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Types of Female Hair Loss

Hair Loss Types in Women

Types of Female Hair Loss

Hair loss manifests differently in women than in men. As opposed to a receding hairline or bald spot at the crown, most women see a widening of their part or overall thinning. Roughly 95 percent of thinning in women is due to female pattern hair loss, but there are other, albeit rare, causes as well.


Female pattern hair loss
Elevated DHT levels on a person with genetic hair loss leads to the production of thin, short, colorless hair before the follicles eventually permanently stop producing hair, atrophy and die. The female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, normally shield the follicles from the effects of DHT, but menopause can cause a decline in the levels of these hormones and lead to higher DHT levels and hair loss.


Alopecia areata
Alopecia areata presents as patchy hair loss on the scalp or anywhere else on the body. As the hair falls out, smooth, round patches the size of a coin or larger become visible. This type of hair loss occurs in children and adults, and is caused by the immune system attacking the hair follicles. Alopecia areata can start and stop suddenly.


Telogen effluvium
Caused by anemia, low iron, inadequate protein, thyroid disease, surgery or illness, telogen effluvium presents as massive hair shedding over the entire scalp. Among the first symptoms of telogen effluvium is losing large amounts of hair in one’s hairbrush, in the shower or on one’s pillow. Once the root cause is treated, this type of hair loss generally reverses in six to 12 months without the need for further treatment.


Traction alopecia
This type of hair loss is the result of excessive strain on the hair follicles. Most commonly caused by braiding or long-term use of extensions, ongoing pulling permanently damages the follicles and prevents hair from regrowing.