What causes hair loss in women?
Hair loss isn’t often discussed by women but it’s a very common issue. Genetics, hormone imbalances, pregnancy, menopause, medication and even Coronavirus cause hair loss! Women hide their hair loss as it’s considered “taboo” but more and more women are opening up about their alopecia.
There are natural and surgical methods to treat baldness in women and even regrow hair. But these treatments depend on the cause and personal choice.
- Is female hair loss common?
- What does female hair loss look like?
- Can hair loss be a sign of something serious?
- Can Coronavirus (Covid-19) cause hair loss in women?
- Can stress cause hair loss in females?
- Is female hair loss hormonal?
- Is hair loss a sign of menopause?
- What are the foods to improve hair growth ?
- Is female hair loss reversible?
Is female hair loss common?
Female hair loss is a common issue, affecting millions of women across the world. In fact, hair loss occurs in approximately 1 in 3 women.
Female pattern baldness is as common as in men, it just isn’t spoken about as much. Hair loss in women causes thinning at the temples, on the top of the head, and on the crown area.
However, women’s hair tends to stay thick at the back. Less than half of women past the age of 65 have a full head of hair.
As you age, you‘ll see a difference in the density of your hair from when you were in your youth. However, it is common to see hair fall in your younger years too – specifically thinning at the frontal area and the top.
What does female hair loss look like?
When you wash or brush your hair it can look like you’re experiencing hair loss. Especially if hairs are clogging up the drain or getting tangled around your hairbrush.
But as a woman, it’s normal to see some hair fall. However, you should keep an eye on whether the hair falling out dramatically increases or bald spots appear.
Pattern baldness in women and female alopecia look different from male pattern baldness. Traction alopecia, whereby tight ponytails or braids pull at the scalp, causes hair thinning at the temples.
Other causes include hormonal changes during pregnancy and stress. Furthermore, genetics, ageing, or the menopause causes females to lose hair on the top of the head.
What are the types of hair loss in women?
Hair loss includes symptoms that are varied. For example, some women may experience gradual thinning on the top of the head, patchy circular bald spots, full-body hair loss, patches of scaling, and a receding hairline. In women, the 5 types of hair loss include:
- Androgenic Alopecia (Female Pattern Baldness/ FPHL)
- Alopecia Areata
- Cicatricial Alopecia
- Traumatic Alopecia
- Radiation therapy hair loss
Can hair loss be a sign of something serious?
Hair loss in women starts to get a bit hairy (sorry…) when it’s a sign of something serious. Female hair loss can be a symptom of the following:
- thyroid disorders
- autoimmune diseases
- radiation therapy
Alopecia can also be a sign of diabetes, heart problems and deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, among other medical conditions. Hair fall is a sign of prolonged hypothyroidism that affects the whole scalp.
In this case, you will experience hair falling out evenly across the scalp. Diabetes can make you lose hair but it will grow back once your diabetes is under control.
Hence why it’s important to discover the root cause of your hair loss, as a medical intervention would be unnecessary in this case. You can make your hair grow back by reducing stress, staying on top of your blood sugar levels, and exercising.
4 main vitamin deficiencies cause hair loss. These deficiencies include a lack of iron, vitamin D, zinc, and selenium. Correcting the deficiency could cure hair loss, but it’s possible to have several causes at once. Therefore, it’s best to see a doctor rather than self-diagnosing.
Can Coronavirus (Covid-19) cause hair loss in women?
Female hair loss is reported as a symptom of Coronavirus (Covid-19). Long haul sufferers of Covid have seen excessive hair loss, especially women, who have reported their hair falling out for months after “recovering” from the Coronavirus.
Actress, Alyssa Milano, took to Instagram to speak up about her dramatic hair loss months after having the virus. Her video captioned “Thought I’d show you what Covid-19 does to your hair” sparked conversations about telogen effluvium in women.
It’s thought that severe Covid-19 has the side effect of hair loss in women but it’s actually normal hair shedding that occurs after a temperature or high fever. Some Covid patients experience a rash as a symptom, which can appear on the scalp.
A burning sensation on the scalp (caused by the virus), combined with a fever, forces hairs into the shedding phase. The medical term for it is telogen effluvium, which is basically excessive hair loss shedding.
Will my hair grow back after Corona?
If the hair doesn’t grow back then it’s a serious concern, and usually a sign of a different illness. But usually, Covid-19 survivors have been able to regrow hair after their hair follicles have finished the telogen phase (the last step in the hair growth cycle).
After this phase, the hair enters the anagen stage (active growth phase) which lasts years. Thus replacing the lost hair.
Can stress cause hair loss in females?
Stress is a cause of hair loss in women. The medical condition Telogen effluvium is a side effect of stress which forces the hair follicles into the telogen phase prematurely.
Hence why you see increased hair fall when you have significant levels of stress. You will know if your type of hair loss is caused by stress if your hair stops falling out once your stress levels are back to normal.
Working on your stress levels and ensuring your general health is maintained will encourage new hair growth. Furthermore, getting sufficient sleep also helps to reduce stress levels and improve your overall health.
When you get enough sleep your body has ample energy to fulfil all your body’s functions effectively. Hence the causes of hair loss include sleep deprivation.
Is female hair loss hormonal?
Hormones are a cause of hair loss female pattern baldness and male pattern baldness. Female pattern hair loss is hormonal because it’s caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
It isn’t a female hormone that causes hair loss, it’s the “male” hormone testosterone that causes it. DHT binds to the hair follicle and miniaturises it, subsequently causing hair loss. In short, female hair loss is hormonal, it’s just not caused by a typically female hormone.
Testosterone plays a vital role within the female body, although it’s considered a male hormone. Low testosterone in women can actually lead to hair thinning. Whereas high testosterone can be a result of PCOS, steroid abuse and adrenal disorders.
You can tell if a woman has high testosterone as the symptoms include acne, abnormal hair growth across the whole body, and menstrual irregularities.
So to conclude, it’s important for women to have a balance in male and female hormones as it can lead to hair loss.
Will Hormone Replacement Treatment stop my hair from falling out?
Estrogen and progesterone can keep hair in the “growing stage”, which means that these hormones can keep your hair on your head for longer.
In other terms, HRT will stop your hair from falling out. When women go through Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) it’s been reported that their hair thinning starts to improve. Therefore, estrogen can help with hair loss.
A low level of estrogen causes hair to grow slowly. When estrogen levels drop, the production of androgens is triggered which turns into DHT and causes hair loss.
There are foods that contain high levels of estrogen to increase estrogen in females. These high estrogen (phytoestrogens) foods include flax seeds, soybeans, dried fruits, sesame seeds, garlic, peaches, tofu, and tempeh.
Is hair loss a sign of menopause?
Up to ⅔’s of women experience hair loss after menopause, which is a normal sign of ageing. Women going through menopause usually have hair loss as a result of hormonal changes.
During this time, you experience hormonal fluctuations whereby estrogen and progesterone levels reduced. This decline slows hair growth and causes hair loss – hair loss is a normal sign of menopause.
During menopause, women should increase their vitamin D and biotin intake to help reduce hair loss. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining hair growth and stimulating hair regrowth after hair loss has occurred.
Hair loss in menopausal women is reversible with Hormone Replacement Therapy. Birth control pills are occasionally prescribed to balance hormones. However, when women are suffering from androgenic alopecia, the best method to stop hair loss fast and efficiently is a hair transplant.
A hair transplant fills bald and thinning areas with DHT resistant follicles for effective hair restoration. And the best part is that it’s a one-time procedure that lasts a lifetime!
What are the foods to improve hair growth ?
There’s a correlation between androgenic alopecia and vitamin D deficiency. A study as carried out to analyse the pattern between hair loss against serum ferritin levels and vitamin D levels.
The study showed that as the disease severity increased, the levels of serum ferritin and vitamin D decreased. To conclude, low serum ferritin and vitamin D are associated with Telogen effluvium and female pattern baldness.
Consuming sufficient biotin is important to improve hair growth. Foods that have biotin for hair growth include egg yolks, organ meats, nuts, mushrooms, avocados, sweet potatoes and legumes.
The recommended dosage for hair growth is 2-5mg of biotin daily. Pregnant women should typically take 35mcg of biotin. It’s always best to take biotin supplements in the morning so it doesn’t interrupt your sleep.
You can stop hair loss in women naturally with green tea. Green tea prevents hair loss by blocking DHT. There are other lifestyle changes that can stop your hair from falling out include :
- avoiding hairstyles that pull on the hair,
- avoiding heat styling tools that cause breakage,
- using hair products targeted at hair growth,
- performing scalp massages,
- using nourishing hair treatments.
Is female hair loss reversible?
When a bald spot is caused by stress or hormone imbalances, you don’t need treatment. The hair loss will cure itself once these issues have naturally returned to a normal level. If you’re suffering from traction alopecia, you can reverse this type of hair loss by changing the way you style your hair.
Once the tension is removed the hair will start a new hair growth cycle and thus grow back. In cases where vitamin deficiency causes your hair loss, your doctor will recommend vitamin supplements and an improved diet rich in biotin.
There are other methods that help treat hair loss in women, such as Minoxidil, which are temporarily effective for women’s hair loss. But these treatments aren’t permanent, as soon as you stop taking these medications your hair grows back.
Therefore, you will need to apply these topical creams every day, for the rest of your life, to maintain hair growth. Many hair loss medications aren’t suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, so check with your doctor first.
Other treatments that have been used for hair loss in women include:
- Anti-androgens, such as Spironolactone
- Estrogen /hormone replacement therapy
- Laser and light treatments
- Alpha-reductase enzyme inhibitors (such as Finasteride)
A hair transplant for women is the only one-off treatment that lasts your lifetime. It’s a one-time procedure whereby hair follicles are taken from the back of your head and carefully implanted in areas of baldness. Making a hair surgery in Turkey is an affordable solution which provides natural results.
Hair loss in women is a common issue that affects one-third of the female population. The main causes for this alopecia are hormones and when the body doesn’t receive sufficient nutrients or rest.
Hair fall can be reversed when certain deficiencies are rectified but in other cases, the only and most effective solution is a hair transplant.
Are you looking for the solution to your hair loss? Take the first step to benefit from Dr Balwi and Elithair’s expertise for a successful and affordable hair transplant in Turkey!
Free hair analysis from Europe's No.1
Our team of experts analyse your hair to provide you with a no-obligation quote. Use our free hair calculator to submit your requirements - it only takes 2 minutes!