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Causes of Hair Loss in Women: Types, Symptoms & Treatments (2023)

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hair loss causes in womenHair loss is a common problem for women of all ages and backgrounds, but it can be difficult to understand the underlying causes.

From hormonal changes to medical conditions, genetics and beyond – there are many potential sources of hair loss in women.

Knowing the types, symptoms and treatments available can help you make an informed decision about managing your own hair loss journey.

Learn more about what could be causing your thinning or balding patches so that you’re better prepared when seeking treatment options from your doctor.

Types of Hair Loss in Women

Types of Hair Loss in Women
Let’s now explore the different types of hair loss that women can experience.

  • Female Pattern Baldness is the most common type, characterized by a receding hairline and thinning on the crown of the head.
  • Telogen Effluvium is a temporary condition caused by sudden shocks to the body.
  • Alopecia Areata causes round patches of hair to fall out due to an autoimmune disease.
  • Lastly, Traction Alopecia occurs when there’s excessive pulling on the hair from tight hairstyles or braids.

Female Pattern Baldness

One common type of hair loss in women is female pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia.

It’s characterized by a gradual thinning of hair on the top of the head.

Female pattern baldness is primarily caused by hormonal factors and genetics.

While there may not be a cure for this condition, there are treatment options available to help slow down or stop further hair loss, such as medications and surgery.

Additionally, making lifestyle changes like practicing proper hair care can also have a positive impact on managing female pattern baldness.

Telogen Effluvium

If you experience sudden hair loss, it may be due to telogen effluvium, a type of hair loss that occurs as a result of changes in hormone levels or stress.

Telogen effluvium can have various causes and symptoms.

Treatment options for telogen effluvium include addressing the underlying cause, managing stress levels, and promoting healthy hair growth through lifestyle changes and medications.

It’s important to debunk common myths surrounding this condition to better understand its prevention and management strategies.

  • Causes:
  • Changes in hormone levels or increased stress
  • Symptoms:
  • Sudden excessive hair shedding
  • Treatments:
  • Addressing underlying causes
  • Managing stress
  • Promoting healthy lifestyle habits
  • Medication options
  • Prevention:
  • Managing stress effectively
  • Maintaining a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients for hair health

Alopecia Areata

Now let’s delve into the topic of Alopecia Areata, a specific type of hair loss that affects women.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles, resulting in patchy or complete hair loss.

Coping with alopecia areata can be challenging, but there are support groups and resources available to help manage this condition.

The exact causes of alopecia areata remain unknown, but it’s thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Managing alopecia areata typically involves treatments such as corticosteroids or immunotherapy to stimulate hair regrowth.

Traction Alopecia

First, you should understand that traction alopecia is a type of hair loss that occurs when there’s excessive tension and pulling on the hair.

Common causes include tight hairstyles like braids, ponytails, and extensions.

To prevent traction alopecia, avoid these hairstyles or ensure they aren’t too tight.

If you already have traction alopecia, recovery may be possible by changing your styling habits and giving your hair time to heal.

Hair loss prevention techniques can also help reduce the risk of developing this condition in the future.

Common Causes of Hair Loss in Women

Common Causes of Hair Loss in Women
Hormonal changes, medications, medical conditions, and genetics are some of the common causes of hair loss in women.

  • Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause, can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle.
  • Certain medications have also been known to cause hair loss as a side effect.
  • Additionally, underlying medical conditions like thyroid problems or lupus can contribute to excessive shedding of hair.
  • Finally, genetics play a significant role in female pattern baldness and may determine whether an individual is more prone to experiencing hair loss.

Hormonal Changes

When experiencing hormonal changes, you may notice hair loss as a common occurrence in women.

Hormonal imbalances can disrupt the natural cycle of hair growth and lead to excessive shedding.

Menopause effects, pregnancy changes, and hormone replacement therapy are all factors that can contribute to hair loss in women.

Androgenic alopecia, also known as female pattern hair loss, is often caused by hormonal changes and genetics.

Understanding these hormonal influences on your hair can help guide treatment options for regrowth and management.


If you’re taking certain medications, they can be common causes of hair loss in women.

Medication side effects can lead to hair shedding and disrupt the normal hair growth cycle.

For example, chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer often cause anagen effluvium, a condition where the hair follicles enter a resting phase and eventually fall out.

It’s important to discuss any medication concerns with your doctor who may offer treatment options or suggest lifestyle factors that can help minimize the psychological impact of medication-induced hair loss.

Medical Conditions

One common cause of hair loss in women is the presence of certain medical conditions.

Medical conditions such as postpartum hair loss, thyroid hair loss, anemia hair loss, and menopause can all contribute to thinning hair.

These conditions often involve hormonal changes that disrupt the normal growth cycle of the hair follicles.

It’s important to address these underlying medical conditions in order to effectively treat and manage any associated hair loss.

Consulting with a healthcare professional is recommended for proper diagnosis and treatment options.


Discussing the common causes of hair loss in women, genetics plays a significant role.

Genetic factors can contribute to female hair loss, leading to conditions such as alopecia and female pattern baldness.

These genetic predispositions may interact with other factors like hormonal changes and medical conditions to further exacerbate hair loss.

Understanding the influence of genetics on hair loss is crucial for developing effective treatment options and implementing proper hair care practices that can help manage this condition.

Symptoms of Hair Loss in Women

Symptoms of Hair Loss in Women
If you’re experiencing hair loss, there are several symptoms to look out for.

  • Thinning hair is a common sign of hair loss in women, where the volume and density of your hair gradually decreases over time.
  • Balding patches can also occur, leaving areas on your scalp with little or no hair.
  • Another symptom is excessive shedding, where you may notice an increased amount of hairs left on pillows, towels, clothes or in the shower drain.

Thinning Hair

You may notice your hair gradually thinning, which can be a common symptom of hair loss in women.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Female pattern baldness is a leading cause of thinning hair in women.
  • Nutritional deficiencies, such as iron or vitamin deficiency, can contribute to hair loss.
  • Blood tests can help identify underlying causes of thinning hair.
  • Managing stress and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are essential for preventing further damage.
  • Various treatments like medication and laser therapy are available for managing thinning hair.

Balding Patches

If you notice balding patches on your scalp, eyebrows, or beard, it could be a symptom of hair loss in women.

These balding patches can be caused by various factors such as:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Genetics
  • Certain medical conditions

To promote hair regrowth and prevent further hair loss, it’s important to:

Consulting with a healthcare professional for a scalp exam can help determine the underlying cause of the balding patches and guide appropriate treatment options for female baldness prevention.

Excessive Shedding

Continuing from the previous subtopic on balding patches, one common symptom of hair loss in women is excessive shedding. This can be distressing and alarming, but it’s important to understand that not all shedding is a cause for concern.

  1. Hormonal changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels due to factors such as pregnancy or menopause can trigger increased hair shedding.
  2. Telogen phase: Excessive shedding may occur during the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle when hairs enter their resting period before falling out naturally.
  3. Pull test: A simple diagnostic tool called a pull test may be used by doctors to assess if excessive shedding is present.
  4. Effective treatments focus on addressing underlying causes like hormonal imbalances or nutritional deficiencies, stress management techniques, and lifestyle adjustments that promote overall scalp health.

By understanding these factors and seeking appropriate treatment options, you can effectively manage excessive shedding.

When to See a Doctor About Hair Loss

When to See a Doctor About Hair Loss
To address any concerns or seek appropriate treatment for hair loss, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a doctor.

While some hair loss may be temporary and not cause for alarm, there are certain situations where medical attention should be sought.

  • If you experience sudden or severe hair loss,
  • Have patches of baldness on your scalp or body,
  • Notice unusual scaling on the scalp,
  • Or have other symptoms such as fatigue and weight gain accompanying the hair loss,

it’s recommended to see a doctor.

Additionally, if you have a family history of balding and are concerned about potential future hair loss prevention strategies or treatments like minoxidil (Rogaine), consider consulting with a healthcare professional who specializes in this area.

They can provide guidance based on your specific situation and recommend appropriate options such as:

  • Medication therapies like finasteride (Propecia),
  • Laser devices for stimulating growths that promote healthier follicles through low-level lasers light therapy sessions which stimulate circulation while providing nutrients directly into roots at cellular level without side effects nor pain etc.,
  • Surgical interventions including transplantation procedures using natural grafts harvested from donor areas elsewhere allowing them grow normally again!

Remember that early intervention can often lead to better outcomes when it comes to managing hair loss.

Treatments for Hair Loss in Women

Treatments for Hair Loss in Women
To address hair loss in women, there are several treatment options available.

  • Laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses low-level lasers to stimulate hair growth and improve the overall health of the scalp.
  • Another option is hair transplants, which involves surgically transplanting healthy hair follicles from one area of the scalp to another.

These treatments can help promote new hair growth and restore confidence in women experiencing hair loss.

Laser Therapy

To address hair loss in women, consider laser therapy as a potential treatment option.

Here are some important considerations about laser therapy:

  1. Laser devices have been proven effective: Research studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of low-level lasers in stimulating hair growth and reducing hair loss.
  2. Different options available: There are various types of laser devices used for treating hair loss, including handheld combs, helmets, and caps.
  3. Non-invasive approach: Unlike medications or surgeries, laser therapy is non-invasive and doesn’t require any incisions or injections.
  4. Complementary to other treatments: Laser therapy can be used alongside other treatments like medications to enhance results. It can also be beneficial during the catagen phase (transition phase), when new hairs start growing from dormant follicles.

Hair Transplants

If laser therapy doesn’t provide satisfactory results, you may consider hair transplants as a treatment option for hair loss in women.

Hair transplants have been proven to be effective in restoring hair growth and improving the appearance of thinning or balding areas.

The recovery process typically involves some downtime and may require multiple sessions for optimal results.

It’s important to note that costs involved with hair transplants can vary depending on factors such as the extent of your hair loss and the clinic you choose.

Before undergoing a transplant, it’s essential to meet certain candidate criteria and explore alternative treatments with your healthcare provider.

Tips to Prevent Hair Loss in Women

Tips to Prevent Hair Loss in Women
To prevent hair loss in women, there are several tips you can follow:

  • Be gentle with your hair and avoid harsh treatments that can damage it.
  • Additionally, limit the tension on your hair from styles that use rubber bands, barrettes, and braids.
  • Lastly, protect your hair from sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light to minimize damage.

Avoid Damaging Styles

How can you prevent hair loss in women by avoiding damaging styles?

One of the key ways to protect your hair and prevent unnecessary hair loss is through gentle hairstyling practices.

Avoid hairstyles that put excessive tension on the hair, such as tight braids or ponytails.

Opt for looser hairstyles and use soft accessories like fabric scrunchies instead of rubber bands or metal clips.

Additionally, be mindful of using heat styling tools sparingly and always apply a heat protectant before styling.

Taking these precautions will help maintain healthy locks and minimize the risk of hair loss caused by damaging styles.

Manage Stress

One way to prevent hair loss in women is by managing stress, as it can contribute to the condition.

Stress management plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy hair.

Engaging in activities like exercise, meditation, and deep breathing can help reduce stress levels.

Additionally, taking care of your hair through proper grooming and avoiding harsh treatments can also promote healthier locks.

It’s important to remember that managing stress is just one aspect of preventing hair loss; incorporating healthy dietary choices and addressing any underlying medical conditions or genetic factors are equally essential for optimal results.

Eat a Healthy Diet

To prevent hair loss in women, incorporate a healthy diet into your daily routine.

Here are three dietary habits that can help promote healthy hair growth and prevent nutrient deficiencies:

  1. Consume a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals essential for hair health, such as vitamin A, C, E, biotin, iron, and zinc.
  2. Include protein-rich foods like lean meats or plant-based sources like beans and lentils to support strong and vibrant hair.
  3. Stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water each day to keep your scalp moisturized.

By prioritizing healthy eating habits packed with the right nutrients for your tresses’ well-being , you can nourish your strands from within while reducing the risk of experiencing excessive hair loss.

Myths About Hair Loss in Women

Myths About Hair Loss in Women
If you believe that shampooing your hair too much, coloring or perming it causes hair loss in women, let’s debunk these common myths.

Hair loss isn’t caused by these factors alone. While excessive use of harsh chemicals and heat styling tools can damage the hair and make it more prone to breakage, they don’t directly cause permanent hair loss.

Hormonal changes and medical conditions are often the culprits behind female pattern baldness or other types of alopecia.

It’s important to understand that there are various treatments available for different types of hair loss in women, including medications and supplements that promote growth, as well as surgical options like transplants.

Taking care of your overall health through a balanced diet and stress management can also help maintain healthy tresses.

So don’t be fooled by these myths; instead seek professional guidance for effective solutions to address your specific type of hair loss.


From female pattern baldness to traction alopecia, understanding the types of hair loss in women, the common causes, symptoms, and treatments is essential in managing hair loss.

Whether it’s due to hormonal changes, medications, medical conditions, or genetics, seeing a doctor and exploring the available options can be the best way to regain control of your hair.

From laser therapy to hair transplants, there are a variety of treatments for hair loss in women that can help prevent further thinning and balding patches.

Staying informed and proactive is key in reducing the effects of hair loss.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.