The Mane Issue: Common Causes of Female Hair Loss

Losing hair can be scary, especially when it happens suddenly and unexpectedly. While we typically hear more about hair loss in men, it happens almost as often in women. It’s important not to panic when a few extra strands fall out in the shower, as there are numerous causes for female hair loss.

Natural Causes

A woman looking up at her hair

Most of the time, thinning hair is hereditary. It’s common for women to gradually see a widening to their part in their 50s and 60s, although this could even happen in the teen years. Hormonal changes can also be a natural cause of thinning hair, especially as a result of the natural hormonal changes that occur from menopause. However, if it is determined that your hair loss is caused by hormonal changes, it is important to see a medical provider that could treat this imbalance. The most common hormonal imbalances that we see are an imbalance of Thyroid Stimulation Hormone (TSH) or an excess of testosterone. The good news is that there are medications that can help stabilize these hormones.

Physical and Medical Issues

A thinning mane isn’t always caused by genes and hormones; sometimes there is a medical condition to blame. According to the Mayo Clinic, it could be indicative of a thyroid condition, auto-immune issue, pregnancy, or anemia. Skin conditions such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis may also cause hair to fall out. In fact, anything that changes the hair’s growth cycle could be the culprit—that means medication, severe illness or infection, and even chemical exposure could play a role.

Sometimes people may experience hair loss as the side effect of a treatment. For example, chemotherapy can cause hair to fall out on the head and body, and sometimes other medications can have the same effect. Physical trauma, such as a severe illness or surgery, could also cause hair to fall out. Stress and emotional shock or trauma could also be to blame.

Self-Induced Hair Loss

Believe it or not, sometimes women cause their own hair to fall out! Certain hairstyles, like cornrows or tight braids, traumatize the hair, and it falls out as a result. Heated hair tools, like blow dryers and flat irons, as well as other treatments like harmful dyes and chemicals, have similar damaging effects. Even aggressive towel drying can damage the hair! Harmful hair products can be replaced with the Tricomin® hair care product line.

If you have noticed sudden or dramatic hair loss, schedule a checkup with your primary care physician to be sure that there’s no underlying medical issue. Then, call DiStefano Hair Restoration Center at (401) 736-8989 to schedule an appointment to explore your treatment options.