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Hair Loss in Women - Thinning Hair Causes and Solutions

Updated on May 1, 2013

Hair Loss in Women: Causes and Solutions

Slow down (and hide) hairloss now! While 50 percent of women will experience it in their lifetimes, hair loss in women is rarely discussed at family dinners, on lunch breaks during work, or on the phone with a friend. Over 30 million females suffer from it, but thinning hair in women isn't considered a rite of passage as it is with men; it's a debilitating condition that affects self esteem. A woman's hair is often both a source of pride and of femininity, so when female pattern baldness occurs, self-image if often challenged. Understanding thinning hair in women is necessary to prevent further hair loss, as well as to remedy the situation.

Do You Have Female Pattern Hairloss?

Over 50% of Women Will

Most people lose anywhere from 50-100 strands of hair per day; this estimate will increase on days the hair is washed or the scalp is stimulated. True thinning of the hair is evident when women lose more than this, and more often. If you notice your hair clumping on your pillow after you get up in the morning, or your comb catching more hair that usual, you may have cause for concern.

While men typically have a receding hairline or a bald spot on the back of their head, women with female pattern baldness tend to lose hair on the crown of their head. Check out Corner of Hope & Mane, which is a blog by a young woman experiencing women's hair loss.

The model in the image above demonstrates this: typically, thinning hair in women begins in the part area then expands slowly throughout the top of the head. If you've noticed that your part seems to be getting wider and wider, then you may have the condition.

What Causes Thinning Hair?

Female Pattern Baldness Explained

It's difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the condition, however, experts state it's most likely related to hormones. When the body produces too many androgens (male hormones), the result can be thinning hair in women. This condition is often genetic and is chronic.

A small percentage of pregnant women will also experience female pattern baldness, usually in the first and second trimesters. This is due to fluctuating hormones and should subside by week 28. A vast majority of women will experience shedding starting at about three months post-delivery, however that is not a symptom of true female pattern baldness and is considered normal and temporary.

Thinning hair can be inflicted by self-imposed trauma to the hair follicles, usually by tight braiding techniques. This is found most often in African-American cultures, where the hair tends to be more coarse and fragile to begin with.

Female Pattern Baldness Solutions: Fill it In

Hair Powders & Hair Fibers

Using hair powders or hair fibers can help to filing in areas of thinning hair. The products are very easy to use--simply spray the powder or shake the fibers onto thinning spots, directly onto the scalp. Spray a thin layer of hairspray over to lock the product into place. Hair powders and hair fibers for thinning hair come in a variety of colors, which makes finding a match to your hair color is easy. If your hair is highlighted (another great trick to make your hair appear more full!) simply layer two colors together.

Hair Loss in Women Solutions: Pump it Up

Styling Products

Using specific styling products can help to add volume to thinning hair. Look for products that can add control and lift to the hair without weighing it down. Layering lightweight products can also help to give the effect of more hair: usually a root-builder, mousse and hairspray are all you need to increase the density of your hair significantly.

Styling Products for Thinning Hair - Shampoos and Finishers for Thin Hair

Minoxidil for Female Pattern Baldness

Stop Hair Loss & Even Regrow Hair

A 3% Minoxidil solution for women is the only proven solution to stop hair from falling out. The solution must be applied twice per day directly to the scalp; many women report results (less shedding) in three to six months; some lucky women even report new hair growth. The medication must be applied every day in order to continue to see results. Once you stop applying it, your hair will begin falling out again in a short period of time.

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    • profile image

      djroll 6 years ago

      While I don't have this problem, I know it is devastating for many women. Thank you for taking the time to post this article.

    • LNAngel profile image

      Lauren 6 years ago from Florida

      @Sunflower Susan: Female pattern hairloss is so hard for women! Luckily there are a few ways to help/disguise it, however, it's still difficult to know that--under it all--the problem is still there.

    • Sunflower Susan profile image

      Sunflower Susan 6 years ago

      My hair is getting thinner as I age but, thankfully, it's not as significant as this. I did have a friend whose dad went bald at a young age and she also began losing her hair in her 20's. It was quite thin on top. Not very noticeable though, with a fluffy hairstyle, you can't tell unless you are really trying to see.