While this is surprising to many people, pattern baldness doesn’t only occur in men — we see cases of female hair loss, the causes of which are, most commonly, hormone related.
For many women, having a full head of healthy hair is associated with youth and beauty — two qualities that, as a woman, you would probably like to keep for as long as possible.
Women’s hair loss due to hormones can be damaging to your self-image and how you perceive your quality of life.
While it receives much less attention than the male version, female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is a real problem for some women.
Rather than try to manage that problem at the surface level, it’s much more important to look at the root causes.
In fact, it is often the case that female hair loss is due to a hormonal imbalance.
Female Hair Loss Causes — Hormonal Changes Due to Age
All women go through monthly hormone fluctuation during their normal menstrual cycle, and then they experience more drastic fluctuations as perimenopause sets in (usually during their 30s or 40s).
As women continue to age, they enter full menopause. The ovaries cease ovulation, and estrogen production drastically slows.
There are plenty of opportunities during all this change for hormones to become unbalanced — hair loss can be one of the symptoms.
The good news is, there are hormone replacement therapies, like estrogen replacement, that we often recommend to return your hormones to more regular levels and help keep you looking and feeling like yourself.
Female Hair Loss Causes — Low Testosterone Is a Strong Possibility
Female hair loss causes may include an excess or lack of some hormones you might not expect — like testosterone.
Yes, women suffer from low testosterone, too.
While the exact link between testosterone and hair growth is unknown, there is no doubt that testosterone plays a role in stimulating hair growth.
Thinning or patchy hair loss at the hairline, the temples, or on the crown of the head may be an indication of low testosterone in women.
Keep an eye out for thinning of hair in other areas of the body as well — needing to shave your legs or armpits less frequently, for example. Those are also possible indicators of low testosterone in women.
Female Hair Loss Causes — It Could Be a Medical Condition
There are some fairly common medical conditions that could present as female hair loss — causes could include the following:
- PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) — a hormonal disorder common in women of reproductive age that is characterized by high levels of free testosterone, causing irregular menstrual periods. The ovaries may develop small cysts and become unable to regularly release eggs.
- Diabetes — Testosterone imbalance can increase the risk for diabetes due to an increase in fatty tissue.
- Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) — the adrenal glands disrupt hormone production and regulation in your body, resulting in unusually high levels of testosterone.
Again, women’s hair loss is due to hormones most of the time. It’s important to talk with a medical provider and look into the root causes to prevent more serious health concerns from developing.
Once you determine that underlying cause and begin receiving treatment, you could begin to feel much more like yourself and see your overall quality of life increase drastically — it could really benefit your health beyond maintaining or improving your looks!
Female Hair Loss — Causes Can Include Thyroid Disorders
Let’s not forget the possible role of thyroid disorders.
According to the British Thyroid Foundation, severe and prolonged thyroid conditions (both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism) can lead to an overall thinning of the hair over the entire scalp, rather than in patches or localized to a specific area.
It would be highly unusual for a mild, subclinical thyroid imbalance to cause this type of diffuse hair loss.
Luckily, hair loss due to thyroid conditions often reverses itself over time if healthy hormone levels are both restored and maintained.
What Hormone Causes Women’s Hair Loss?
Is it testosterone, or is it estrogen? Or, is it some other hormone altogether?
When we talk about hormonal imbalances, there’s almost never a simple answer.
What you need to know is that, if you’re experiencing (female) hair loss, the causes are very possibly related to a hormonal imbalance of some sort.
It’s important to visit a medical provider to discuss the possible causes for any imbalance, get your hormone levels checked, and find out what treatment options are best for your individual situation.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Get the Facts About Low Testosterone in Women
All that said, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of low testosterone in women. It’s not something many women think of when they see physical changes or are not feeling well.
Low testosterone in women, while quite possibly a factor in female hair loss, causes a lot of other symptoms you would probably prefer to live without — click the button below to find out more.