Hair loss in women can be super unpredictable and be triggered by a range of factors. If you're experiencing hair loss and want to get to the cause, it's best to speak to your doctor or dermatologist.
Here, we're going to chat through 8 of the most common reasons why you might be experiencing hair loss. But before we do, I wanted to share my own experience with hair loss.
Hey! I'm Kimberly, your androgenic alopecia bestie and the founder of Lusta hair. When I was 19 years old, my hair started falling out.... yay for me....
At first, I hardly noticed the thinning. My part line was a little wider than it used to be, but I didn't think much of it. After a while I noticed that when I gathered my hair into a pony tail it was about half as thick as it once was. It was terrrifying.
About 3 months prior to this I had experienced a very traumatic event where I lost my best friend. I believe this is what triggered my hair to start falling out. Hair loss triggered by trauma (like grief, surgery, etc.) is called Telogen Effluvium and it's usually a temporary form of loss.
For me however, hair loss was in my genetics. My mum and my grandma both experienced hair loss and this traumatic event just made my hair loss begin sooner than expected.
My hair loss settled down after a few years, but then when I came off the birth control pill in my mid-twenties, it ramped right back up again. I lost more hair than ever.
Over a decade on and my hair is still gradually thinning. My hair loss was triggered by a range of factors, but it's something I've come to accept after a lot of inner work (and a lot of therapy!).
But there's so many other reasons you might be experiencing hair loss. Let's dive into them.
Hormonal changes can be responsible for hair loss in women. Did you know that over 50% of women experience hair loss after pregnancies? And it's similar for women going through menopause. Hormones play a crucial role in regulating our hair growth cycle. Androgens, which are male hormones present in both men and women, can impact hair growth when their levels increase or decrease. During menopause, for example, the levels of estrogen and progesterone in women decrease, while the levels of androgens like testosterone can increase. This hormonal imbalance can lead to hair loss and thinning.
Like for me, your hair loss may be due to your genetics. Hair loss is super complicated and scientists think that a few genes may be responsible for hair loss. The most well-known gene associated with hair loss is called the androgen receptor gene (AR). This gene is located on the X chromosome and plays a role in the body's response to androgens. Androgens, such as testosterone, can bind to the androgen receptors in hair follicles and cause them to shrink, leading to hair loss.
There's a lot of medical conditions which have the side effect of also causing hair loss. Conditions such as thyroid disorders, lupus, anemia and PCOS can all affect your hair growth cycle.
Yep. It's a real thing. Your hair can fall out from stress. Usually, if your hair is falling out due to stress it will be temporary and grow back when your hair goes through its next cycle. However, if you're already genetically predisposed to hair loss it could last much longer.
If you're lacking certain vitamins or minerals in your diet, your hair may be suffering because of it. To grow healthily, our hair needs plenty of Vitamin D, iron and zinc. If you have a deficiency in any of these vitamins, it might be why your hair is falling out.
Certain medications can also cause hair loss in women, the most well-known of course is chemotherapy. However, many other medications and treatments can also cause hair loss, such as antidepressants and blood thinners. If you think that a medication you're taking could be causing hair loss it's best to speak with your doctor.
Did you know that certain hair styles can cause hair loss. It's known as 'traction alopecia'. Tight styles such as braids or high pony tails can pull on the hair over time and cause hair loss. If you wear tight styles a lot, it may be time to give your hair a break and let it recover.
Hair loss is a natural part of aging. As we age, our hair growth cycle slows down, and the hair follicles become less active. This can result in thinning hair and, in some cases, hair loss. Scientists believe that this hair loss as we age is due to two main factors; hormonal changes and long-term exposure to the elements.
There are so many reasons why you might be experiencing hair loss as a female. But it's important to know that you're not alone in this. Over 50% of women will experience hair loss in their lifetime.
If you're struggling with hair loss, we're always here to chat.