Understanding Female Hair Loss

Posted April 12, 2021 by in Health + Fitness

Whilst hair loss can be a difficult thing to come to terms with regardless of your gender, female hair loss can often be more subtle due to the nature of how women lose hair. Whilst men tend to quite suddenly lose hair on their crown or the front of their hair line, women tend to experience thinning of hair all over the head at a slower rate. The relationship we have with our hair is a personal one, often inextricably linked to how our perception of self-identity, and therefore hair loss for anyone can feel traumatic. 

In this article written by Pharmica, an online pharmacy, we explore what causes the various types of hair loss in women, and what you can do to slow or even reverse the rate of your hair loss.

Types of Hair Loss in Women

Female-Pattern Hair Loss

Also known as anddrogenetic alopecia, this hereditary condition is the most common explanation for hair loss in women. It is passed down genetically, and contrary to popular belief, it can be inherited from both sides of the family, so it’s definitely worth examining any history in the family of hair loss. The condition usually becomes triggered by age and hormonal changes. The follicles of the hair reduce in size over time, meaning the growing hair is thinner than normal, also interrupting the cycle of hair growth.

Thankfully, there are a range of treatments that have been shown to be effective at stopping hair loss and even reversing hair thinning. Treatments containing the active ingredient Minoxidil, such as Regaine for Women Extra Strength Foam, reactivates the shrunken hair follicles and stimulates thicker and stronger hair growth. And far from being a myth, this treatment is one of only a handful to be approved by the UK’s medicines and healthcare products rgulatory agency, the MRHA, so can be used with confidence.

A word of caution: whilst the medication Finasteride is effective at combatting male-pattern hair loss, it is NOT suitable or effective in women, as it intereacts with the male hormone testosterone.

Stress-Related Hair Loss

A traumatic event or period of intense stress can prompt a condition called Telogen Effluvium, whereby the hair follicles stay in the resting phase, and then shed simultaneously a few month after the initial stress. This can be traumatic, as a large quantity of hair may be lost from all over the scalp.

Although there is no medication that will combat this, you should not need to worry about the effect that a single traumatic event will have on long-term hair loss, as your hair will fully grow back within 3 months to a year (unless the intense stressor is sustained and longer term).

Thyroid Gland Issues

As the thyroid gland regulates hormone levels, problems with this body part may cause hair loss, although if the hormones stabilise, changes shouldn’t be long term.

Alopecia Areata

This autoimmune disorder creates smooth, roughly circular patches in the scalp, and is not a hereditary condition. The exact causes of the condition remain unknown, although it is not thought to be related to stress, and tends to affect people before the age of 30.

*Photos by KoolShooters