Hair loss is actually happening all the time. But a range of factors can cause excessive hair loss in women—and to understand those factors, it might be worth learning a little bit more about the normal cycle of hair growth and loss.

Your hair follicles are constantly alternating between growth and rest stages. In the growth stage, a follicle is producing new hair. In the rest stage, that hair is shed to make room for new growth. This is natural and normal, and at any given moment up to 10% of your follicles may be in the rest stage. So a bit of hair shedding is normal and nothing to fret about.

Problems arise when this natural give-and-take is thrown off balance—either because the growth stage is made unproductive or the rest stage is prolonged. Let’s take a look at reasons this can happen.

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Hair loss in women can be caused by a range of factors and can appear in many different forms, depending on the problem that’s causing it. It can come on suddenly or gradually and affect only your scalp or your entire body. Some types of hair loss are temporary, while others may be permanent.

The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition called androgenetic alopecia or female-pattern baldness. It usually occurs gradually with aging and in predictable patterns — a receding hairline and bald spots in men and thinning hair in women. This type of hair loss is irreversible.

Hormonal changes and a variety of medical conditions can also cause temporary or permanent hair loss. These hormonal changes are usually due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, or thyroid disorders. Medical conditions include alopecia areata, which causes patchy hair loss; scalp infections such as ringworm; or various autoimmune disorders.

And, while you may not be given this information with your prescription, you need to know that hair loss can be a side effect of certain drugs, such as those used for cancer treatment, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout and high blood pressure.

Another reason for hair loss is one that surprises many people: stress. You can experience a general thinning of hair several months after a traumatic physical or emotional shock. If you have experienced sudden or excessive weight loss, major surgery, a high fever, divorce, or a death in the family, it could affect the health of your hair. This type of hair loss is usually temporary, occurs about three months after the trauma, and turns around when the follicles begin to function normally again.

Lacking certain vitamins and minerals may also lead to thinning hair or hair loss in women. Some dermatologists believe that not eating enough red meat or following a vegetarian diet may affect hair loss. Red meat and other animal foods are rich in iron, a mineral that supports hair and body growth. Women are already prone to iron deficiency due to blood loss during menstruation, so not taking enough iron in the diet or through supplements can lead to deficiency. Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, may also lead to vitamin deficiencies and thinning hair. In particular, deficiencies in zinc, copper, amino acid, L-lysine, B-6 and B-12 are thought to affect hair.

As you can see, there can be many reasons for hair loss, some that you probably hadn’t expected. Whatever the reason, however, we understand that hair loss is emotionally distressing, especially for women. Rest assured, there are many options available to restore your hair and your confidence. Our team of specialists are here to help you resolve your hair loss concerns and look your best.

Schedule an Appointment Today

We’d love to help you get to the bottom of your hair loss and to determine the best way for you to look and feel like yourself again. It all starts with a private, one-on-one consultation with one of our hair replacement specialists. Contact Advanced Hair Solutions today to schedule your complimentary appointment in our Auburn Hills studio.