Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What Causes Hair Loss in Women

There are a number of reasons why a woman may experience hair loss. Causes of hair loss in women include hormonal changes,fungal infections, medical treatments, stress, overprocessing, poor nutrition and medical conditions.

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes in a woman's body can lead to hair loss. After pregnancy, women can experience some hair loss. This is because that during pregnancy there are high levels of hormones in a woman's body that causes retention of hair that would fall out normally. About three to four months after giving birth, women start to lose hair as pre pregnancy hormone levels return and the hair loss and growth cycle resumes. Hormonal changes experienced during menopause and with gland conditions, can also result in hair loss. Similarly, birth control pills cause hormonal changes that can lead to hair loss in women who start taking it or discontinuing its use.

Fungal infections

Fungal infections can also cause hair loss in women. In particular, fungal infections that affect the scalp can result in hair loss. For example, tinea capitis, also known as ringworm of the scalp, is a fungal infection that affects the scalp and can lead to hair loss.

Medical treatments

Various medical treatments can contribute to hair loss in women. As already mentioned, birth control pills can have the side effect of hair loss in women. In particular, hair loss often occurs in women who undergo chemotherapy. Chemotherapy targets cancer cells in the body, but since they act on rapidly dividing cells in the body, hair follicle cells are also affected, leading to hair loss. Other medications that have hair loss as a side effect include:

- medications for gout
- blood thinners
- seizure drugs
- thyroid drugs
- antidepressants
- anti inflammatory drugs
- Vitamin A toxicity can also cause hair loss in women


Another factor that can cause hair loss in women is stress. Physical or emotional stress can cause hairs to stop growing, and these hairs may fall out over a few months. Stress leading to hair loss can be caused by a number of things, such as pregnancy, death of a loved one or a chronic illness. Hair usually grows back once the stress has been resolved.


Overprocessing hair can also cause women to lose hair. Chemical processing of hair can make the hair become damaged and break off. Treatments that use chemical processing that may have this consequence include:
- hair dyes
- bleach
- hair permanents

Also, certain hair styling techniques, such as tight braiding and tight ponytails, can cause pressure on hair that can lead to hair loss.

Poor nutrition

Poor nutrition may also be associated with hair loss in women. Getting an adequate amount of nutrients in the diet is important for different body functions, including hair growth. When the body lacks the right amount of protein or iron, hair loss can occur. In addition, crash diets and eating disorders like anorexia can contribute to hair loss due to poor nutrition.

Medical conditions

There are some medical conditions that may give rise to hair loss. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that can result in hair loss in the scalp or entire body, due to the destruction of healthy hair follicle cells. Another autoimmune condition that can cause hair loss is lupus. A psychiatric condition called trichotillomania causes individuals to pull out their hair.

As can be seen, there are many factors that can lead to hair loss in women. In most cases, hair loss as a result of these factors can be treated and reversed successfully.
Michelle Parker is an experienced writer in the area of healthcare and beauty. She has written for many online publications and magazines about effective hair loss treatments.