Discussion of various causes and treatments of sudden hair loss in women

Hair Structure
Female Pattern Baldness
Localized Hair Loss
Sudden Hair Loss
Causes of Baldness
Role of Heredity
Role of Androgens
Psychological Aspects
Treatment of Baldness
Selection of a Clinic
Anti-androgen Therapy
Hair Transplantation
Follicular Hair Transplant

Home >> Sudden Hair Loss in Women

Female pattern baldness is a major cause of hair fall in women. It can be very embarrassing for them. It has many social and psychological aspects as well. There are many causes of female pattern baldness, heredity being the major one.

Besides female pattern baldness, women sometimes also suffer from sudden hair fall or localized hair loss. In sudden hair loss generalized thinning affects all parts of the scalp of women. It is the most common type of hair loss seen in women. The problem sees thinning of hair and affects all part of the scalp. However in this situation there is no hair fall but only thinning of hair. Medically this situation is known as "Diffuse Un-patterned Alopecia." It is seen that women with this type of problem are not a good candidate for hair transplantation surgery.

Hereditary balding is normally not responsible for this type of sudden hair fall in women. This condition should be evaluated by a qualified and experienced physician. It just might be caused by nutritional deficiency.

Telogen Effluvium (TE) is a condition in which hair is shifted into a resting, non-growth stage on the scalp and shed after several months. It is the second most common form of hair fall. This condition is often confused with female pattern baldness though it is different. This is caused mainly because of taking a large number of drugs. The hair fall in this condition is reversible if the medication is stopped.

TE is caused when the number of hairs in the growth phase drops and there is an increase in telogen stage of hair follicles. This condition sees no certain pattern but general thinning of hair on the scalp. In this condition there is fall of mainly telogen hair. There is gradual thinning of hair in this condition due to the prolongation of telogen phase since it does not give the time for the anagen phase to begin.

Trichorrhexis nodosa (TN) is another temporary condition of female hair fall. This condition is caused by the absence of cuticle at some places, which results in swelling at those places. Normally it is caused by excessive hair manipulation. Overuse of hot combs and waves in hair styles also cause this condition.

Traction alopecia (TA) and trichotillomania are two conditions that cause hair loss in women. TA is mainly caused by hair styles that cause pulling at the hair roots like tight pony tails and cornrow hair style. The pulling at the hair roots sometimes results in severe damage to the hair follicle that may result in permanent hair loss in women.

The condition of trichotillomania is caused when a woman obsessively keeps pulling out her own hair. It can be caused unconsciously.

There are some other reasons that can cause sudden hair loss in women. They have nothing to do with heredity and are mostly health related. These causes of hair fall include anemia, thyroid dysfunction, endocrine problems, gynecological conditions like ovarian tumors, connective tissue disease like Lupus, surgical procedures, crash diets and emotional stress.

Some medications are also responsible for sudden hair loss in women. These include oral contraceptives, thyroid medication, blood pressure medication, mood enhancing medicines and anti-depressants like lithium and Prozac, cholesterol lowering medications and drugs such as cocaine or LSD.

Removal of the causes of hair fall normally leads to re-growth of hair. If the hair fall is caused by use of some medication then its use should be avoided. In many cases if there is no improvement in the condition of hair a physician normally prescribes Minoxidil medication, which is a hair growth stimulator.

It is better to avoid the use of brushes on hair and hair styling involving chemicals. The use of mild shampoo should be encouraged.