Hair loss is nothing to laugh at, especially if you’re a woman. That isn’t to say that hair loss isn’t traumatic for men, only that we are socially conditioned to tolerate male baldness to a greater degree than female baldness. For both men and women, hair loss can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and sudden. However, given the lack of visibility given to female pattern hair loss, for many women first experiencing its effects, the question is, “Why?” What could cause sudden hair loss in women?
There are actually several conditions used to describe sudden hair loss in women, but their causes generally come down to four major contributing factors: genetics, stress, nutrition, and hormonal change. To better understand the conditions that could be causing your rapid hair loss and what can be done to mitigate the effects, let’s delve into how female pattern hair loss is expressed and what specific health conditions may be responsible.
What Does Female Pattern Hair Loss Look Like?
Experts agree that the average person loses between 50 and 100 hairs per day. This is part of a natural shedding cycle. It allows new hairs to grow in, keeping your hair thick and luscious. Unfortunately, some conditions accelerate hair loss without replacing those hairs at the same rate. We refer to this as hair loss.
The result can vary from patient to patient. According to Medical News Today, women tend to see a more general thinning over the entire scalp, whereas men usually see hair loss start at the temples or crown and work its way back. For women, this means that they are more likely to develop visible baldness along their part and can sometimes see more patchy bald spots emerge.
Sadly, female pattern hair loss is relatively common. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that roughly 40% of all women develop visible hair loss by the age of 50. Male pattern hair loss is still more common but no less unpleasant.
What Health Conditions Can Cause Female Pattern Hair Loss?
Androgenetic alopecia describes genetically driven hair loss resulting in gradual balding. In both men and women, the process can start at any point after puberty. But, women are generally more likely to see the effects after going through menopause.
This condition keeps hair in the shedding phase for abnormal periods of time. Telogen effluvium is usually temporary and is commonly a result of rapid changes in the body, such as childbirth, rapid weight loss, or severe stress. To ensure that the condition is resolved, it is critical that you talk to your doctor.
Anagen effluvium is less common, as it is usually caused by cancer treatments, including radiation and chemotherapy. It causes hair to fall out during the growth phase. If you begin to experience sudden and severe hair loss but aren’t being treated for cancer, then you should speak with your doctor. Fungal infections and certain autoimmune diseases can also have this effect.
This term describes one effect of an autoimmune disease. As with anagen effluvium, the hair on your scalp, as well as facial and body hair, could be affected. You will need to seek medical help to treat the underlying disease and help to grow your hair back.
The use of one consistent hair style can cause hair loss. If you regularly wear cornrows, buns, ponytails, or braids, then you’re putting extra strain on those hair follicles. Try switching up your hairstyle regularly and letting it hang loose on occasion to prevent traction alopecia.
Lessening the Effects of Female Pattern Hair Loss
As with most medical conditions, there are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the effects of female pattern hair loss. Diversifying your style, ensuring adequate nutrition, and taking steps to reduce your stress levels can all be helpful. However, if your hair is already significantly thinner or balding, then NeoGraft Hair Restoration can help. At Hair Specialists Houston, Dr. Linville uses this noninvasive hair transplant alternative to give men and women their confidence back in the form of their own, naturally growing hair.