What are the causes of baldness in women | HairMD, Pune

Top Factors that can lead to baldness in Women

Sep 7, 2017

Top Factors that can lead to baldness in Women

Baldness is bad, but it can be extremely problematic for women. Hair loss differs depending on your gender; female genetic hair loss is much more complex as there are many factors that play into it.

The 5-a reductase which is common with both male and female genes react with testosterone and produces DHT, which is responsible for shrinking for the hair follicles. However women naturally only have half of the 5-a reductase as compared to men, which causes the rate of hair fall between both genders to be different. It should also be noted that the enzyme aromatase which is found in women counteract the effects of DHT and makes the hair loss visually different from men. The enzyme aromatase also reacts with most of the hair growth medicines and makes them unsuitable for women.

It is stated that over 50% women go through some variation of baldness sometime in their life. This might happen due to a majority of reasons like genetics, diseases or pre-existing medical conditions. We will discuss all of thesereasons in details down below.

1) Genetics. 

                       It is the most leading cause of baldness among women. It starts with thinning of hair line which progresses over time. However, it is important to note that female pattern baldness differs from male pattern baldness and hence have a different plan of treatment. It is mostly caused due to too much testosterone in the body.

When women go through menopause the conversion of testosterone to estrogen decreases, and hence the remaining testosterone accelerate the effects of DHT. It can also be inherited from a parent and starts showing its effects way down the line. It starts with thinning of the hairline on the front side or on the top side of the scalp.

2)  Medical Conditions

Women are more sensitive to underlying medical conditions and so is their hair. This type of hair loss can be easily mistaken for genetic balding. However, some medical conditions and diseases are mostly responsible for them. These medical conditions include

a) Gynecologic conditions like post-menopausal states or Ovarian tumors

b) Anemia.   

c) Thyroid diseases

d) Connective tissue diseases, like Lupus

e) Stress from surgical procedures, general anesthesia, or severe emotional problems.

3) Drug abuse and wrong medication.

Prolonged use of cocaine and meth can cause shedding of hair. On the other side if you are going through chemotherapy it can also cause extensive hair loss, fortunately, these effects can be reversed when the medication stops. There is a condition known as “Telogen Effluvium” which is caused by the usage of some medication. This condition is responsible for the advance shedding of hair. Causes of Telogen Effluvium can be found in

•  Blood thinners

•  Thyroid medications

•  Gout Medication

•  Blood pressure medication.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can also cause excessive shedding of hair due to a condition which is known as “Anagen Effluvium.” The effects of this condition can be reversed after the dosage is stopped.

4) Ageing

We all have to suffer from this condition. Even if there is no predisposition of genetic balding, you can still experience hair loss in the later years of your life. The volume of hair decreases as the person’s age increases with time. This happens when the follicle shrinks up in size and produce thinner hair till the point that it can’t grow any hair. This condition differs from person to person.

5) Localized hair loss

This condition is different from genetic female baldness and can easily be differentiated by a physician. To understand it better it is divided up into two sections

a) Non-Scarring Alopecia’s

This condition causes sudden round patches of hair loss, which is caused by excessive pulling of the scalp and hair follicles. This is usually the result of excessive usage of clips and tight braiding. This constant tugging of hair can cause shedding as well as thinning of hair.

b) Scarring Alopecia’s

This condition can be caused by various dermatological conditions and infections. Treatments like radiation therapy which can cause thermal burns are also responsible for hair loss. This condition can be easily treated by a hair transplant.



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