Female Hair Loss - Common Causes

Andogenetic Alopecia

Andogenetic alopecia is a hereditary condition characterized by patterned hair loss. This condition typically manifests in a woman`s adulthood and becomes progressively more involved over time. Early signs of andogenetic alopecia in women include thinning or loss of hair at the hairline. In later stages, hair loss may be present on the scalp as a whole.

Medical Problems

A number of medical conditions may produce the undesirable side effect of female hair loss. Examples of these issues include thyroid disorders, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), autoimmune diseases such as lupus, anemia, skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis, pregnancy and an excess of Vitamin A in the bloodstream.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium, or a profound shedding of hair that was previously growing normally, is often caused by the experience of a traumatic bodily event or extreme psychological stress.

The potential causes of telogen effluvium include surgery, sudden and drastic weight loss, malnutrition and infection. This type of female hair loss commonly involves handfuls of hair falling out at once.

Anogen Effluvium

Anogen effluvium is a condition that impairs the metabolic process of the hair follicles and results in widespread loss of still-growing hair. Women who take certain chemotherapy drugs for the treatment of cancer also experience anogen effluvium as both cancer cells and hair cells divide rapidly and are compromised by these medications.

Traction Alopecia

In simple terms, traction alopecia is hair loss that results from over-styling and over-processing damage. Women who frequently use heating devices to dry and style their hair, often wear their hair in tight ponytails and braids or excessively shampoo or color their hair may experience hair loss due to external breakage and stress on the hair follicles.

Treatments for Female Hair Loss

Andogenetic alopecia can be treated with minoxidil, which is marketed under the brand name Rogaine for Women. The solution should be applied to the scalp two times per day for best results. Women tend to have normal to dry hair requiring a deep cleansing shampoo that can help to control hair loss for drier hair which sometimes may be the only option for those who are too sensitive to minoxidil based treatments.

Female hair loss caused by medical problems may be treated with medications and supplements. Thyroid hormone medication is effective for thyroid disorders. Iron pills, iron-rich foods and supplements containing biotin, L-cysteine and silica can treat hair loss due to anemia.

PCOS-related hair loss is treatable through prescription birth control pills or spironolactone (Aldactone). Autoimmune disorders are commonly treated with prednisone and other oral medications. Female hair loss that results from skin conditions can be remedied with prescription shampoos, topical creams or medications.

Telogen effluvium can be treated naturally through stress-reduction exercises or through adjustments in medication. Anogen effluvium typically reverses on its own once chemotherapy treatments are completed.

Traction alopecia-related hair loss in women can easily be treated with an improved hair care regimen. Those with this condition should allow their hair to air-dry or use a blow dryer on a low and cool setting. Other helpful solutions include minimizing the use of flat irons, staying within one to two shades of one`s natural hair color and combing products through the hair thoroughly before it dries.

If you are experiencing female hair loss, then talk to a health professional about your concerns so that you can be tested for various causes. Once you have determined the reason for your hair loss, you can purchase treatment products from your local pharmacy, health stores or online stores.