Insider Hair Advice: What Causes Hair Loss in Women?

Alyssa François | 24 April 2016

Hair loss is hard to deal with, but it’s always good to be informed.

Seeing clumps of hair on a brush or accumulated in the sink can be unnerving. Sometimes this issue can seemingly come out of nowhere and really cause you to worry. As far as you know, you’re eating fairly healthy and taking great care of your mane. Seriously, no one wants to part ways with their beautiful head of hair. Before you freak out, it’s important to better understand the causes of hair loss, especially as it relates to women.  In general, women can lose their hair when their bodies becomes deficient in certain nutrients or sometimes when they get really stressed. It can also occur during menopause, pregnancy or can be a symptom of diseases like polycystic ovary syndrome, thyroid disease, psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis. With so many factors involved in hair loss, it’s important to understand the causes to help you deal, and treat it. Read on to learn more about this issue.

Hair Loss in Women: What’s Going on?

hair loss is a common issue for women
Hair loss can be a challenging issue for women. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

1. The Hair Growth Process

During the growth process, hair goes through three phases: Anagen, catagen, and lastly telogen. Throughout the anagen phase, which lasts about an average of two to four years, hair actively grows. During this time root cells divide quickly pushing the hair out. Next, the hair grows through the catagen phase (also known as the transitional phase) the hair follicle shrinks over the course of 90 to 120 days. In the last phase, telogen, the hair follicle is completely at rest, no further growth happens at this stage. Old hair is pushed out by new growth and the hair growth cycle reoccurs. Now you may be asking: “So what is it that interferes this cycle?”

2. Hair Loss and Aging

Many people lose hundreds of strands of hair on a daily basis from brushing and combing, which is said to be normal. When women experience hormonal changes and age, their hair gets grey, thinner and sometimes falls out. During the aging process, the hair follicle changes and eventually it becomes thin and brittle.

3. Hair Loss and Genetics

Another indicator is genetics. Hair loss that our ancestors experienced can determine the amount of you can expect in the future. If this is the case, when hair loss is experienced, rather than the hair being replaced by a normal follicle once the hair has shed, the new hair is rather thinner and finer. Eventually, the hair follicles withdraw from the growth process as a whole after the follicles have shrunk, which then results in the follicle’s inability to grow new hair.

4. Hair Loss and Styling

There are some more factors that can cause hair loss, that luckily can be reversed with alternate styling. Some hair loss can be connected to that tight pony you love, daily blowout sessions, your monthly dye job, or chemical treatments. All of these can cause result in damaged hair that is more likely to break. In general, give your hair a styling break where you don’t heat style or wear your hair in a tight pony about three times a week. Also be more gentle during your hair washing with a focus on less tugging and more gentle massages. 

 

While losing your hair can be scary, we hope some of these tips help you as you to learn more about hair loss.

Looking for more ways to deal with hair loss? Be sure to check out our feature on hair loss help with wigs.

Include an "@" in email address
You have now subscribed to the All Things Hair newsletter.