Hair loss in women

Do you suddenly notice copious amounts of hair in the shower or in the brush after combing?

There is often a sense of dread. It is important to remain calm, as losing a certain amount of hair is completely natural, due to the body's natural growth cycle.

Perhaps you have noticed a thinning of the hair over a longer period of time? You can read here about the most common causes of hair loss in women and according to which criteria they can be classified.*

Erblich bedingter Haarausfall Verlauf Frau / Hereditary hair loss progression woman

Congenital hair loss in women

The female pattern is more moderate: the hair typically thins out in the area of the crown. There is usually no balding, but the hair is clearly thinned out.

Mild hair loss, and sometimes also the formation of receding hairline. Investigate within the family to see if there have also been signs of hair loss.

Hormonal changes are often the trigger in women. A drop in estrogen levels, for a variety of reasons, results in an increased concentration of testosterone, which, if the hair follicles are genetically hypersensitive to androgens, may lead to hair loss.

Diffuse hair loss in women

Hair loss is spread over the entire head, no precise pattern can be identified. Find out if you are taking certain medications that have a side effect of hair loss. Have you been under a lot of stress or perhaps a crash diet. Was there a febrile infection or major surgery in the last 3 months. All of these can only be clues, however. If hair loss persists for longer, seeking medical attention might be recommended.

The most common ones are mentioned below:

  • Thyroid: both hyper- and hypothyroidism can cause hair loss.

  • Medication: certain medications such as beta blockers, lipid-lowering drugs, anticoagulants, and vitamin A compounds may cause hair loss as a side effect.

  • Special mention is given to hair loss because of cytostatic drugs. The cytostatic agents administered during chemotherapy cause a (mostly reversible) loss of hair on the head, depending on the active substances used, the dosage and the duration of application.

  • Stress and pressure situations: Stress of various forms and causes can lead to diffuse hair loss. It describes the premature transition of hair from the growth phase (anagen phase) to the shedding phase (telogen phase). In the case of persistent severe hair loss, the hair on the head thins out and becomes lifeless as the loss progresses.

  • Malnutrition & Extreme Diet: An unbalanced diet with iron, zinc, iodine, protein, vitamin A, B, D or H (biotin) deficiencies, and lack of unsaturated fatty acids and amino acids may lead to hair loss.

  • Infections: After acute febrile infections, such as contracting a pathogen (e.g., covid, flu), there can be a temporary increase in hair loss.

Hair loss in menopause

During menopause, there is a change in a woman's hormone balance. The estrogen level decreases, the growth phase of the hair shortens and thus hair loss can intensify.

Menopausal hair loss is also a form of diffuse hair loss.

Circular hair loss (Alopecia Areata) in women

The hair growth disorder manifests itself in the formation of small, bald patches that can spread over the entire head.

Other forms can lead to the complete loss of body hair (alopecia totalis).

The precise causes have not been conclusively identified. However, it is generally thought that the immune system reacts to its own hair roots.

Mechanical hair loss

When too much tension is placed on the hair, women may experience hair loss. Mostly this is caused by tight braids or brushing too vigorously. Using hair elastics, curlers and similar tools can also cause too much pull on the hair.

Hair loss due to scarring

The hairline is noticeably receding, in some cases also in the ear and neck ridge. If you notice this, you should consult a dermatologist. The chances of treatment are highest if you are diagnosed early. The hair roots in the affected areas are usually so permanently damaged that they can no longer be reactivated.

Frau beim Dermatologen / Woman at dermatologist

Finding the cause is often challenging

Pinpointing the exact cause of hair loss is often impossible. We have advised those affected for more than 35 years. In many cases, one can assume that there is an innate oversensitivity of the hair follicles (known colloquially as hair roots) to certain triggers.

Such triggers can be of various origins and causes. In most cases, though, they are hormonal fluctuations, stress, and other straining situations of a physical nature. Often, several causes come together. Hybrid causes become increasingly common.

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