7 Reasons Women Lose Their Hair

by | Hair Transplant

To fully understand the female hair loss treatment options suitable for you, think of your hair as a garden. The lushness of your garden depends entirely on what takes place underneath, where the roots are planted. In the same way, a healthy head of hair relies on your body’s internal environment and genetic makeup. Understanding these factors will shed light on why hair grows and falls out.

Typically, we lose about 50 to 100 hair strands in a day. If you’re losing more than that, you may be experiencing hair shedding, which is a temporary loss of hair due to stress. Meanwhile, hair loss happens when something stops the hair from growing. 

Hair loss is common in women. Though it can be stressful, it is often treatable. Hence, the first step is to find out what’s causing it. 

There are many reasons why women lose their hair, and we will discuss some of the female hair loss treatment options available to address the problem.

1. Ageing and menopause

Women who are over 40 are at a higher risk of hair loss. Menopausal women experience hormonal and body changes that impact hair growth. During menopause, estrogen levels drop, causing hair to become thinner and grow more slowly.

2. Hormonal imbalance

Many health and beauty problems can arise from hormonal changes in women, from weight gain to acne, to hair loss. If your hormones are out of control, it can take a toll on your hair’s health. This is because hormones are essential in regulating the hair growth cycle. 

For instance, oestrogen keeps hair in the growth phase, while androgens shorten the hair growth cycle. Therefore, in some women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), an excess of androgens can lead to hair loss. 

In addition, high testosterone levels, high cortisol levels, or an imbalance in thyroid hormones can also affect the hair growth cycle, leading to hair thinning in women.

3. Genetics

The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition occurs with ageing. Androgenic alopecia in women, or female-pattern baldness, happens gradually. It usually starts with hair thinning along the crown of the scalp.

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4. Too much stress

Stress impacts your health in many ways. For instance, stress-induced hair loss, also called telogen effluvium, may affect the hair follicles and the new hair they try to grow. As a result, stress may cause your existing hair to loosen earlier in the growth cycle than it usually would.

5. Nutrient deficiency

The lack of specific vitamins and minerals may also cause hair thinning in women. For example, folic acid and iron are essential for hair follicles to work correctly. A type of vitamin B called biotin is also crucial for hair growth. Therefore, lacking these nutrients may also contribute to hair thinning and, eventually, hair loss.

6. Medical conditions

Hair loss due to an illness can be permanent or temporary, including thyroid problems, scalp infections, and alopecia areata. In alopecia areata, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks hair follicles, causing clumps of hair to fall out.

7. Childbirth

Women experience excessive hair shedding after pregnancy. Typically, the hair grows in cycles – the growing phase, the resting phase, and the shedding phase. During pregnancy, however, most of the hair stays in the growth phase due to hormonal changes. 

After the baby arrives, the hormones change again as oestrogen levels drop, causing your thick head of hair during pregnancy to fall and shed. It worsens by around the fourth month after giving birth. Because many hair strands fall at once, your hair volume loss may be more noticeable. But don’t worry. Most mothers regain their usual hair growth cycle by the child’s first birthday.

Female hair loss treatment options

Addressing the underlying cause

The first step in a female hair loss treatment is knowing the underlying cause. Please consult the doctor to determine what’s causing hair loss, and take the steps needed to treat it. 

The doctor may collect samples from the skin, or a few hairs plucked from the scalp, which will be examined under microscopy. Called scalp biopsy, the procedure will shed light on the possible cause of hair loss. When the problem has been resolved, your hair will now thrive. 

Hair loss medications

One female hair loss treatment option is using hair growth stimulators. Minoxidil is an FDA-approved drug to treat hair loss. It works by stimulating hair growth and increasing its growth cycle. However, consult with your doctor on this drug as there are associated side effects, such as hair growth in other parts of the face, rapid heart rate, and scalp irritation.

The doctor will prescribe anti-androgens for women who did not respond to minoxidil. An anti-androgen drug called spironolactone is often used for androgenic alopecia treatment. Women who take spironolactone are usually given an oral contraceptive since they should not become pregnant since the medicine may cause congenital abnormalities in the baby.

Light therapy

Low-level light therapy, also referred to as red light therapy and cold laser therapy, is a non-invasive and clinically proven treatment that stimulates hair follicles to grow thicker and fuller hair. The light also improves blood flow in the scalp, increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. As a result, healthier hair will grow.

Hair restoration

Hair transplant is a procedure to treat androgenic alopecia by removing a small part of the scalp from the back of the head. The hair surgeon will use it to fill up a bald area to promote hair growth. One of the most commonly-used procedures today is a technique called follicular unit transplantation.

A balanced diet and health supplements

Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins B12, D, riboflavin, biotin, iron and folic acid may help address hair loss. In addition, avoid crash diets because these can negatively impact the health of your hair.

The takeaway

Can your hair still grow back? If you’re experiencing falling hair, you might be asking the same question. While some forms of hair loss in women are temporary, female pattern baldness is permanent and irreversible without treatment. 

Furthermore, female hair loss treatment mainly relies on the root cause of the problem. Hence, it is crucial to determine why your hair is falling out. This way, the doctor will prescribe the appropriate treatment for you. 

You can stop hair loss and potentially help regrow your hair with proper care. Your doctor will help you throughout the process since this long-term treatment requires your patience and commitment. In Dr Tyng Tan Aesthetics and Hair Clinic, we’ll provide a tailored treatment plan for you. So get in touch with us at +65 6235 0010 to book a consultation for a comprehensive hair-loss assessment!

Dr. Tan Tyng Yuan
BSc (Hons), MBBS (London), Grad. Dip. Dermatology (UK), Dip. AAAM (USA), Grad. Fellow in ISHRS (International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery)

About Dr Tyng Tan

Dr Tyng Tan has over ten years of experience treating male pattern baldness with the minimally invasive, non-strip method known as FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) Hair Transplantation.

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