Female hair loss can occur due to many causes and situations. One of the more common female hair loss conditions is called Androgenetic Alopecia (also known as Androgenic Alopecia), a genetic type of hair loss that can also be caused by the environment. Similar to the genetic male-pattern baldness, females will experience a different hair loss pattern than that of males since women experience more of an overall thinning throughout the hair. This condition is called Diffuse Alopecia.
Due to the hormonal changes during and after childbirth, some women may experience a temporary post-natal hair loss. This issue usually will resolve itself once the hormones stabilize and return to their normal state. Other hormonal changes such as thyroid conditions may contribute to female hair loss or thinning. Menopausal changes can also cause the hair to thin.
Chemical treatments such as perming, straightening, blow-drying and applying hair color can be a contributing factor to female hair loss since these treatments can sometimes cause the hair to weaken and break. Even certain hair styles may cause damage. For example, if you put your hair in a ponytail or rows or use tight hair rollers, the pull on your hair can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. If the pulling is stopped before scarring of the scalp develops, your hair should grow back normally. However, scarring can cause permanent hair loss. Hot oil hair treatments may cause inflammation of the hair follicle, which can also result in scarring and hair loss.
Crash dieting (especially low protein diets) can cause hair thinning. Protein is necessary for healthy hair and when it is eliminated or reduced, it may have a negative impact on the growth and health of the hair.
Usually referred to as “common baldness” or male-pattern baldness, Androgenetic/Androgenic Alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss in men. Men usually inherit the trait, with early age balding a good indicator of more extensive hair loss later on. In male-pattern baldness, hair loss typically results in a receding hair line and baldness on the top of the head. Men are prone to hair loss earlier than women. By the time men prone to this condition reach their 30’s, their hairline is beginning to recede.
Androgenic/Androgenetic Alopecia happens when male sex hormones or androgen increases its sensitivity to the certain areas of the scalp. The specific type of male hormone known as DHT (Dihydrotesterone) gradually shrinks the sensitive hair follicles, causing the affected follicles to stop producing healthy strands of hair. Although the follicles are still alive, they no longer perform properly, leading to a typical pattern of male hair loss that starts with a receding hairline and reaches into a more apparent hair loss in the entire area of the scalp. Androgenic/Androgenetic Alopecia is generally hereditary.
Stress and trauma may also lead to a temporary hair loss. In stressful situations, men release certain chemicals and stress hormones that limit their body’s ability to function properly (this includes the normal growth activity of hair).
The earliest visible signs of stress-related hair loss are hair dullness and waxy strands or an oily scalp engendered by the overproduction of the sebaceous glands. Accidents or injuries on the head that involve scarring may also cause permanent damage to the follicles, resulting in an inability to grow even a single hair strand. Illnesses like cancer, hormonal imbalance and thyroid problems may also induce hair loss.
Today, some men are wearing their hair longer, often in tightly pulled braids or ponytails. As with women, such hairstyles can lead to hair loss. When tension caused by a tightly pulled hairstyle occurs between the scalp and the hair follicles, it may cause the type of stress that destroys the follicle, which significantly decreases hair growth.
Medications with active ingredients such as isotretinoin, diet pills with amphetamine, and chemotherapy drugs may cause mild to severe temporary hair loss depending on the dosage. Other medicines that can cause hair loss include blood thinners (also called anticoagulants), medicines used for gout, high blood pressure or heart problems, excessive doses of Vitamin A and antidepressants. Moreover, trauma or disease can cause excessive hair loss. For example, several months after an illness or a major surgery, you may suddenly lose a large amount of hair. This hair loss is related to the stress of the illness and usually is temporary. Certain infections can also cause hair loss. (For example, fungal infections of the scalp can cause hair loss in children.) This type of infection is effectively treated with antifungal medicines.
Alopecia is a general medical term referring to hair loss. There are many different causes and types of alopecia. In some cases, it is possible to determine the cause of the hair loss; however, in certain autoimmune illnesses, the cause or trigger of alopecia is yet unknown.
Alopecia Areata is a type of hair loss caused by an autoimmune response, characterized by patchy areas throughout the hair.
Alopecia Totalis is also caused by an autoimmune response, but the hair loss is much more extensive than that of Alopecia Areata since, in this case, most or all of the hair on the head is lost.
Alopecia Universalis is also caused by an autoimmune response and is characterized by hair loss on the entire body as well as the scalp.
Androgenetic/Androgenic Alopecia is a genetic type of hair loss that may also be influenced by some environmental conditions.
Alopecia can symptomize a number of medical conditions, including lupus, diabetes, or thyroid conditions among others. It may also be a side effect of medications that are used to treat medical conditions (a prime example would be chemotherapy treatments). This type of alopecia is temporary since hair regrowth generally occurs once the treatments have been completed.