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What Causes Thinning Hair in Women?

Article Details
  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Several factors contribute to thinning hair in women, some of which include age, hormonal changes, and even diet. Genetics may also play a role in contributing to thinning hair in women. Female hair loss may also be due to a thyroid imbalance. Excessive hair dying and use of harsh chemicals may also cause thinning hair in women.

Pattern baldness in women, which is also known as alopecia, may typically occur during a women's menopausal years. This may be due to a decreased level of hormones during later years in a woman's life. Many women who experience thinning hair in middle age may find ways to manage the issue, such as taking supplements to stimulate hair regrowth.

Thinning hair in women is not uncommon during pregnancy. This is due to fluctuations in hormones and other factors. Female hair loss after pregnancy may also occur in some women. Most often this is a temporary condition, and many women will begin to regrow hair normally after a short period of time.

Certain illnesses or diseases may cause thinning hair in women. Cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy typically experience rapid hair loss. Chronic illnesses and recurrent infections and fevers may also cause thinning of the hair. Dandruff is another condition, which, in a severe form, may cause thinning hair in women.

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Women who are under extreme stress may also notice hair falling out as a result. Anxiety, depression, and lack of adequate sleep may contribute to thinning hair as well. Generally, the condition will reverse itself when stress is controlled and properly managed.

Dietary changes and nutritional deficiencies may lead to thinning hair or hair that becomes damaged easily. Women who are anemic, or suffer from an iron deficiency may notice their hair becoming thin. Insufficient protein in the diet may also lead to loss of hair.

Some women will notice thinning hair while taking certain prescription medications. If the side effects of hair loss become extreme, the physician may consider changing the medication to see if that resolves the problem. Diabetes medication or certain anti-seizure medications may cause hair loss or thinning hair in some patients.

Women who suffer from thinning hair due to hereditary conditions typically cannot reverse this condition through nutritional supplements. More aggressive treatments may be necessary to stimulate hair growth in women who have a genetic predisposition to hair loss. Some treatments may be in the form of topical applications, while other options may be taking oral medications.

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