Hair Loss in Women: 6 Reasons Your Hair Might Be Falling Out — And What To Do

There are many rea­sons why women lose their hair. Before con­sid­er­ing treat­ment options, it’s impor­tant to seek a pro­fes­sion­al opin­ion from a board-cer­ti­fied der­ma­tol­o­gist who can deter­mine the cause and treat it.

Hair Shed­ding vs. Hair Loss

Although exces­sive shed­ding may cause con­cern, there’s a dif­fer­ence between hair loss and hair shed­ding. Most peo­ple will lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day when they shed. It’s con­sid­ered exces­sive hair shed­ding when the body sheds more than that. A Duly Health and Care der­ma­tol­o­gist will be able to deter­mine the cause of your hair loss.

Are you wor­ried that you’re los­ing too much hair? There could be sev­er­al rea­sons why it’s falling out. Sched­ule an appoint­ment with a Duly der­ma­tol­o­gist so they can find a treat­ment that puts a stop to the hair loss.

Here’s Why Your Hair Might Be Falling Out

It’s nor­mal for women to expe­ri­ence hair loss as they age. In fact, for most women, hair loss can begin in their 40s or even ear­li­er. Hair loss can affect any woman, but here are 6 rea­sons your hair might be falling out — and what to do about it.

1. Recent Childbirth

After hav­ing a baby, hair loss can be com­mon. Tel­o­gen efflu­vi­um is a con­di­tion of exces­sive hair shed­ding that can occur after preg­nan­cy. Although this can be con­sid­ered exces­sive shed­ding because it’ll grow back on its own, you won’t have to do any­thing but wait. With time, your hair should return to its nor­mal vol­ume by your child’s first birthday.

2. Under­go­ing Chemotherapy 

Hair loss from chemother­a­py hap­pens because your hair fol­li­cles can become dam­aged from chemother­a­py drugs, caus­ing your hair to fall out. This isn’t a per­ma­nent side effect, though, and there are things you can do to cope with it. Some peo­ple wear wigs. Oth­ers wear head scarves. You may even con­sid­er shav­ing your hair until it grows back. 

When your hair begins to grow back after treat­ment, it will be frag­ile at first. It may also grow back dif­fer­ent­ly than it was before. For instance, it may be curly when it was straight before. Or it may be thick when it was pre­vi­ous­ly fine. This is usu­al­ly a tem­po­rary change. 

3. Hair­styles That Pull

How you wear and style your hair can also cause hair loss. If you’re wear­ing hair­styles that pull your hair tight, that could be the cause. Trac­tion alope­cia is when your hair roots are force­ful­ly pulled. There are sev­er­al ways you can treat this — many you can do right at home, such as wear­ing loos­er hairstyles. 

4. Stress

If you’ve been feel­ing increased lev­els of stress in your life, it’s quite pos­si­ble that your hair loss is relat­ed to that. When deal­ing with chron­ic stress, your hair fol­li­cles are affect­ed by the stress hor­mone cor­ti­cos­terone. Thank­ful­ly, your body will nat­u­ral­ly stop the exces­sive shed­ding when the stress stops, though it may take up to 9 months for your hair to regain its full­ness. So, talk to your provider or a coun­selor about some ways to destress. 

5. Genet­ics

If your hair loss is relat­ed to genet­ics, that means you inher­it­ed a gene from one or both of your bio­log­i­cal par­ents. You’ll want to talk to a board-cer­ti­fied der­ma­tol­o­gist if oth­ers in your fam­i­ly have expe­ri­enced hair loss, and now you are too. Although some treat­ments won’t work for every­one, they’ll be able to rec­om­mend a treat­ment — that might include injectable treat­ments such as Platelet Rich Plas­ma ther­a­py, top­i­cal med­ica­tion or pills. There are also oth­er alter­na­tives such as wigs, a sew-in, or a hair transplant. 

6. Autoim­mune Disease

Some­times your immune sys­tem doesn’t func­tion how it’s sup­posed to. This can hap­pen if you’re diag­nosed with alope­cia area­ta. It’s an autoim­mune dis­ease where your hair fol­li­cles are attacked by your immune sys­tem, which caus­es hair loss. If it’s alope­cia, there are treat­ments that might work for you such as oral and injectable medications.

What Can You Do?

No one wants to expe­ri­ence hair loss, but there are many treat­ment options and lifestyle changes to have you look­ing and feel­ing your best again. It’s okay if you’re wor­ried, but in some cas­es your hair may grow back on its own. The good thing is you don’t have to fig­ure this out alone. You can sched­ule an appoint­ment with a Duly board-cer­ti­fied der­ma­tol­o­gist who will be able to explore the pos­si­ble caus­es and offer rec­om­men­da­tions. Some might include lifestyle and home remedies.If your hair loss is caused by an under­ly­ing dis­ease, treat­ment for that dis­ease may be nec­es­sary. Med­ica­tions are avail­able to treat hered­i­tary baldness.

Los­ing your hair might bring up dif­fer­ent emo­tions, and that’s com­plete­ly nor­mal. For many peo­ple, it’s a part of their iden­ti­ty. By see­ing a board-cer­ti­fied der­ma­tol­o­gist, you’ll be able to choose a treat­ment plan that’s best for you and find ways to boost your over­all confidence.

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  • Yazan Alghalith - Schaumburg Dermatologist

    Growing up in a small town in Missouri, I was able to watch my mother, a family medicine physician, form meaningful long-lasting connections with her patients. The sense of community that she fostered inspired me to become a doctor myself. Now as a board-certified dermatologist, I have the opportunity to make a true difference in the lives of my patients. It may entail removing skin cancer found during an annual skin exam, softening the signs of aging with cosmetic treatments, or using the most up-to-date treatments available; such as biologic therapy for psoriasis. It could be developing a skincare regimen to treat acne or exploring options for hair restoration. Whatever the skin condition or concern may be, I strive to foster that same small-town sense of community, providing compassion, knowledge and experience to help each patient achieve healthy, glowing skin.