Hair loss in women

Hair loss in women is on the increase, so what are your options?

Hair loss in women

It isn’t widely talked about, but hair loss in women is more common than we may think, with anecdotal evidence suggesting that hair loss in Australian women is on the increase.

There are two types of hair loss: long-term and short-term.

Long-term hair loss is caused by:

  • mineral deficiencies, especially iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium or chromium
  • medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders
  • high amounts of copper or Vitamin A in the body
  • poor protein intake
  • anaemia
  • genetics.

For some women, hair loss is a genetic problem. Hair thinning usually begins around the time of menopause or after a hysterectomy. At this time, a reduction in female sex hormones makes male sex hormones (androgens) more prominent, bringing about hair loss.  Sometimes, genetic hair loss can be triggered by oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). 

Short-term hair loss is usually temporary and can be a result of:

  • stress on the body, such an operation, a fever, physical or a psychological trauma
  • skin conditions, such as psoriasis, dermatitis.

What are your options in preventing hair loss? 

The Australasian College of Dermatologists says the treatment for hair loss depends on the cause. Identifying and treating reversible conditions such as anaemia or mineral definciencies can often mean a complete recovery. 

In some cases, HRT and other measures to prevent hormonal effects on hair follicles can be useful. If you have alopecia (a condition in which hair loss occurs in patches), aereata, an autoimmune disease, cortisone injections or topical creams may be prescribed. Antifungal treatments and antibiotics are also employed for hair loss as a result of certain infections such as tinea capitis or eczema. 

Minoxidil 5 per cent (for example, Regaine) is the only topical product available to combat hair loss and is available over the counter. 

Other treatments include hair transplant surgery or laser therapy for severe and irreversible hair loss. 

Women who are worried about hair loss will be comforted to know that the damage can often be undone. Tony Pearce, a trichologist and registered nurse who specialises in female hair loss, says hair loss is usually reversible and can be complete within three months.

Pearce suggests the first thing to do when a woman experiences hair loss is to find a registered trichologist, who will identify the cause and treat it quickly and appropriately.   

Find out more about hair loss in women at WebMD.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    5th Feb 2015
    Do not Shave Your Barbie Doll for Charity !! The Hair will Not grow back !! :-(
    6th Feb 2015
    aw thanks for that information i'll try to remember that!!!!! part!?
    6th Feb 2015
    after a mastectomy my usually thin hair got even worse so I started on wigs & I am so used to
    this that I fix my hair in 5 seconds when I go the moment I buy really cheap wigs on
    ebay....synthetic wigs look very normal & are very light & easy to care for....talofa
    Amy Green
    20th Aug 2015
    It's true that men are more likely to lose their hair than women, mostly due to male pattern baldness (more on that later).

    But thinning hair and hair loss are also common in women, and no less demoralizing. Reasons can range from the simple and temporary—a vitamin deficiency—to the more complex, like an underlying health condition.

    In many cases, there are ways to treat both male and female hair loss. It all depends on the cause. Here are some common and not-so-common reasons why you might be seeing less hair on your head.
    Source: writing of custom papers

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