An Overview of Hair Loss in Women

Hair loss is a common and well-known problem, but it is all too often thought to be something that only men experience. While hair loss is indeed more commonly seen in men, 40 percent of people who suffer from hair loss are women. Unfortunately, it is a problem that is rarely acknowledged by society or the medical community.

Society views hair loss in men as acceptable, and it is not at all uncommon for men to accept thinning hair lines or even the loss of all of their hair. On the other hand, image and appearance are seen as far more important for women, and many women are expected to have beautiful and stylish hair. This can be seen as a very sexist attitude, but the fact remains that hair loss can deeply affect a woman’s self-esteem and emotional well-being.

Causes of Hair Loss in Women

Hair loss in women can be brought on by numerous factors and conditions and may be temporary or permanent. Anything that affects the health of the scalp can cause hair to fall out, resulting in thinning hair or even bald spots.

For some women in their early to late 50’s, hair loss is a natural part of aging and as with male pattern baldness, may be a product of heredity. In other cases, hormonal changes, major stress, prescribed medication or medical treatments may cause changes in the scalp, resulting in the loss of hair. Excessive styling or wearing hair pulled back tightly for prolonged periods of time may also be culprits.

Sometimes it can also be an indication of illness. Autoimmune disorders, skin infections, anemia and diabetes can all cause hair to thin. It’s important to have a physical exam done if significant loss of hair is noticed to rule out any serious medical conditions.


No matter the reason, female hair loss often leads to emotional stress and embarrassment. But all hope is not lost as there are a few treatments and remedies that can halt the balding process.

Temporary hair loss can be alleviated by taking steps to resolve the issues that led to hair loss, such as switching medications or beginning hormone replacement therapy. For persistent temporary hair loss, a medication known as Minoxidil (2% strength), also called Rogaine, has been approved by the FDA.  Minoxidil has been clinically proven to regrow hair and results can be noticed in 4-6 months.

If hair is moderately thin, choosing a style that adds volume may be enough to cover problem areas. For extremely thin hair or individuals with bald spots, hair pieces or wigs offer an effective way to disguise the problem.


The stigma associated with female hair loss has resulted in many women to suffer through this problem with little support. Hair loss certainly isn’t life-threatening, so little effort has been made to try to solve the problem. What many people fail to realize that one’s emotional well-being can in time have a negative effect on one’s physical health.

While there are bigger medical problems in the world than hair loss, it is still a devastating life-altering change that deserves more attention from the medical community.


Orpheus is an expert on hair loss topics and spends most of his time helping people treat their hair loss problems. He is also the owner of, a website which provides information on everything to do with thinning hair.

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