Most conversations about baldness revolve around men. And, while women going bald is rare, approximately 40 percent of them will have visible hair loss by the time they are 40 years old. Some women may even begin experiencing hair loss in their teens and 20s.
If you’ve noticed more hair strands in your hairbrush or clogging your sink and are wondering, “Why am I going bald?” the information below will help you decide what you can do about it. Fortunately, there are many treatments and other things you can do to slow or stop hair loss.
Why Am I Going Bald?
Hair loss in women can occur for many reasons. Identifying the issue is the first step to formulating a proportionate response.
1. Female Pattern Baldness
Female pattern baldness is the most common cause of a receding hairline in women. It is a thinning of the hair, usually on the top or the crown of the scalp. The root, or follicle, shrinks over time, causing thinner strands of hair.
It can be hereditary, so if you have a family history of female pattern baldness, you may be more likely to experience it earlier in life. Unfortunately, the condition tends to become more prevalent or worsen over time.
But there are treatments for female pattern baldness, which can slow or even stop it. Hair transplants also are an alternative for women who do not respond to medications.
2. Telogen Effluvium
There are four phases of hair growth: anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen. In the anagen phase, hair follicles begin to sprout from the follicle and grow. This can last between two and seven years.
This is followed by a short–only a few days–regression or catagen phase, during which the hair follicle shrinks. The hair is then in the telogen phase, which can last a few months. The final stage is the exogen phase, during which the hair detaches and falls out.
At any given time, approximately 85 percent of your hair is in the anagen phase and about 15 percent in the telogen phase. A few hairs may be in catagen.
A condition known as telogen effluvium is where upwards of 70 percent of your hairs shift to the telogen phase. This means most of your hair will either fall out or come out more easily when showering or brushing. The condition is caused by a myriad of health issues, usually involving some abrupt injury or stress.
Acute illness, surgery, or an accident are common causes of telogen effluvium. Postpartum hair loss is often attributable to the condition. And trauma, such as a death in the family, can trigger it.
Fortunately, the condition is temporary, and your hair will grow back after a few months. In the meantime, medical treatment may also be available.
3. Other Medical Conditions
Anemia, which is an iron deficiency, is a common cause of hair loss. The thyroid gland regulates the reproduction of cells, so thyroid disorders can cause hair thinning or loss as well.
Medications, including chemotherapy drugs, can cause balding. And even rare fungal infections, such as tinea capitis, can penetrate follicles and cause an abrupt loss of hair.
4. Diet and Lifestyle
If you do not have any of the conditions above but are still struggling with hair loss, you might take a look at your diet and lifestyle choices. Lack of nutrients in your diet can cause hair loss. Iron deficiency related to diet is a common culprit.
Likewise, dehydration, smoking, alcohol consumption, and increased stress can all impact nutrient absorption. This likewise can threaten your hair health.
Take Steps to Combat Hair Loss
Now that you have some answers to the question of “Why am I going bald?” you can formulate a plan for how to combat it. Knowing the cause and understanding options to respond to it are the most important things you can do.
We hope this information was helpful to you. Be sure to check out some of my other lifestyle posts on style, beauty, wellness, parenting, travel, and much more.