What Causes Hair Loss in Women? | Everything You Need To Know

What Causes Hair Loss In Women

Women’s hair loss can be caused by numerous reasons. Anything from medical conditions to hormonal changes to stress can be the culprit.

It’s not always easy to find the root cause. But here are some possibilities and things that you can do to figure out what causes hair loss in women.

Although hair loss may seem like a more prominent problem in men, women are almost as likely to have hair loss or hair thinning.

The majority of women detect it when they are in their age of 50s or 60s, although it can affect anyone at any age and for a number of causes.

Sign of Hair Loss in Women

Sign Of Hair Loss In Women. What Causes Hair Loss In Women

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, most people lose 50 to 100 hairs per day. People can lose up to 250 strands on the day the hair is washed.

But you should avoid washing in an effort to maintain the hair, as it will eventually fall out either way.

For those who don’t wanna plan on counting their hair every day, There are several ways to know when hair is thinning or falling out at a higher rate. You should notice a difference.

When you wake up in the morning You can usually have a large amount of hair on your pillow. When you comb your hair exclusively without tugging, which can pull the hair out.

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What Are The Stages of Hair Growth Cycle?

The Stages Of Hair Growth Cycle. What Causes Hair Loss In Women

Although hair growth and loss appear to be simple processes, the hair growth cycle is really divided into four different stages.

These 4 stages of the hair growth cycle are- anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen.

The Anagen phase of the growth cycle is the growing phase of your hair. During the Anagen phase, the cells at the hair’s root divide quickly, joining into the hair shaft.

The scalp hair remains in this vigorous growth period for two to six years. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of the hairs on your head are in the anagen phase at any particular time.

The catagen phase is characterized by shrinking hair follicles, a short transition phase that occurs at the end of the anagen phase. It indicates the end of vigorous hair growth.

During the catagen phase, the hair separates from its blood supply. This phase lasts around two to three weeks while a club hair forms. A club hair referred to hair that has stopped growing.

The telogen phase, also known as the resting period, lasts generally two to four months.

The hair is released after the transient catagen phase, and the hair follicle remains at rest for three to four months.

At the completion of this phase, The club hair falls out. Typically, you lose 50 to 100 hairs every day. After three months, the follicle returns to the anagen phase and begins to generate new hair.

The exogen phase, During the last, or exogen, phase, “old” hair falls, however, a new hair is normally preparing to take its place.

Your shorter hairs, such as eyelashes, arm and leg hair, and brows, have a one-month anagen phase. Your head hair can survive for up to five to six years or more.

What Determines Your Anagen Or Hair Growth Phase?

The length of time a hair follicle remains in the anagen phase or hair growth phase is determined genetically.

Some people have naturally longer anagen phases and can grow their hair quite long.

While others will never see their hair grow more than a foot and a half long.

An unknown signal triggers the follicle into the catagen phase at the completion of the anagen phase.

What Can Shorten Your Anagen Or Hair Growth Phase?

People who follow a calorie-restricted diet may have a shorter anagen phase.

This can also occur because of stress, childbirth, or traumatic experiences due to which more hair follicles enter the telogen phase at the same time, resulting in diffuse hair loss, also known as telogen effluvium.

Anagen effluvium can also be caused by chemotherapy, radiation, or toxic substances. These disrupt the hair when it is in the anagen phase.

In these cases, the hair will usually recover to its former fullness. The pattern of repeated bouts of dieting or chemotherapy will continue.

Some Misconceptions about Hair Loss?

There are several misconceptions about hair loss. Some of them are listed below:-

  • You’re losing hair because you over-shampoo it.
  • You’re losing hair because you’ve colored it or had it perm.
  • In women, dandruff causes irreversible hair loss.
  • In women, stress can also cause lifelong hair loss.
  • Standing on your head stimulates hair growth by increasing blood circulation.
  • Hair Loss Can’t be reversed in any condition.

Indications of Hair Loss

What Causes Hair Loss In Women. Indications Of Hair Loss

Hair Loss can detect by visual inspection and generally, medical inspection is not necessary. There are several indications of hair loss

Hair Thinning

This is the most prevalent form of hair loss that people experience as they age. Men and women are both affected.

Hair frequently begins to recede near the hairline on the forehead in men.

The section of a woman’s hair is normally broadened receding hairline frontal or fibrosing alopecia is an increasingly frequent hair loss pattern in elderly women.

Patchy Bald Spots

Some persons have hair loss in the form of round or spotty bald patches on the scalp, beard, or brows.

They can be the size of coins and generally occur on the scalp. Before your hair comes out, your skin may become irritated or uncomfortable.

Sudden Weakening of Hair

You may experience unexpected hair loss, especially if you have undergone emotional or physical trauma.

Handfuls of hair may fall out when combing or washing your hair, or after gently pulling.

This form of hair loss typically results in general hair thinning but is very transitory.

Hair Loss on Full Body

In some medical conditions, particularly when undergoing medical treatments such as chemotherapy for cancer, you may have abrupt and widespread hair loss all over your body. The hairs generally regrow on their own.

Scaly Patches Spreaded All Over The Scalp

This is a symptom of ringworm. It is sometimes accompanied by broken hair, redness, swelling, and seeping.

Though it is not very common, But a serious cause of hair loss. If you are facing a scaly patch problem, consulting with a dermatologist can be helpful.

Which Women Are Most Affected By Hair Loss?

Hair loss can affect any girl or woman. However, It is especially prevalent in:-

  • Women above the age of 40
  • Women who have just given birth
  • Women who have received chemotherapy
  • Women who have been severely affected by certain medications or other drugs
  • Women with hairstyles that pull on their hair, such as tight ponytails or tight braids
  • Women who have been using harsh chemicals on hairs
  • Women in their menopause
  • Women with hereditary hair loss

Most Prevalent Causes of Hair Loss in Women

What Causes Hair Loss In Women. Most Prevalent Causes Of Hair Loss In Women

There are many conditions that can cause hair loss in women but here we will discuss some of the most prevalent causes of hair loss-

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Hair Loss can occur due to the lack of B vitamins. Hair loss is the most prominent symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 is needed for the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the hair follicles.

When your vitamin B12 levels are insufficient, your hair follicles may not be able to grow new hair properly, which can lead to hair loss.

Hair thinning and loss can also be due to vitamin B12 deficiency. As a result, if you want long and thick hair, you must include vitamin B12 in your diet.

Vitamin D Deficiency

According to research, the lack of vitamin D in your body can lead to hair fall.

Alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes bald patches on the scalp and other parts of the body, is related to a lack of vitamin D.

Alopecia can affect both men and women. You can meet your vitamin D requirements by 20 minutes exposer of sun, or vitamin-rich diet, or by vitamin D supplements.

Iron Deficiency

It is also possible for women to lose hair due to a lack of some minerals, especially iron.

Women are already at risk of iron deficiency due to blood loss during menstruation, so not getting enough iron in the diet can lead to a deficiency.

When your body doesn’t take in enough iron, it can reduce your ability to deliver oxygen to the cells responsible for promoting and maintaining hair growth.

Hair loss due to iron deficiency can be similar to both male and female hair loss. According to research published in the Journal of Korean Medical Science,

Iron not only has a role in hair loss but can also cause hair loss in a pattern similar to that of inherited male- and female-pattern baldness.


Many women want to reduce their weight to get a slim body. For that, most of them follow dieting as a means of their weight loss routine.

As a result, their body may lack the essential vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for healthy hair growth.

So such women or girls who are following a diet routine should keep an eye on that these nutrient deficiencies are not the reason for their hair loss.

Overprocessing of Hair

This may lead to permanent hair loss. When your hair is overprocessed, the hair shaft becomes porous and thick, making styling and maintenance more difficult. Overprocessed hair cannot be repaired entirely.

Because all visible hair on your head is technically dead cells, damage to your hair shaft cannot be fixed.

Hair breakage can begin in areas where overprocessing has caused severe hair damage.

If your scalp has been burned from overprocessing, Patches of hair may come out. Hair might sometimes become “gummy” as a result of this condition. This implies it’s really thin and stringy. So try to avoid overprocessing your hair.

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Hormone Imbalances and Menopause

Women may lose hair during menopause due to the decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels.

These hormonal changes also cause symptoms such as irregular menstruation, dry skin, night sweats, weight gain, and vaginal dryness. This additional stress on the body may exacerbate hair loss.

Some women may also notice thinning and hair loss after discontinuing hormonal birth control pills.

Why? Again, any type of hormonal change, especially falling estrogen levels, can temporarily disrupt the life cycle of the hair.

Telogen Effluvium 

Telogen effluvium is the second most prevalent cause of hair loss. This is temporary and occurs when there is a change in the number of follicles that are growing hair and in a resting state.

For example, women may lose hair in the months following childbirth or some other stressful event.

You can sometimes identify Telogen Effluvium hair loss by looking at the strands. Telogen is a bulb of keratin at the root of the hair.

Telogen Effluvium is usually caused by anything that can shock the body and disrupt the life cycle of the hair.

Before you notice the effects of the change, it can take quite a while – up to three months.

Possible Triggers of Telogen Effluvium

High fever, severe infection, chronic disease, mental stress, crash diets, protein deficiency, eating disorders, and so on.

Certain pharmaceuticals, such as retinoids, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, antidepressants, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can cause Telogen effluvium.

The good thing is that this type of hair loss is usually reversible, and telogen effluvium hairs will eventually regrow on the scalp.

Different Kinds of Stress

Hair loss can occur as a result of emotional or physical stress. The death of a family, significant surgery, or a catastrophic illness can cause the body to shut down certain processes, such as hair growth.

There is approx a three-month gap between having a stressful event and hair loss, so you may not be able to pinpoint the cause right away.

However, if you are experiencing thinning hair, consider various events or situations in your life that may have caused you considerable stress.

Hair loss due to stress is usually transient. After the event has passed and the follicle has resumed production, hair may begin to grow again.

The Bottom Line

If you notice or suspect that your hair is falling out more than usual, it is advisable to determine the cause and seek treatment as soon as possible.

While over-the-counter medications such as minoxidil may help with some forms of hair loss, as other health concerns can also cause hair loss, it is essential to see a doctor.

Speak with your family doctor or dermatologist about your symptoms so that they can determine the cause of your hair loss and work with you to prepare a treatment plan.

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