Is hair loss normal for women? The average person loses about 50-100 strands of hair per day. But if you notice large clumps falling out when you brush or shampoo your hair, you may have a hair loss condition.
Studies show that 40% of the people who suffer from hair thinning or loss are women, while female pattern baldness affects about 30 million American women. Rather than displaying a receding hairline like men, women’s hair conditions usually cause thinning all over the head or just on the middle part or crown.
Many different factors can contribute to women’s hair loss or thinning.
- Diet. Your diet is a very important part of your hair’s growth. If you have a deficiency in any of the nutrients that contribute to hair development, such as protein, iron, zinc, or B vitamins, you may find your hair thinning. Restrictive weight-loss diets can contribute to hair loss as well, since you’re not getting all the nutrients you need to promote hair growth.
- Stress. Cases of emotional or physical stress, such as serious illness or trauma, can cause a sudden loss of up to ¾ of the hair on your head. The hair loss can last for up to 8 months.
- Childbirth. During pregnancy, many women experience a fuller head of hair than usual, which is caused by the high levels of hormones that prevent resting hair from falling out. However, after childbirth the hormones return to normal levels and many of the resting hairs fall out at the same time.
- Hormones. Imbalances in your hormones can affect your hair growth. Once cause can be the thyroid gland, which produces hormones to regulate hair growth, according to WebMD. Some conditions may disrupt the production of hormones, which can trigger hair loss. Another hormone imbalance is polycystic ovary syndrome, in which hormones trigger hair growth on the face and body while growing less on the scalp. Also, the hormones produced when you’re on the birth control pill can cause thinning hair.
- Tight hairstyles. Tight ponytails, cornrows, rollers and similar hairstyles can stress the scalp and trigger hair loss. If you find yourself losing hair because of these, a change in hairstyle should make it grow back normally.
- Medication. Cancer treatment, such as chemo and radiation therapy, can harm the hair follicles so they stop producing hair. Luckily, the hair usually grows back once the treatment ends.
- Genetics. Unfortunately, another factor in hair loss is your genetics. In combination with aging and hormone changes, they can cause various forms of hair shedding.
Usually, if you’ve experienced hair loss as a result of one of these factors, once you address the problem your hair should start growing back normally. There are also forms of treatment, such as medicine, laser devices, and transplants. If you find yourself with thinning hair, a new way of styling your hair may help cover your scalp.