13 Reasons for Hair Loss Every Woman Should Know
Did you know hair loss affects about 30 million women in the United States?
If you’re currently experiencing hair loss, it can be frustrating and affect your self-esteem. Getting to the source of your hair loss is crucial to growing your hair back. While millions of women are affected by hair loss, there are plenty of reasons why this happens.
Read on to learn about these reasons for hair loss in women.
1. Your Genetics
If you noticed your parting has gotten wider over the years and your ponytail is not as thick as it used to, your genetics could be the culprit. Although people associate genetic hair loss with male pattern baldness, women are also affected by this.
When your genetics are to blame for your sudden hair loss, you will see it mostly at the crown of your head or hairline.
Although there’s no cure for male and female pattern baldness, and scientists don’t know what causes it, there are treatments you can do to slow it down and regrow some of your hair back.
Most people can slow down genetic hair loss by using over the counter solutions such as minoxidil.
2. Recent Childbirth
While women don’t enjoy the morning sickness and other things that come with pregnancy, they enjoy the luscious hair pregnancy brings.
Due to all of the pregnancy hormones and estrogen surge, women’s hair stays in the growing phase throughout the pregnancy. Most women notice excess shedding stops, and their hair grows longer and faster.
However, after childbirth, once the hormone levels go back to normal, women notice that their hair will start to fall off again. At around four months after childbirth, most women notice their hair starts to shed again more than usual.
While some women experience mild shedding, some women lose a lot of hair. Lucky for new mothers, postpartum hair loss is temporary, and most women get their hair back.
Those women that want to speed up the regrowth can do so with chewable hair skin and nail vitamins.
3. Birth Control
Another reason why women might experience sudden hair loss is due to changes in their birth control. Because birth control contains hormones, they can have an impact on your hair.
Sometimes women experience excess shedding when they start birth control due to the influx of hormones. While this is not the case for all women, some can experience hair loss when they switch to a new brand of birth control or discontinue using it.
This type of temporary shedding is also known as telogen effluvium, and it sends your hair into the resting phase. Once your body adjusts to the hormonal changes, your hair should start to grow back.
4. Lack of Essential Nutrients
It’s not uncommon for women to lose their hair when they have nutritional deficiencies.
To have a healthy and happy scalp, your hair needs essential nutrients to continue to grow. If you’ve noticed more strands on your hair than usual, it could be a sign you’re not getting enough nutrients.
To get your locks growing, your hair needs iron, zinc, vitamin C, B-vitamins, and protein to grow strong. If you lack a few of these vitamins, your hair might start to fall out.
When your hair starts to fall out without any other explanation, your doctor will do a blood panel to check for vitamin deficiencies. For example, about 20 to 25 percent of the population has an iron deficiency.
5. Dandruff and Psoriasis
Dandruff is not only bothersome and embarrassing for many women, but it can also be the culprit of your hair loss. If you suffer from dandruff, your scalp tends to be itchy and inflamed, which leads to scratching.
Seborrheic dermatitis, caused by yeast and oil buildup, also tends to inflame and cause a flaky and itchy scalp.
Due to the inflammation and flakiness, people experience more hair loss than usual.
Unlike other hair loss conditions, treating an itchy scalp is easier to treat than other conditions. Most people can control dandruff with shampoos that they can get over the counter. However, if the condition is too severe, you might consider talking to your doctor.
6. Check Your Medications
Taking certain types of medications is another reason why women experience hair loss.
While medications treat various life-threatening conditions, there are a few side effects, and hair loss is one of them.
The typical life cycle of hair consists of the anagen and telogen phases. During the anagen phase, which can last anywhere from 2 to seven years, the hair continuously grows. After the anagen phase, your hair will enter the telogen phase and stops growing.
During this phase that can last about three months, your hair rests without growing. Once this is over, the hair falls out.
Certain medications interfere with the normal hair cycle and cut the anagen phase short, sending it to the telogen phase sooner. These are some of the medications that can cause hair loss in women:
- Acne medications
- Thyroid medications
- Cholesterol medications
- Anticlotting medications
- Mood stabilizers
Luckily, hair loss triggered by medications is usually temporary. If the hair loss becomes too much, talk to your doctor about the possibility of switching medications.
7. Physical and Emotional Stress
There’s no doubt that we all experience stress due to a hectic life event at one point or another.
Stress can happen when you have a tight deadline at work, not getting enough sleep, or finding everyday life quite stressful.
Not only can stress leave your body vulnerable to diseases, damage your heart, cause weight gain, weaken your immune system, but it can also cause hair loss.
Severe stress can mess with the hair growth cycle and sends your hair strands into a premature resting phase. While this type of hair loss should get better over time, you can talk to your dermatologist about ways to speed up the hair growth process.
8. Wearing Your Hair Too Tight
Although you might like wearing your hair on a tight ponytail, doing so too often will damage your hair follicles.
If you’ve been wearing your hair on tight braids and high ponytails and noticed your hairline has been thinning out, chances are you’re suffering from traction alopecia.
While this condition can be reversible if you stop pulling your hair too tight, failure to correct the issue will lead to permanent hair loss. Inflammation to the hair follicle can cause scarring and prevent the hair from growing back again.
9. Autoimmune Diseases
When you suffer from an autoimmune disease, you’re more vulnerable to hair loss. Because your body attacks itself, it can treat your hair follicles as foreign objects and cause them to fall out.
The most common autoimmune diseases that target your hair follicles include thyroid diseases, sickle-cell anemia, and rheumatoid arthritis can cause severe hair loss. Besides working with your doctor to treat these conditions, you should also talk to a dermatologist for possible treatments for your hair loss.
10. Over Styling Your Hair With Heat
If you style your hair using heat tools too often, it might not come as a surprise when your hair thins out. However, the problem is not the root of your hair but the shaft.
Rather can causing your hair to break off at the root, your hair is too fragile from all the heat, causing it to break off at the shaft.
Most doctors called this condition trichorrhexis nodosa — caused by excessive use of hot tools, chemicals, or aggressive brushing. Getting to the source of the problem will help you reverse the damage caused by trichorrhexis nodosa.
11. Dyeing Your Hair Too Often or Overprocessing It
If you get frequent chemical treatments such as perms, chemical straightening, relaxing, or dyes, you are only weakening your hair. These harsh chemicals break havoc on your scalp by damaging the hair follicle and making your hair fall out.
While you might not be able to reverse the damage if you’ve done this for a long time, a dermatologist can help restore your hair follicle and regrow some of your hair.
12. Too Much Vitamin A
While we should be taking our vitamins, consuming too many vitamins can negatively affect your body.
Getting too much vitamin A can also be the culprit of your hair loss. If your doctor runs a full blood panel, they might be able to tell you if you have too much vitamin A in your system.
13. Thyroid Conditions
If you suffer from hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, chances are this is the culprit of your hair loss. Most doctors check for any thyroid conditions when you go to them with a hair loss issue.
Once you get your thyroid under control, your hair can start to grow back.
These Are Some Common Reasons for Hair Loss in Women
Now that you know about these common reasons for hair loss in women, you can get to the source.
While there are many reasons why women lose their hair, the most common include genetics, nutritional deficiencies, autoimmune diseases, birth control, childbirth, and more.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more, check out the rest of our blog.