Hair Loss and Thinning Hair in Women

Hair Loss and Thinning Hair in Women

Hair loss in women becomes an issue of appearance. It causes distress and makes them emotionally bothered by the thinning of their hair. Hair is the crown and glory of many women, so losing it also causes a loss of confidence. Women are more likely than men to have a lowered quality of life and restrict social contact due to hair loss[1]. A recent study has shown that women have a difficult time accepting hair loss. Female study participants under age 50 reported feeling “unattractive and having a low self-esteem.” 25% admitted being scared, 40% said they were embarrassed, 15% felt unattractive, while 20% even experienced paranoia.

Although correlations exist between female pattern hair loss (FPHL) and androgenetic alopecia in males, vulnerability, age of onset, rate of development, and pattern are distinct. Women are more conscious of subtle degrees of hair loss. Women also often present with hair shedding before the development of reduction in hair volume over the crown. 

Despite this, the age of FPHL’s onset is later than that observed in men. Twelve percent of women first develop FPHL by age 29 years, 25% by age 49 years, 41% by 69 years, and over 50% have some element of FPHL by 79 years. Only 43% of women aged 80 years and above show no evidence of hair loss.[2

Hair loss treatments for women

The market offers customized hair loss treatment plans that are specific for women. After detailed hair and scalp analysis by specialists, we will explain the causes and offer you some solutions to combat and repair your hair loss problems. 

Causes of hair loss in women

Women are suffering from hair loss and thinning hair every day. There can be many causes for thinning hair in women. The most prominent is hereditary hair loss. However, many other conditions, diseases, and hair care practices can result in hair loss in women. Stress, pregnancy, certain medications, and autoimmune deficiency are some of the main causes. 

Facts about women’s hair loss

30 million women (1 in 4) have androgenetic alopecia or hereditary hair loss, while 40% of women stay in denial and do not want to face the challenge of hair loss. Typically, your hair is at its thickest by age 20. Once you pass 20, your hair gradually begins to thin, shedding more than the average 40-100 hairs each day. Fine hair is another consequence of hair thinning. Women who experience hair loss have a high rate of fine hair before they start losing hair.

Thinning hair in women

The signs of hair thinning in a woman are usually vitamin deficiency, hormonal imbalance, poor nutrition, and excessive stress [3]. So looking after your hair will, at the same time, let you know you are taking care of your health in other ways.

Hair loss is sometimes caused by the lack of vitamin D. If our bodies are deficient in this, we are most likely to develop alopecia. If you lack in this vitamin, it could also mean more severe illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, depression, seasonal flu, gum disease, and tuberculosis. Unfortunately, our bodies cannot produce vitamin D, so supplementing it with foods high in fatty acids is what you can do. Our body needs cholesterol to make vitamin D. If we have foods that contain omega 3 (a high source of fatty acids), it will produce cholesterol in our bodies, but at the same time remove the excess so that no other problems can occur in the body. Cod liver oil will also provide our bodies with omega 3.

Studies also found copper, zinc, alanine, lysine (an amino acid) deficiencies in hair loss sufferers[4]. Research found that alanine deficiency was present in 91.67% FPHL and 91.18% MPHL. Zinc deficiency was reported in 11.76% of participants with MPHL, while copper deficiency was seen in 29.41% and 31.48% of people with MPHL and FPHL. Foods that will help with this are fruit and vegetables. If our bodies are not receiving enough protein, it will stop producing hair (made up of protein) and work on other body areas that need it more; hence hair loss will occur.

Hair loss in a woman can also be caused by an imbalance of hormones from the age of 30. If they have a hormone imbalance, women may start to grow hair on the upper lip or develop coarse hair on other parts of the body. The hair on the head will begin to thin. This is usually caused by too much dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male hormone, in the body. As a woman’s body starts to get older, the production of testosterone increases. Your doctor can perform a hormone test to check if it is this that is causing the hair loss.

Hair loss in women can entirely be caused by stress. Trauma-related stress can cause hair growth to become dormant, and it starts to fall out two to three months later. Once stress has been alleviated, hair growth will return to normal. 

Hair dye and perms are also a major cause of hair loss. Chemicals can cause other less serious forms of hair loss. Sodium lauryl sulfate is one of the leading ingredients in shampoo. This chemical can corrode the follicles of the hair and can be toxic to the immune system. Some may cause severe effects on the scalp that dries it out, causing hair to grow out unhealthily and eventually break off.


Sources:

  1. Cash TF, Price VH, Savin RC. Psychological effects of androgenetic alopecia on women: comparisons with balding men and with female control subjects. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1993 Oct;29(4):568-75. doi: 10.1016/0190-9622(93)70223-g. PMID: 8408792.
  2. Gan DC, Sinclair RD. Prevalence of male and female pattern hair loss in Maryborough. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2005 Dec;10(3):184-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1087-0024.2005.10102.x. PMID: 16382660.
  3. Guo EL, Katta R. Diet and hair loss: effects of nutrient deficiency and supplement use. Dermatol Pract Concept. 2017 Jan 31;7(1):1-10. doi: 10.5826/dpc.0701a01. PMID: 28243487; PMCID: PMC5315033.
  4. Gowda D, Premalatha V, Imtiyaz DB. Prevalence of Nutritional Deficiencies in Hair Loss among Indian Participants: Results of a Cross-sectional Study. Int J Trichology. 2017 Jul-Sep;9(3):101-104. doi: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_48_16. PMID: 28932059; PMCID: PMC5596642.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.