Hair loss in men is a topic that has been covered countless times. But hair loss in women is also very common. According to NHS figures, around 8 million women in the UK suffer from some form of hair loss – that’s almost a quarter of the female population.
Whilst male hair loss can of course have a devastating impact on a man’s mental health, it is a problem that is recognised and to a certain extent expected. The taboo surrounding female hair loss, however, means that many women are left feeling alone, and are ashamed to reach out for help.
The causes of female hair loss can be numerous and varied, so we’ve put together a list of the most common ones:
Androgenetic alopecia (female pattern hair loss)
Just like in men, hereditary alopecia is by far the most common cause of hair loss in women. However, the problem presents itself very differently in women from men. Men tend to lose their hair in one very specific pattern: beginning at the temples, then receding back from the hairline, often with some accompanying thinning around the crown.
Female pattern hair loss, however, tends to be much more diffuse – usually most obvious around the parting. If your hair feels like it is thinning generally, rather than falling out in clumps, or leaving obvious bald patches, then the likelihood is that you are suffering from female pattern hair loss.
Another common cause of hair loss in women is traction alopecia. This is when certain hair styles or products cause the hair to be pulled out from the root. When this happens too often over too long a period, the follicles can be irreversibly damaged.
Caught early, however, traction alopecia is very treatable. Although the best treatment is simply to avoid hair styles that pull too hard on your hair. Weaves and extensions are particular culprits, but very long hair can be heavy, which pulls on the follicles.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition, which often presents as patchy hair loss. But it can also result in total baldness (alopecia totalis), and sometimes even extends to body hair (alopecia universalis).
Exact causes of alopecia areata are not fully understood, although it can be linked to other autoimmune conditions. The condition will usually resolve itself over time.
Stress related hair loss for women
Another common cause of hair loss in women is telogen effluvium. This is thought to be linked one major stressful event or prolonged stress. Telogen effluvium causes the hair follicles to enter the resting phase of the cycle all at once.
Usually, each hair on your head will be on a slightly different phase of the hair growth cycle. This is why you will notice hairs falling out without generally seeing large hairless areas on your scalp. With telogen effluvium, however, all the hairs enter the resting phase at once, causing them all to fall out.
The hair loss usually occurs weeks or months after the precipitating event, so the link is not always immediately obvious. Again, the issue will usually resolve itself over time.
There are treatments available to help with female hair loss, including hair transplant surgery. To find out which would be best for you, you first need to establish which type of hair loss you have.
If you are concerned about hair loss and want to find out more about hair transplant surgery, book a consultation with Mr Michael Mouzakis at The Private Clinic of Harley Street. Call us on 020 3325 6540.