If you’re a woman experiencing hair loss, finding the root cause can be daunting. From coming to the terms that hair loss is occurring to finding the right doctor for you, the journey is emotional and tolling. We sat down with some of the leading female physicians across the US to help you better understand all of the factors that can relate to female hair loss.
Top 10 Reasons for Women’s Hair Loss
- “Genetics: Female pattern hair loss is also known as alopecia. It involves a thinning of the follicles on the sides and top of the scalp.
- Hormone imbalances: Hormonal shifts after switching or stopping birth control pills and having a baby and before and during menopause can send hair into the telogen (or resting) phase, causing it to shed more quickly. Also, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) caused by an excess of androgens (male hormones) can cause follicle miniaturization and hair loss.
- Hypothyroidism: an underactive thyroid gland can lead to dry, brittle and thinning hair. The thyroid produces hormones that are critical to metabolism as well as growth and development. Women are as much as 10 times as likely as men to have a thyroid problem
- Autoimmune: Alopecia areata and lupus cause hair loss as a result of an overactive immune system that targets hair follicles by mistake.
- Low ferritin levels.
- Some medications: These include certain blood thinners and the blood-pressure drugs known as beta-blockers, methotrexate (used to treat severe psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis), lithium (for bipolar disorder), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen, and possibly antidepressants.
- Severe and sustained physical and emotional stress.
- Dramatic weight loss.
- Over-styling your hair with tight braids, harsh chemicals and high heat.
- Trichotillomania: An ‘impulse control disorder,’ causes people to compulsively pull their hair out. “