Hair Loss Advice

5 reasons for hair loss in women

By Alex

Although men are more likely to lose their hair than women, this is mostly due to male pattern baldness, both thinning hair and hair loss are common in women. In most cases there will be a way to treat hair loss.

At The Harley Street Hair Clinic, we’re experts in hair loss and we understand that there are different causes for hair loss in both men and women. Today we’re going to look into 5 reasons for hair loss in women.

#1 Menopause

Though many of us might not like it, a lot of changes take over our bodies when we undergo the menopause. During the menopause, estrogen levels fall in the body and, as estrogen is an important hormone for promoting hair growth, the lack of it can cause hair loss.

To combat menopausal hair loss, you doctor may ask you to start a course of Hormone Replacement Therapy – or HRT. This can alter your levels of estrogen back to more normal levels and can help combat your hair loss.

#2 Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the biggest types of physical stress that women will endure in their lifetime. The change in hormones during the pregnancy can actually help to thicken your hair, but many women will experience hair loss post-pregnancy.

If you experience hair loss post-pregnancy, do not worry. Your hair will start to grow back in a couple of months.

#3 PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – or PCOS – affects as many as one in five women in the UK, according to the NHS. It can begin as early as age 11 and is caused by a hormonal imbalance, which causes the ovaries to produce too many male hormones and can often cause infertility.

As part of the symptoms of PCOS, you may develop facial hair, irregular periods, acne and cysts on the ovaries. While hair can develop on other parts of the body, you may also notice hair loss from the scalp.

PCOS is commonly treated with birth control pills to block the testosterone, although if birth control pills are not an option, you can also use other male-hormone blockers. These treatments can see the effects of hair loss reversed.

#4 Excessive styling

This might sound like something you heard from your mother when you were younger, but little did you know how right she was.

Too much shampooing, styling and dyeing can seriously damage your hair. The chemicals in hair dye, as well as the heat of many styling tools – straighteners or curling irons – can weaken the hair and cause it to break and fall out. Often, the combinations of the two can exacerbate the damage even further.

It is easy to tell if excessive styling is the result of your hair loss. Instead of the usual patches of hair loss that happen with other types of hair loss, you will instead see the hair breaking in places. You won’t see those club-shaped telogen bulbs at the end.

To combat this, avoid using anything that will cause damage to your hair. Use the cool setting on your hair dryer and minimise your use of straighteners.

When it comes to colouring your hair, don’t go more than two shades either way of your normal colour. The more extreme the colour change, the more chemicals you will require and the more likely it is that the hair will break.

#5 Anaemia

Many women suffer with anaemia as a result of heavy menstruation or inadequate folic acid. This can cause a low level of haemoglobin – the molecule responsible for carrying oxygen around in our bloodstreams.

Without a strong level of oxygen in the blood, there will be less travelling to the hair follicles – resulting in the hair becoming very weak and breaking easily.

To combat anaemia, it is advisable that women either eat foods that are high in iron – such as red meats, beans and spinach – or get iron tablets.

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