What are the Most Common Reasons for Hair Loss in Women?

hair loss in women

Hair loss is perhaps one of the most distressing words for women. Although most of them are not as susceptible to hair loss as men, losing hair at any stage of their life is a devastating experience. For them, hair is a symbol of beauty. This is the reason why, not having healthy, lustrous hair often leads to a sharp decline in their confidence levels.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for hair loss in women.

  1. 1.Miniaturization of Follicles or Absence of Follicles – The most common reason for hair loss in women is Androgenetic Alopecia or Female Pattern Hair Loss. In this condition, the hair follicles become smaller in size. As a result, they start producing thinner, brittle and shorter hair. Eventually, they stop producing any hair. Also, the number of follicles may also decrease. Unlike Male Pattern Baldness, where men start losing hair in a distinct M-shaped pattern, in Female Pattern Baldness, women experience the widening of their hair part, overall thinning of the hair at the crown or develop bald patches on the scalp. It doesn’t always result in total baldness, which is often the case with men.
  2. 2.Hormone Imbalance – Hormones and hair loss is closely related. For instance, women who experience various forms of hormonal imbalance, also suffer from hair fall and hair loss. Here’s how:
    • Estrogen Imbalance – Estrogen or the female hormone is responsible for proper functioning of the female reproductive system. The levels of the hormone can go up or down at different stages of a woman’s life. This sudden imbalance of hormone occurs when they suffer from a disease or a disorder like PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) or endometriosis. Similarly, hormonal imbalance may also occur during and after pregnancy and during menopause, which may lead to sudden loss of hair.
    • Insulin Imbalance – Insulin keeps a check on the blood sugar levels and there are studies, which found that women who suffer from Androgenetic Alopecia or Female Pattern Baldness have high levels of insulin.
    • Testosterone Imbalance – Testosterone is a male hormone. While an excess amount of the hormone can lead to growth of hair on the face and other parts of the body, it can strangely, lead to hair loss on the scalp!
    • Thyroid Imbalance – Low Thyroid levels can also lead to hair loss. More often than not, the low levels of the thyroid hormone lead to a thinning scalp for women as they grow older.

    Certain medications like Oral Contraceptives can also lead to hair loss in women. These pills contain hormones and apart from birth control, serve other purposes such as treating irregular menstrual cycle or acne. These pills may have a number of side-effects and one of them is hair fall. This type of hair fall is usually temporary in nature.

  3. 3.Chronic Illness – There is a long list of diseases that can trigger sudden hair fall and hair loss for women. These include autoimmune diseases, anemia, cancer etc. Even diseases of the scalp can lead to acute hair loss in women. Sometimes, it is the medication or the treatment for these diseases, which triggers hair fall. For instance, women may lose their hair after chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions.
  4. 4.Stress – Even physical and emotional stress can wreak havoc on the hair. Physical stress includes major surgeries, childbirth, physical illness or drastic weight loss. Emotional stress on the other hand can be triggered by the sudden loss of a family member, depression, mental illness etc. Both these conditions can cause the hair to fall out in large numbers. This happens because the hair enters its resting phase or Telogen Effluvium. While Effluviums are temporary in nature, the hair may keep shedding for weeks and months even after treatment.
  5. 5.Crash Diets – Being undernourished is another reason why women end up losing their hair, especially when they opt for crash or fad diets and cut down on essential food that foster healthy hair growth. Some of the diets may include too much of a particular component of food, which also adversely affects the hair. Moreover, such diets may cause stress and sudden weight loss, which are amongst the top factors for hair fall and hair loss.
  6. 6.Poor hygiene – Maintaining hygiene is an important factor when it comes to hair fall or hair loss. The accumulation of dirt, dust, debris, pollutants or product buildup on the hair paves the way for certain diseases like – dandruff, dry scalp, psoriasis, eczema, folliculitis etc. This is the reason why it is a must to cleanse the scalp thoroughly during a shower.
  7. 7.Rough handling – Handling the hair roughly also leads to hair breakage and hair loss known as Traction Alopecia. This happens when the hair is pulled tightly at the shafts. Tight hairstyles, using hair accessories like barrettes, combing or brushing in a rough manner, vigorously rubbing the hair after a bath etc. are some of the common activities that lead to the hair loss.
  8. 8.Bad products – High quality hair care products like hair serums, hair sprays, hair colors, hair styling tools etc. are usually expensive. But when you settle for cheaper alternatives of the products, you sign up for hair fall voluntarily. This is because the cheaper products often contain chemicals, which are harmful for the hair. Prolonged use of such products may lead to hair loss.

These are some of the main reasons why women lose their hair. Keep a tab on this space to know more about hair fall and hair loss.