RubmdHealth TipCauses of Hair Loss in Men And Women

Causes of Hair Loss in Men And Women

Hair loss in women also known as female pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia is a common condition that affects up to 50% of women in their lives. While it is more common in older women it can occur at any age.

There are many causes that can result in hair loss in women including genetics, hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy or menopause), medical conditions (such as thyroid disorders or autoimmune diseases), certain medications and certain hairstyles or hair treatments.

Treatment options for hair loss in women depend on the underlying causes of the condition. I.e… if the hair loss is due to a medical condition, treating the condition may help to stop or reverse the hair loss. Sometimes, medications such as minoxidil or finasteride may be prescribed to help stimulate hair growth.

In addition to medical treatments, there are also some lifestyle changes that may help to prevent or slow down hair loss in women. These include eating a healthy diet, reducing stress, avoiding tight hairstyles or hair treatments that can damage the hair and using gentle hair care products.

Common Causes of Hair Loss

There are several factors that can contribute to hair loss:

GeneticsThe most common cause of hair loss is a genetic condition known as androgenetic alopecia, that affects both men and women. This condition is caused by a combination of genes from both parents and can result in a gradual thinning of hair over time.
Hormonal changesHormonal changes due to pregnancy, menopause, or other conditions can also cause hair loss. This is because hormonal imbalances can affect the hair growth cycle and lead to hair loss.
Medical conditionsCertain medical conditions such as thyroid disorders, autoimmune diseases, and scalp infections can also cause hair loss.
MedicationsSome medications, such as chemotherapy drugs, can cause hair loss as a side effect.
Nutritional deficienciesA lack of certain nutrients, such as iron, zinc, or biotin, can also contribute to hair loss.
Physical or emotional stressPhysical or emotional stress can cause temporary hair loss, known as telogen effluvium, by disrupting the hair growth cycle.
Hairstyles or hair treatmentsCertain hairstyles or hair treatments, such as tight braids, weaves, or chemical treatments, can damage the hair and lead to hair loss over time.

Hair loss can have a variety of causes and treatment options will depend on the underlying cause of the condition.

Hereditary Hair Loss

Hereditary hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia. It is the most common cause of hair loss in both men and women. It is a genetic condition that is inherited from either the mother or the father, or both. Androgenetic alopecia is caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. People with this condition hair follicles are sensitive to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is produced from testosterone. This hormone causes the hair follicles to shrink, resulting in thinner and shorter hair over time.

The pattern of hair loss in androgenetic alopecia is different between men and women. In men, it typically starts with a receding hairline and thinning at the crown of the head. In women, it usually results in a gradual thinning of hair throughout the scalp.

While hereditary hair loss cannot be cured. There are Some treatments that can help slow down or stop the progression of hair loss. These include medications such as minoxidil and finasteride, as well as hair transplant surgery. It is important to speak with a doctor or hair loss specialist to determine the best treatment options based on individual needs and preferences.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss that occurs when there is a disturbance to the hair growth cycle. Usually, hair grows in a cycle that includes a growth phase (anagen), a transitional phase (catagen) and a resting phase (telogen), before shedding and restarting the cycle again. In telogen effluvium more hair follicles than usual enter the telogen phase resulting in increased shedding and a noticeable thinning of hair. This can be caused by a variety of factors. Including physical or emotional stress, illness, hormonal changes, medications and nutritional deficiencies.

Symptoms of telogen effluvium include increased hair shedding, a visible reduction in hair volume or density and a widened part in the hair. The condition typically develops over several months and can affect both men and women of all ages.

While it is usually temporary and the hair will regrow on it’s own once the underlying cause is addressed it can be distressing. Treatment options may include addressing any underlying medical conditions or deficiencies, reducing stress and using gentle hair care products.


Hypothyroidism it is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland, that is located in the neck and produces hormones that regulate metabolism and other important functions in the body.

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In it the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. Other causes may include radiation therapy, surgery to remove the thyroid gland or certain medications.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism may include fatigue, weight gain, sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, hair loss and depression. In some cases, hypothyroidism can also cause an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) or swelling of the face, hands or feet.

Hypothyroidism is typically diagnosed through blood tests that measure levels of thyroid hormones and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Treatment for hypothyroidism usually involves daily medication to replace the missing thyroid hormone. Sometimes, this medication is a synthetic form of the hormone known as levothyroxine.



Lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, joints and organs.

The exact cause of lupus is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental and hormonal factors. It is more common in women than men and usually develops between the ages of 15 and 45.

Symptoms of lupus can vary widely from person to person and may come and go over time. Some common symptoms of lupus include:

  1. Fatigue and weakness
  2. Joint pain and stiffness
  3. Skin rashes, especially on the face, neck, and scalp
  4. Fever
  5. Photosensitivity, or increased sensitivity to sunlight
  6. Mouth or nose ulcers
  7. Chest pain or shortness of breath
  8. Swelling in the legs, ankles, or around the eyes
  9. Hair loss
  10. Raynaud’s phenomenon, or fingers and toes turning white or blue in response to cold or stress.

Diagnosis of lupus usually involves a physical exam, blood tests and sometimes imaging tests such as X-rays or ultrasounds. Treatment for lupus depends on the severity and location of the symptoms and may include medications to manage inflammation and pain, as well as lifestyle changes such as sun protection and exercise.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have a higher level of androgens (male hormones) in their bodies and that can cause a variety of symptoms.

Some common symptoms of PCOS include:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles or absent periods
  • Excessive hair growth on the face, chest, or abdomen
  • Acne
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Hair loss on the scalp
  • Darkening of the skin on the neck, groin, or underarms
  • Skin tags, or small growths of skin that can appear on the neck, armpits, or groin
  • Infertility or difficulty getting pregnant

The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, but it is believed to be related to insulin resistance. It can lead to high levels of insulin in the body. This in turn can cause the ovaries to produce more androgens.

Treatment for PCOS depends on the severity of symptoms and may include lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise. Medications to regulate menstrual cycles or reduce androgen levels and fertility treatments for women who are trying to conceive.

If you suspect you may have PCOS. It is important to speak with a specialist for proper checkup and treatment. Early diagnosis and management of PCOS can help prevent long-term complications such as diabetes, heart disease and endometrial cancer.

Final Words

There are several medical conditions that can be causes of hair loss in women, including hereditary hair loss, telogen effluvium, hypothyroidism and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). These conditions can lead to a variety of symptoms and may require different treatment approaches depending on the underlying causes. If you are experiencing hair loss or other symptoms that are concerning. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment. By addressing the underlying medical condition. t may be possible to manage or even reverse hair loss in some cases, leading to improved quality of life for affected individuals.


1. Journal Title: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

Publisher: Elsevier

Year: 2024

DOI: 10.1016/j.jaad.2023.12.001

  • Overview: Investigates the genetic factors and hormonal influences in female pattern hair loss, highlighting the role of androgens and genetic predisposition in the condition.

2. Journal Title: British Journal of Dermatology

Publisher: Wiley

Year: 2023

DOI: 10.1111/bjd.20444

  • Overview: Reviews current treatments for female pattern hair loss, including the effectiveness of topical minoxidil and the potential of new therapeutic agents.

3. Journal Title: Dermatologic Therapy

Publisher: Wiley

Year: 2023

DOI: 10.1111/dth.14055

  • Overview: Discusses the psychological impact of hair loss in women and the importance of early diagnosis and comprehensive treatment approaches.
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Team RubMD
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