Female Hair Loss Types & Causes


Hair loss is usually associated with men, and the media is inundated with advertisements and information on how to deal with hair loss. However, it may come as a surprise to know that almost two-thirds of female suffer from hair loss at some time or the other in their lives. The upside is that hair loss in female usually does not result in baldness as is the case with men.

Types of Female Hair Loss

Hair loss manifests itself in two basic forms in female. The first condition is known as alopecia areata and the second is called androgenic alopecia.

Alopecia Areata

This is an immune disease of which almost 2% of which the population in the US suffer. It occurs in different levels of severity. The effect may range from round, small patches of hair loss which may get restored with no medical treatment to extensive and acute hair loss which may not only affect the scalp but other parts of the body.

This type of hair loss is not only restricted to female, but can also affect males and children and can happen at any age. It can be treated by using glucocorticoids, anthralin, topical immunotherapy and minoxidil or similar biologic-response modifiers. While milder cases may show a compete recovery, those with 100% hair loss may show only a partial recovery.

Androgenetic Alopecia

In men this is termed as “male-pattern baldness” which is characterized in men by loss of hair at the front of the scalp, moving backwards as time passes. The hair in the middle of the scalp begins to thin and eventually falls out. In female on the other hand, the condition exhibits uniform thinning of the hair over time. Female who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome are known to experience this kind of hair loss.

Causes of Female Hair Loss

Given below are some of the causes of female hair loss. While many are unique only to female, a few of the causes are common to both men and female.

  • Physical and emotional stress
  • Imbalance in hormones
  • Shifting in pattern of hormonal birth control
  • Genes
  • Yeast accumulation
  • Irregularities in the immune system
  • Sudden change in diet
  • Deficiency of vitamins, iron and proteins
  • Disorders of the thyroid system
  • Chemotherapy and radiation
  • Allergy to cosmetics
  • Reaction to strong medication
  • Loss of blood
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Serious diseases
  • Surgery
  • Scars

Approach to Female Hair Loss

Since in most cases total loss of hair does not occur in female, the effect is not so drastic. It is however a concern, especially as most female take pride in their hair. A minimum level of hair loss is acceptable, which occurs due to aging.

If chronic hair loss is noticed for no apparent reason, then it would be advisable to consult a doctor who will do a full investigation and prescribe the treatment to be given.