Hair Loss in Women or Thinning Hair: Causes and Treatments

Hair Loss in Women or Thinning Hair: Causes and Treatments

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  • The most typical sort of hair loss in girls is androgenetic alopecia, or feminine sample hair loss.
  • Hair loss may be brought on by genetics, stress, drugs, or autoimmune circumstances like alopecia areata.
  • A dermatologist may also help decide what’s inflicting your hair loss and the way finest to deal with it.

Dropping between 50 and 100 hairs every day is regular, however shedding considerably greater than that may signal a problem.

Roughly one-third of women expertise feminine sample hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia, sooner or later of their lives, and it turns into more and more probably as you age. Actually, a 2022 study discovered that 52.2% of postmenopausal girls expertise some extent of feminine sample hair loss.

Luckily, hair loss is mostly not thought of harmful, based on Jeffrey M. Cohen, MD, Yale Medication dermatologist.

Nevertheless, Cohen says it may be an indication of an underlying medical situation that does current well being dangers, comparable to hypothyroidism. 

Moreover, he notes that hair loss may cause a psychological affect and be emotionally taxing for many who determine as girls, which might lead to anxiety and depression.

This is what to find out about widespread causes of hair loss in girls, in addition to how it may be handled and prevented. 

Sorts of hair loss in girls

Listed below are a number of the commonest kinds of hair loss: 

  1. Androgenetic alopecia — in any other case referred to as feminine sample hair loss — is the commonest sort of hair loss in girls, and it entails hair thinning on the highest and sides of the pinnacle. 
  2. Telogen effluvium is the second most common. It is normally triggered by stress, which causes a sudden surge within the variety of dormant hair follicles, thus resulting in elevated shedding. It could possibly additionally come after you’ve got skilled a excessive fever or sickness, which is why many individuals have reported hair shedding after contracting COVID-19.
  3. Anagen effluvium is fast hair loss brought on by drugs, comparable to chemotherapy medicine.
  4. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition wherein the immune system assaults the hair follicles. It usually causes hair loss in patches, however can even have an effect on the whole scalp or physique.

What causes alopecia?

There are a lot of completely different causes for hair loss in girls. A number of the commonest are the next:


Feminine sample baldness, specifically, has been discovered to run in families. If your parents have pattern baldness, you are extra prone to expertise it. 

Whereas research has discovered a robust hyperlink between hair loss in males and the AR gene on the “X” chromosome, researchers have yet to isolate a selected gene for hair loss in girls.

Researchers assume that alopecia areata could be genetic, however it may be brought on by environmental components, comparable to stress.


Publish-menopausal girls usually expertise thinning hair, says Alexander Zuriarrain, MD, a double board-certified plastic surgeon with Zuri Plastic Surgery. 

Actually, as much as two-thirds of women expertise hair thinning or bald spots after menopause. 

This occurs as a result of throughout menopause, girls produce less estrogen and progesterone, which set off a rise within the manufacturing of androgens. Androgens are thought of to be male hormones which can be linked to shrinking hair follicles and hair loss.

Nutrient deficiencies

A 2021 study discovered that vitamin D performs a key position in hair development, and that deficiency on this vitamin is linked to androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium, amongst different kinds of alopecia. 

Vitamin D deficiency is quite common, affecting 41.6% of US adults — however you possibly can simply get extra of this nutrient via foods like salmon, mushrooms, egg yolks, fortified orange juice and milk. You too can take an over-the-counter supplement if you don’t favor these meals. 

An iron deficiency can even contribute to hair loss, says Zuriarrain, so it is a good suggestion to include iron-rich foods like lentils and beans, fortified milk, and spinach, or different darkish leafy greens into your food plan. You too can attempt a supplement.

Signs and threat components

Feminine sample hair loss can current in quite a lot of alternative ways, says Cohen, together with thinning on the high or sides of the pinnacle or widening of the central half. 

Whereas your threat of hair loss grows with age, there are additionally different threat components that improve your chances of hair loss together with:

A bald patch is shown on the back of a woman’s head.

Patches of baldness might point out that your hair loss is because of the autoimmune situation alopecia areata.

Azat_ajphotos/Getty Photographs

How do medical doctors diagnose alopecia?

A physical exam by a dermatologist or different healthcare supplier can reveal what sort of hair loss you could have, which is able to decide the really helpful therapy. 

Your physician might visually study your scalp and gently tug on small sections of hair — if six or extra strands come out, which will indicate you have telogen effluvium, anagen effluvium, or early androgenetic alopecia.

Often, a dermatologist will be capable of determine the kind and reason behind hair loss throughout a bodily examination, but when they want extra data for a analysis — for instance, in the event that they discover lesions on the scalp — they might conduct blood tests or a scalp biopsy.

Blood checks can verify for: 

  • Hormone ranges to rule out underlying causes like thyroid illness or menopause.
  • Vitamin or mineral deficiencies to rule out autoimmune ailments that may have an effect on your capacity to soak up vitamins. 

A biopsy usually entails puncturing the scalp to take away a small pattern of tissue, which is then submitted for testing. A lab evaluation of the pattern may also help to determine which type of hair loss you have.

“Ladies who expertise hair loss not related to being pregnant or stress needs to be evaluated by their main care physicians to rule out different causes of hair loss comparable to thyroid illness, anemia, autoimmune ailments, polycystic ovarian syndrome, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis,” says Zuriarrain.

Hair loss remedies

The precise therapy for hair loss depends upon the trigger. Zuriarrain says hair loss associated to hormonal modifications from being pregnant or stress is normally solely non permanent, and subsequently might require you to attend to present beginning or take steps to mitigate your stress levels as a way to deal with it.

In case your hair loss appears to be triggered by one thing else, it’s possible you’ll take into account dietary supplements or drugs. However not all dietary supplements available on the market might have scientific backing. Listed below are a number of the ones that do:

  • Vitamin D: A 2019 review discovered vitamin D dietary supplements may also help enhance androgenetic alopecia and telogen effluvium, two of the commonest kinds of hair loss. 
  • Omega 3 and 6 plus antioxidants: A small 2015 study discovered {that a} complement with omega fatty acids together with antioxidants helped to enhance hair density. Of the members who took this complement for six months, 89.9% reported a discount in hair loss. When you have an iron deficiency, supplementing with this mineral might assist to sluggish or cease hair loss. 
  • Viviscal: A 2015 study of girls with self-perceived thinning hair discovered that taking the pure marine collagen protein complement Viviscal for 90 days decreased hair shedding whereas bettering hair high quality and energy. 
  • Nutrafol: A 2018 study discovered {that a} “important proportion” of topics who took the plant-based complement Nutrafol noticed an enchancment in hair development, quantity, thickness, and hair development fee.

As for drugs, the one FDA-approved hair loss medicine for each women and men is Minoxidil (2% or 5%). This medicine is out there over-the-counter and utilized topically to the scalp, however might take a number of months till you see outcomes. 

“Minoxidil helps by holding the hair within the strongest a part of the hair cycle to enhance the general thickness of the hair,” says Cohen. “This may be very protected and really efficient for ladies with hair loss.”

One other prescription hair loss medication is Spironolactone, a sort of steroid that hinders the effects of androgens in the body and tends to be simpler for ladies who expertise pre-menopausal hair loss. 

Corticosteroids are typically used to suppress the immune system and treat alopecia areata. They’ll both be utilized topically or injected instantly into the scalp. Whereas corticosteroids might not deal with the situation utterly, they’ve been discovered to moderately improve hair development in adults and kids.

Past dietary supplements and drugs, different therapy choices embrace:

  • Hormone alternative remedy: For postmenopausal girls, hormone replacement therapies, like Prempro, are a typical prescription medicine. 
  • Laser remedy: A small 2020 study discovered that low-level laser therapy elevated hair density in sufferers with androgenetic alopecia. FDA-approved at-home units embrace the HairMax Lasercomb and the Theradome LH80 PRO helmet.
  • Hair transplants are a type of surgical therapy that entails grafting hair onto thinning or balding areas. Nevertheless, it requires you to have a patch of robust hair development from which grafts may be pulled. For many, that is usually the again of the pinnacle.

The right way to forestall hair loss

It is unlikely you could forestall hair loss associated to ageing, heredity, or illness, says Cohen.

Nevertheless, in case your hair loss is brought on by one thing that is extra associated to life-style, then there are related life-style modifications you can also make to cut back your threat: 

  • Keep a well-balanced food plan that meets all of your vitamin and mineral necessities
  • Scale back stress in your on a regular basis life 
  • Give up smoking 
  • Keep away from tight hairstyles or hair merchandise laden with chemical substances and sulfates, which might all contribute to traction alopecia

Insider’s takeaway

In girls, hair loss turns into more and more widespread with age — notably after menopause. Nevertheless it may also be brought on by different components comparable to genetics, malnutrition, autoimmune ailments, and thyroid problems. 

That is why it is a good suggestion to tell your physician about your hair loss, to allow them to decide the basis trigger and finest course of therapy.

Whereas hair loss brought on by ageing or genetics is unavoidable, you possibly can deal with hair loss if it is associated to your life-style by ensuring you are mitigating stress, getting sufficient

vitamin D

and iron, and utilizing gentler hair merchandise and styling ways. 

If making these modifications would not assist, your physician might conduct a sequence of checks to determine any potential underlying medical circumstances.

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