The problem of hair thinning in women can be one with several consequences. This is because a lot of female self-esteem and sense of physical attractiveness tends to be tied up with hair, and when women begin to lose this crowning glory it can be positively traumatic.

Women experience hair loss differently than men. Unlike men, who tend to lose hair in a specific and predictable pattern (often referred to as male pattern baldness), women tend to lose hair all over the scalp rather than in any particular pattern. So it is hair thinning in women that is usually the problem often referred to as telogen effluvium.

Hair-Thinning-in-WomenTelogen effluvium occurs when the hair enters the telogen (resting) phase earlier than normal. The normal hair cycle becomes disturbed and there could be many reasons for it. The problem often gets exacerbated because it isn’t actual hair fall that increases; it just grows slower.

In fact women very rarely tend to go bald in the way that men do; they will typically have thinning all over the scalp, which may become evident only when the scalp shows through. This is why women tend not to notice the thinning of the hair until the problem is fairly advanced.

Possible reasons for hair thinning in women

Hormonal reasons are quite often at the root of the problem. Hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy and after childbirth as well as the process of menopause are likely to cause very significant changes in hair.

Pregnancy related hair loss will typically resolve itself, however the kind of hair loss associated with menopause may also bring along other changes such as coarsening and thickening of body hair and other menopause symptoms that may need treatment.

Certain medications or drug abuse could also result in hair thinning in women.

Other hormonal changes such as thyroid imbalances (particularly hypothyroidism) could also cause the hair to thin out and this is a condition that usually needs hormone replacement treatment.

Certain chronic illnesses, anemia and fever could also cause changes in hair growth and even hair loss.

Emotional disturbances, severe or prolonged stress could also cause these problems.

Nutritional deficiencies that are caused by unhealthy diets, crash diets or severe caloric restriction such as in the case of eating disorders could also cause hair to fall out in patches or that characteristic thinning of hair in women.

What to do about hair thinning in women

A proper evaluation of the sort of hair loss a woman has will be required. Hair testing procedures such as a trichogram, trichoscopy or even a biopsy may be required to make a definitive diagnosis. After a proper diagnosis bas been made as to the cause of the problem, suitable treatment can be started.

Many types of hair loss may be self-limiting, especially those caused by pregnancy, childbirth, surgery and so on.

Nutritional supplements can be prescribed if any deficiency is behind the hair loss. Hormone therapy for thyroid imbalances or severe menopause symptoms can often reverse the problem of hair thinning in women without having to take specific hair loss medications.