5 Common Causes of Women’s Hair Loss (Female Balding)

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We do tend to think of balding as a particularly masculine disease. However, women make up 4 out of 10 of the people who experience permanent hair loss.

Here, in this lovely video, you’ll find a list of the main reasons why this happens to female heads:



 

Number 1

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome:

This disorder is also known as polycystic ovary syndrome. It is a metabolic disorder affecting up to five million women in the United States. Hair loss is one of many of its possible side effects.

The others include; weight gain, irregular periods and excessive hair growth on other parts of the body.



Number 2

Telogen Effluvium

This kind of sudden hair loss is our body’s reaction to experiencing a devastatingly traumatic physical/emotional event such as is caused by childbirth or extreme stress. It could also be a side effect of having to take certain medications.

When this happens as much as 90% of our hair in its anagen or growing phase is immediately accelerated to the telogen or shedding phase. At this point, hair might begin falling out by the handful!

Effluvium related hair loss is fortunately treatable and regrowth will often occur.

Number 3

Trichotillomania

This rare impulse-control “hair-pulling” disorder is characterized by an overwhelming and irresistible compulsion to pull all your hair out, whether it be on your head or your body!

Mostly this condition manifests itself as an action to relieve stress and tension, but it can also be something that people might “absent-mindedly” do automatically.

Scientists working in this field aren’t entirely sure how genetics and environmental factors lead to trichotillomania, but some think it’s linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder which is treatable through education, medication, and behavioral therapy.



Number 4

Alopecia Areata

Sometimes female hair loss results from our hair follicles taking up arms against us, as it were!

Alopecia Areata or “spot baldness” for instance is an autoimmune disorder which causes our white blood cells to mistakenly “gang up” and surround our hair follicles causing them to become inflamed and eventually leading to hair loss.

Fortunately, those white blood cells don’t completely obliterate the hair follicles, and this means that hair regrowth is always possible.

For the four and a half million or more Americans born with this disorder, this approximate is spread evenly between men and women.

Number 5

Androgenic alopecia

Finally, we come to the leading cause of hair loss among women. We also refer to this condition as “Female Pattern Baldness.” Sadly, because it’s hereditary, it can’t be prevented.

It works similarly to Alopecia Areata except for the fact that instead of our white blood cells surrounding and inflaming those hair follicles, as in the case of Alopecia Areata, a hormone derivative called dihydrotestosterone attacks those hair follicles even more aggressively.

While minoxidil, more famously known by its branded name: Rogaine, can slow the alopecia related hair loss down, there currently is no complete cure.

Unfortunately, the chances of regrowth are slim too.

Other Causes

The five conditions discussed in this video are only a few of the things that can lead to female hair loss.

Others are; hyperthyroidism, traction alopecia or self-induced hair loss as a result of hair-styling and chemotherapy.

While learning more about the causes of female hair loss is essential, it’s also paramount to spread the word about that 40% statistic and shine a light on how women make up such a massive proportion of our hair loss community.

This video makes a profound point at the end about how vital it is that we de-stigmatize and “de-gender” the balding process.

Regardless of whether you happen to be from Mars or from Venus, losing your hair can feel like losing a part of yourself.

I hope you enjoyed that short and concise video. Our thanks go to Cristen at the excellent YouTube channel “Stuff Mom Never Told You.

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