Thinning Hair In Women

Written by Michael Federico
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Thinning hair in women is a condition that is not talked about nearly as much as male pattern hair loss. Granted, hair loss in men is far more common and, in most cases, is expected. However, the fact that thinning hair in women does not occur as often and is not seen as "normal," usually makes it much harder for women to deal with it.

Telogen effluvium (TE) is basically the shedding of hair that will grow back. Many women who approach doctors with hair thinning issues are often told it is TE and that there is nothing to worry about. In many cases, though, these women are undergoing androgenic alopecia or alopecia areata. The hair lost in these processes does not grow back.

Causes of Thinning Hair in Women

Androgenic alopecia (pattern hair loss) is caused by the same thing in women as in men, testosterone. Testosterone, while at lower levels in women, can convert to DHT, which thins hair and reduces scalp coverage. The effect of DHT is not usually as drastic in women, but it is often noticeable. While a woman's front hairline will probably not be altered, she can lose hair on the crown and vertex of her head.

Some thinning hair in women is not caused as much by higher levels of testosterone, but by lower levels of estrogen. At the onset of menopause, or even months before, many women experience a decrease in estrogen levels. Estrogen is a major benefactor of hair, adding to hair's length and breadth. An estrogen deficiency can lead to a form of alopecia that is similar to male pattern hair loss.


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