Female pattern baldness is less common than male pattern baldness. However, the chances of women growing bald are still pretty high. The reasons behind baldness and hair loss are numerous and so are the treatments. Hence, it is essential to understand what causes female pattern baldness as that can help us identify ways to prevent baldness. Read below to find the most common causes of female pattern baldness.
Unfortunately, the most common cause of female pattern baldness is family history. This usually occurs as you grow older and in a very predictable and gradual manner— thinning of hair in women. What makes this worse is that female pattern baldness is polygenic— more than one gene contributes to it. These genes can be inherited from either parent or both. The risk of androgenetic alopecia increases if your father, mother, or other close relatives also suffer from this.
Androgenic alopecia is a result of androgens— male hormones that cause hair loss in men as well. In women, these hormones are present in small amounts. These hormones can be hereditary.
Just like dihydrotestosterone results in male pattern baldness, in women baldness it is responsible for the miniaturization of hair follicles. Once again, heredity plays a major role in dihydrotestosterone.
Even though female pattern baldness can be genetic, the hair loss that women face can also be because of reactive factors. This means that it can be triggered by other factors. This condition is called telogen effluvium. In this case, even a predisposition that was dormant can be triggered.
This kind of hair loss is not gradual, and you might lose hair all of a sudden. These can be a result of the following:
One of the main reasons under reactive factors is, once again, hormonal imbalance— androgens. While genes can predispose you to this, other instances can also trigger it. An imbalance of androgens can be a result of a change in a woman’s body. Most of this happens in women during pregnancy, with ovarian cysts, who take high androgen index birth control pills, and those passing through menopause.
This is no myth. Stress can really enhance hair loss. The worst part about stress is that it doesn’t just increase androgens in your body, but it also distorts your eating pattern and triggers scalp problems like dandruff. All of these have a negative impact on your hair.
Iron deficiency is another trigger for hair loss in women. Iron is responsible for generating hair cell proteins. Therefore, the lack of it can cause hair loss.
Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
In the former condition, the thyroid does not produce enough hormones. In the latter condition, the thyroid produces excess hormones. Because hormone production is disrupted, the result is thinning of hair or dry brittle hair on scalp and body.
Hypothyroidism can also lead to anemia if it is untreated and, as mentioned above, that can also cause hair loss.
Hairstyles and treatments
Hair loss in women is also a result of certain hairstyles and treatments. Using heating equipment—curling iron and straighteners—can damage your hair, especially in the long-run. Inflammation of hair follicles can be a result of hot oil treatments and permanents, causing hair loss. Dying and bleaching of hair can further ruin hair strands. Over time, hair loss can become permanent.
Certain hairstyles that pull on hair follicles can lead to traction alopecia—these include cornrows, braiding, tight ponytails, and extensions.
As women grow older and approach menopause, hair loss becomes more of a problem. Losing hair as you grow older is a totally natural part of the aging process.
However, to delay the process of female pattern baldness and hair loss, Click Pharmacy recommends engaging in some preventative measures. These include:
- Minoxidil (Regaine for women): stimulates hair growth that can cause hair to re-grow and prevent further hair loss.
- Hormonal treatment (oral medication): that can block androgens. These include Finasteride and Spironolactone.
- Changing Diet: add biotin-rich food, iron, and proteins in your diet.
- Other preventative methods include: avoid daily shampooing, tight hairstyles, and treatment that expose hair to heat.
The cause of hair loss and female pattern baldness will determine the treatment you opt for. Notice your hair loss pattern and your family history, and then opt for treatment. However, the treatment options mentioned above are always a good option. It’s never too early. The sooner you start, the lower chances of you suffering from hair loss.