who have SLE and found that the amount of hair that they lost varied. Some women lost their hair in many places, but some only had hair loss in one place. On average, some of the women lost 55% to 100% of their hair.

If you have lupus, hair loss can be reversed if you don’t have discoid lesions and if you are able to control your disease. Your doctor may prescribe an antimalarial drug to reduce lupus flares, as well as a corticosteroid and an immunosuppressant to manage symptoms.

Take your medications and follow your doctor’s instructions. They will help you get better. Once it is under control, the hair loss should be less and hair can grow back.

Iron-Deficient Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is a condition that happens when someone doesn’t have enough iron in their body. It can also happen if the person’s body cannot use iron well. Iron deficiency anemia can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain. Sometimes people who have this disease lose hair, too.

Experts don’t know the exact reason why some people who experience hair loss have low iron stores. What they do know is that iron is an important element in one of the enzymes called ribonucleotide reductase, which helps cells grow.

Iron is important for hair to grow. One reason can be that if you have low iron stores, your body may not be able to make new cells as well as it could.

A common treatment for iron deficiency anemia is taking an iron supplement. Your doctor may also recommend other treatments such as topical solution minoxidil (Rogaine), 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors such as finasteride (Propecia), and surgical techniques like hair transplants.

Severe Stress or Anxiety Disorders

Maybe you have heard about a possible link between stress and hair loss. You might find more hair than usual on your pillowcase and in the shower. You might also be wondering if stress or anxiety has something to do with it.

When you feel chronic or intense stress, it can cause your hair to fall out at an increased rate. You may not have known this, but when people are anxious they can lose their hair.

Stress can make your hair go back to the resting phase. That means that it doesn’t produce new hair strands. When they are in this resting stage, the hair will fall out more easily. This can happen even if you are just washing, combing, or styling your hair. Stress can also cause this through malnutrition and changes in hormone levels.

There are a lot of things that can make you lose your hair. It can happen if someone is pregnant, has an illness, or hasn’t eaten well. Hair loss might also happen when someone gets hurt, has a hard time in their relationship, or has money troubles.

To stop this from happening, you might try these strategies:

  • Treat your hair with care, especially when washing, drying, and styling it.
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
  • Eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise.
  • Spend time with positive people.
  • Seek professional help from a therapist.

You do not need to lose your hair if you are stressed. Talk with a doctor and ask for a prescription or over-the-counter medication.


Medications are usually used to help people get better, but sometimes they can make people’s hair grow too much, change colors, or stop growing altogether. The good news is that it is usually reversible once you stop taking the drug. There are different types of drugs that can cause hair loss, including:

  • Acne medications containing vitamin A (retinoids)
  • Antibiotics and antifungal drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • Birth control pills
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • Drugs that treat breast cancer and other cancers
  • High blood pressure medications (anti-hypertensives), such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Steroids
  • Thyroid medications
  • Weight loss drugs

Talk with your doctor about any side effects that might occur.

If you take medication and your hair starts to fall out, the hair should grow back after you stop taking the drug. If it does not, you might want to use treatments like finasteride (Propecia), minoxidil (Rogaine), or drugs that decrease hair loss and can stimulate regrowth.

Alopecia Areata

Hair loss can happen when you have an autoimmune disease. Your immune system might attack the hair follicles that cause hair to fall out. Alopecia areata is a rare autoimmune disorder. The immune system attacks the hair follicles on your scalp, which causes your hair to fall out.

In addition, when you have alopecia areata, you might notice a small bald patch on your scalp. It might be one oval patch or many patches that join together.

The cause of alopecia areata is not clear. Some people will get better and some may have other concurrent conditions, like atopy, thyroid disease, or vitiligo.

If you are a woman who is experiencing hair loss, there are different ways for you to regain your hair. One way is with corticosteroids. Another way is to use topicals such as like (Rogaine) or finasteride (Propecia).

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