Understanding Hair Loss in Women: Hormones and Thinning Hair

Hair loss in women is as simple as it sounds. It’s when women experience unexpected heavy loss of hair. It is normal for humans to shed between 50 to 100 single hairs per day. It is part of the natural balance, and when the balance is disrupted, the hair falls out, and less hair grows. Hair grows on almost every part of the body except the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, lips, and eyelids.

While many believe it is just men affected by this, many women will experience noticeable hair loss. DCSI has years of experience in working with and treating hair loss in both men and women. The most common cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss (FPHL).

Anyone, including older women and younger girls, can be affected by hair loss. However, there are some that more commonly experience hair loss than others:

  • Women over 40 years of age
  • Women who just delivered babies
  • Women who often wear their hair in harmful hairstyles, like tight ponytails, that pull on the hair 
  • Women who often use harsh chemicals on their hair
  • Women going through chemotherapy or who are on certain medications
  • Menopausal women

Myths About Hair Loss in Women

Since it is believed that hair loss in women is not as common as it is in men, there are myths about the condition that our dermatologist for hair loss would like to debunk. These myths include:

  • Shampooing too much can lead to hair loss
  • Dandruff can cause permanent hair loss
  • Stress causes permanent hair loss
  • Shaving your head will make it grow back twice as thick
  • Standing on your head will improve circulation and stimulate hair growth
  • Brushing your hair 100 strokes a day will lead to healthier hair
  • Hats and wigs lead to hair loss

It is important not to believe everything you hear or read about hair loss. If you have concerns or might be showing the first signs of hair thinning, make an appointment with our dermatologist for thinning hair. We can help you understand the causes of hair thinning and the relationship between hormones and hair loss. 

What Is the Main Reason for Hair Loss in Females?

There are a few common things that women might not know, which can lead to hair thinning or loss. Below is a list of some of the most common causes:

  • Hair style: If your daily hairstyle is pulling on your roots, such as tight ponytails or corn rows, this can lead to a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. It means the follicles are damaged, and it could lead to permanent hair loss. 
  • Vitamin deficiency: The most common vitamins associated with hair loss include biotin, folate, riboflavin, and B12.
  • Dieting (rapid weight loss): Many who undergo bariatric surgery or who quickly lose weight via other means are prone to experience some hair loss. 
  • Restrictive diets: Diets that exclude certain foods or food groups can make a person deficient in essential nutrients such as zinc, iron, and essential fatty acids, among others.
  • Over-processed scalp hair (breakage): Any hair dyes that contain ingredients such as ammonia could make your hair more prone to falling out.  

There are a few different types of hair loss, like FPHL, with different causes that are also important to know. It could be an outside cause that can be helped or an internal one like genes.

What Works Best For Female Hair Loss?

Female hair loss can be caused by various factors, including genetics, hormonal imbalances, stress, and medical conditions. The most effective treatment for female hair loss often depends on the underlying cause. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a dermatologist or a trichologist who specializes in hair and scalp health, to determine the best approach. They may recommend treatments like topical minoxidil, which is available over the counter and can help stimulate hair growth, or they might prescribe medications to address hormonal imbalances.

Additionally, lifestyle changes, stress management, and dietary improvements can play a significant role in preventing and treating hair loss. For some women, advanced treatments like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy or low-level laser therapy (LLLT) may offer promising results. The key is to seek personalized guidance to identify the root cause of hair loss and develop a tailored treatment plan for the best outcomes.

The Connection Between Hair Loss and Menopause

Menopause can cause one of two things to happen to your hair. It might start to grow in places where it didn’t grow before, or it might start to thin. Menopause changes hormone levels, and levels of estrogen and progesterone fall. When those levels drop, it means that androgens, which are the male hormones, increase. 

During menopause, hair can become thinner because the follicles start to shrink. This also means hair falls out more easily. Healthcare providers can take a detailed history and do a thorough exam to help deal with any hormones and hair loss issues you may be experiencing. 

Count On Our Dermatologist’s Office to Heal Your Hair and Skin Conditions

Talking with your dermatologist or going to one of our office locations can help you figure out a treatment plan. Contact DCSI today to make an appointment or ask any questions about female hair loss.