Common Causes of Hair Loss in Women

Have you looked in the mirror lately and noticed that you are losing hair? You are not alone. The Harvard Medical School estimates that one in three women will experience hair loss. As women age, more than 60% develop bald spots or find that their hair is thinning overall.

Fortunately, there are many solutions to hair loss. Hair transplant surgery is one effective remedy, but you may prefer less invasive methods of hair restoration Westchester County NY. Non-surgical options include prescription medications, low-level laser therapy, enhancements and wigs.

In some cases, you need to pinpoint the cause of hair loss before you decide how to proceed. In women, there are several possible culprits.


You may be able to blame dear old mom and dad. Also called androgenetic alopecia, hereditary hair loss is triggered by hormones called androgens and it runs in families. It may be treated with the prescription drug minoxidil, which must be applied topically on a daily basis.

Damage to Hair

You may have only yourself to blame for hair loss. Styles that tug hair may lead to traction alopecia, where hair along the hairline is pulled out repeatedly and eventually quits growing back. Overprocessing with frequent perms or chemical straightening procedures may scar scalp tissue and cause hair loss. Lastly, heat styling tools may break hair off close to the scalp and result in the appearance of thinning hair. In these cases, changing your hairstyle should help.

Hormonal changes

Temporary hair loss may be triggered by hormonal fluctuations, often due to pregnancy or switching to a new type of contraception. Normal hair growth should resume once hormone levels are back to normal.

Vitamin deficiency

Dietary deficiencies have been associated with thinning hair. In particular, iron, zinc, selenium and vitamins A, D and E seem important in the health and productivity of hair follicles. Protein also plays a key role in healthy hair.

Often, the vitamins are deficient for some underlying reason, such as anemia, alcoholism or poor kidney function. In such cases, the ailment itself may be causing hair loss along with inadequate vitamin intake. Supplements are often touted as a solution to hair loss, but research indicates that it is better to get your nutrients from food rather than pills.


Many types of medication can cause hair loss. The most extreme effects are usually from chemotherapy, which can lead to baldness. Other drugs may show less severe results; common culprits include antibiotics, certain steroids, acne treatments, thyroid and epilepsy medications. The drugs may take weeks or months to cause noticeable hair loss, and effects are often reversible. Meanwhile, wigs and extensions are popular solutions.