What Causes Female Hair Loss?

More than twenty-five million women suffer from hair loss.  Women today are starting to suffer from this at a much earlier age than years past, possibly due to the larger amounts of stress from more responsibilities, such as juggling work, family and bills.

There are three main types of female hair loss.  The first of these is known as telogen effluvium, which is summed up as physiologic shedding.  This is caused by stress, pregnancy, a change in hormones, anemia, thyroid disorders, illnesses and surgeries, rather than genetics.  The hair follicles become weakened and the hair stops growing.

Alopecia areata, or allergic alopecia is the next type.  Alopecia is the medical term for baldness, and this type of hair loss is caused by allergic reactions from medications, shampoos, hair styling products or chemical treatments for the hair.  The hair can come out in patches in certain areas, or can happen all over the scalp and body.  This type can also be caused by an immune system imbalance or from poor diet and vitamin deficiencies.  It can be temporary and return to normal growth, or it can lead to permanent damage.

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Androgenetic Alopecia, or female pattern hair loss, is the last of the three main types of female hair loss.  This is a genetic condition, that more than half of women will experience to some extent by the age of forty-five.  This condition can begin in women as early as right after puberty, and is pre-determined by our genes.  Also, certain medications, stress, and pregnancy can speed up the process.  If you have female relatives such as mothers, sisters, grandmothers that experience problems with thinning hair and baldness, then chances are that you will too.

There are other types of female hair loss that are less common, including traction alopecia, which happens from hair styling habits such as wearing your hair in pony tails, braids, and the constant use of curling and straightening irons.  These habits can weaken the hair and follicles, and cause hair to break.  Hair loss can also be caused by fungal infections, and certain skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis.  These types can also be temporary conditions, or lead to permanent damage.

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