Hair Loss In Women

Hair loss ( alopecia ) is most common in men. But that doesn’t mean that women can’t suffer from hair loss. It is estimated that around 20 to 30% of all women in the worlds suffer from hair loss. There can be a wide variety of causes for hair loss – in men and women alike. What these are, what different types of hair loss there are in women, and what remedies against hair loss in women are, we have summarized for you on our website.

 Causes of Hair Loss in Women

 The causes of hair loss are many. Reasons why hair loss affects women or men, range from hereditary hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) to hormonal influences such as pregnancy or the birth control pill to deficiency symptoms due to poor diet or stress. We have summarized the individual causes and their characteristics below to get the best possible overview of which causes are possible for you.

Hair loss after pregnancy

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Expectant mothers know it: Due to the increased estrogen production, the hair is more than ever in the growth phase and becomes fuller and shinier. But many women notice deterioration in hair growth during pregnancy. Especially after pregnancy, the number of women who are affected by hair loss increases significantly.

The cause of hair loss occurring during pregnancy is not entirely clear. Iron deficiency is suspected since the unborn child needs a lot of iron for its growth; a pregnant woman’s body needs around 60% more iron than usual. If this requirement is not met, deficiency symptoms can result. The skin becomes pale; one becomes restless and tired. Another side effect of this deficiency can be the loss of hair.

Hair loss during menopause

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Physical changes characterize menopause in women. Hot flashes, mood swings, and insomnia may occur, and you may miss your period. In this challenging phase in a woman’s life, you don’t want to suffer from hair loss. Unfortunately, hair loss occurs in up to a third of women during menopause. One then speaks of telogen effluvium. In most cases, this is hereditary hair loss (hormonal-related). The hair roots are genetically sensitive to male sex hormones. Suppose the estrogen level falls during menopause, the concentration of male hormones in the body increases. It causes the hair roots to atrophy. The hair becomes thinner and falls out faster. In particular, the parting becomes lighter, and the scalp can be seen. Due to this chronic course, the hair roots can no longer produce new hair at the end.

The effect can be counteracted by alfatradiol because the active ingredient reduces the negative impact of the hormone DHT. Minoxidil can also help to strengthen the hair roots and stimulate them to form new hair. In particularly severe cases, hormone therapy can also help very well. However, such treatment also increases the risk of women developing breast, ovarian or cervical cancer. Of course, it’s not worth it in most cases, even if the risk seems very small.

Hair loss from pill

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After stopping the birth control pill, the hormonal balance of women changes. It can harm hair long after stopping the medication and lead to hair loss. With the oral contraceptive, ovulation is artificially triggered by the hormones estrogen and progestin prevented. Especially in genetically prone women to hair loss, this can lead to hair loss while taking or after stopping it. It means that the most positive effect on the hair, which many women have after taking the pill, is gone. The result here is similar to that of pregnant women. However, the progestogens in the drug (artificial hormones) can have an androgenic effect. It can lead to hair loss in women whose hair roots are genetically sensitive to male sex hormones ( dihydrotestosterone / DHT ). One, therefore, speaks of hormonally hereditary hair loss.

Especially after stopping the pill, the lack of artificial hormones can lead to hair loss, as the body first has to get used to estrogen production again. Congenital hair loss can therefore occur during the period when the level of estrogen is low.

Thyroid as the culprit

Hair loss in women often leads doctors to initially suspect the thyroid gland to be responsible for the hair loss. This general suspicion is no coincidence because both an overactive and an underactive thyroid, and thus the thyroid hormones can become noticeable through brittle hair substances and faster hair loss.

Thyroid hormones have the task of expanding blood vessels, regulating blood pressure, activating connective tissue and lipid metabolism, and stimulating cell growth. Hair loss can often be a consequence, especially with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Sufficient hormones are no longer produced that the body needs. Triiodothyronine (T3) and tetraiodothyronine (T4) are no longer available in adequate quantities, which slows down the metabolism and, in addition to possible hair loss, also leads to other symptoms:

     * Weight gain

     * Fatigue and exhaustion

     * Blood circulation disorders

     * Decrease in responsiveness

     * Depression

As a result of this hormonal hair loss, the hair grows much faster than usual and is much thinner, breaks easily, and no longer reaches the standard length. Diffuse hair loss can also occur if the hair cycle is additionally disturbed.

Hereditary hair loss

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Hereditary hair loss is also known as genetic hair loss or androgenetic alopecia. It is the most common form of hair loss in men and women alike. In women, it manifests itself through an increasingly thinned parting.

It is estimated that up to 40% of all women who suffer from hair loss have hereditary hair loss. The reason is a genetic hypersensitivity of the hair roots to the messenger substance dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is produced by the body itself. DHT ensures that the growth phase of the hair is shortened, which means that the hair becomes thinner and thinner and increasingly falls out. This so-called DHT effect counteracts the female sex hormone estrogen. However, if the estrogen level falls due to a change in the hormonal balance, the hereditary predisposition comes to light. For example, such a hormone change can be caused by pregnancy or a break from taking the pill. The use of various medications can also reduce the protective effect of estrogen and increase the impact of DHT.

Phenomena of hair loss in women

Since hair loss affects women and men equally, most of them are probably familiar with the typical receding hairlines in men and thinner hair in women. In terms of appearance, there are three different types of hair loss in women. We have briefly summarized for you what these are and how they express themselves.

Diffuse hair loss

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Diffuse hair loss is when there is no recognizable pattern of hair loss. The hair-thin overalls and are distributed over the entire headlights. In addition, the hair often becomes thinner, and the growth phases are shortened. Diffuse hair loss can be temporary, but it can also be more episodic. In the latter case, external factors such as stress or deficiency symptoms in diets are often the causes.

Receding hairline

In women, too, receding hairlines – bald bulges to the left and right of the crown of the head – can occur. They enlarge the forehead and are typical of hereditary hair loss in men. Usually, genetic hair loss in women tends to show thinning in the area of ​​the parting, but receding hairlines also occur in women.

Hereditary hair loss

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The well-known receding hairline occurs in men with inherited hair loss. Incidentally, these are also found in women, albeit rarely. As a rule, hereditary hair loss appears in women in the form of increasingly lighter logs. In addition, the hair becomes thinner overall, does not grow as long, and thin out from the top of the head outwards.

Other influencing factors

In addition to hormonal, hereditary, and genetic factors, external or external influencing factors can also lead to hair loss affecting women or men. Since hair loss is equally undesirable for women and men, it makes sense to understand the main factors that can cause hair loss or worsen hereditary hair loss. In particular, iron deficiency, vitamin deficiency, and stress are three main factors that can trigger or worsen androgenetic alopecia or be responsible for another type of hair loss.

Iron deficiency

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Many women also notice other symptoms associated with hair loss, such as tiredness, reduced ability to concentrate, paleness, and brittle nails and hair. If these symptoms occur at the same time, iron deficiency is often the cause of hair loss. An unbalanced diet can lead to iron deficiency, especially since women need more iron than men. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, the need for iron increases again, so that hair loss often occurs. An iron deficiency can also result from higher blood loss during menstruation or inflammation.

If the body has to supply vital cells with insufficient iron, diffuse hair loss can occur. A change in diet (vegans are particularly at risk) is strongly recommended. Alternatively, iron supplements can help counteract this cause of hair loss in women.

Vitamin deficiency

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An unbalanced diet leads to a vitamin deficiency. Eating disorders can also cause vitamin deficiencies. Vitamins are vital for the body, and they are also essential for hair growth. Practically all minerals, trace elements, and vitamins are of great importance for healthy hair. The five vitamins biotin, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin D are mainly used for hair loss in women made responsible. A vitamin D deficiency can interrupt the hair cycle; a vitamin E deficiency can lead to dandruff and hair loss because the hair roots are no longer blood. A lack of vitamin A means that less sebum is produced. The hair is a less natural Way to be cared for. Vitamin B12 promotes cell growth and the formation of red blood cells, so that a deficiency can indirectly also harm women’s hair growth.

On the other hand, a biotin deficiency has a direct negative effect on skin, nails, and hair because vitamin H or B7 promotes the formation of new hair roots, as it is responsible for the construction of keratin.

stress

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It is nothing new that stress harms the health of women and men alike. Today it has been proven that acute stress reduces the concentration of the messenger substances norepinephrine, substance P, and NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) in the hair follicle, which can lead to the growth phase being interrupted or the hair substance being damaged. Stress-related hair loss cannot be combated with medication or dietary supplements. In the end, it only helps to eliminate the causes, know the triggers for the stress, and become aware of the problems. It is the only way to effectively eliminate them effectively and combat hair loss.

Other factors

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In addition to stress, vitamin deficiency, and iron deficiency, causes can also be blamed for hair loss, leading to physical problems. These include, for example, nutritional deficiencies (e.g., zinc, essential fatty acids) as well as lack of sleep, smoking, or various medications such as anti-coagulant agents or antihypertensive agents such as propranolol. If you suffer from hair loss, you should always check the general living conditions and get to the bottom of the cause.

Therapy and agents against androgenetic alopecia

Those who are affected naturally want to stop hair loss. Depending on the cause of the alopecia, different treatment methods, remedies, or interventions are possible. But first, you should check whether drug treatment is an option in your case because a hair transplant should always be the last step.

Minoxidil

Many people know the active ingredient minoxidil from Regaine for hair. Although it does not affect the formation of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), it can still counteract hair loss because it promotes hair growth. Preparations containing Minoxidil are only available from a pharmacy but do not require a prescription. It stimulates the formation of new blood vessels in the hair follicles and can thus help reactivate hair roots. It counteracts hereditary hair loss. In rare cases, however, Minoxidil can lower blood pressure and cause dizziness or headaches. It is also possible that in addition to the hair on the head, the hair on the face is stimulated to grow. However, this is by no means always the case either. Due to the rarely occurring side effects and the generally good tolerability, Minoxidil is worth a try.

Alfatradiol

The active ingredient alfatradiol is only available from pharmacies and is usually applied locally to the scalp in an alfa radio solution. It inhibits the enzyme that is responsible for converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). As a result, less DHT is formed, which prevents damage to the hair roots. At the same time, this counteracts the regression of the hair roots but cannot help create new hair roots. Hereditary hair loss, in particular, cannot be combated. Since the remedy has no hormonal effect on the body, it can be used by both women and men.

Antiandrogens

There are hormone preparations that have an antiandrogenic effect. The hormones counteract the male sex hormone testosterone – which women also have in their bodies – which can positively impact the hair in some forms of androgenetic alopecia in women, namely when the cause is an excess of male sex hormones in the women’s body. Antiandrogens block the androgen binding sites at the hair root and thus prevent the androgens from developing their adverse effects. Before antiandrogens are used, however, it is necessary to carry out a hormone level analysis. Because if the cause is not testosterone, there will be no effect. In addition, it usually takes up to 6 months for the first results to become visible, and side effects such as tiredness, fatigue, or reduced libido can occur. A detailed consultation and support of the therapy by a doctor or pharmacist is therefore very advisable.

Frequently asked questions about hair loss in women.

Which vitamin is missing in hair loss?

Androgenetic alopecia can be triggered or exacerbated by a lack of various vitamins. Practically all essential trace elements, vitamins, and minerals are required for healthy hair growth. However, a deficiency in vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin D is mainly responsible for an increased incidence of hereditary hair loss or androgenetic alopecia.

What is the cause of hair loss in women?

The causes of hair loss are very diverse in women and men alike. Reasons why hair loss affects women range from androgenetic alopecia (hereditary hair loss) to hormonal changes due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, or the birth control pill (if the estrogen level falls, the testosterone level in the blood increases. This can promote hair loss ) to vitamin or iron deficiency insufficient dietary intake. Stress and other external factors such as smoking or nicotine consumption can also cause hair loss.

What can you do about hair loss in women?

Hair loss can be combated, but it depends a lot on the causes for both women and men. Suitable preparations for hereditary hair loss are alfatradiol or Minoxidil, but even these agents do not necessarily help all women affected by hair loss. Since these are so diverse, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to counteract hair loss. Natural preparations or light remedies cannot stop hair loss in severe severity and cannot let the hair growth if the hair roots are no longer supplied with blood.