Causes of hair loss in women. Why do women lose their hair? Alopecia androgenetica or androgenetic alopecia.
1.Causes of hair loss in women
As is the case with men, Androgenetic Alopecia is the main cause of hair loss in women.
It is a hereditary condition which affects 2/3 of women who lost their hair.
It can be transmitted by the father or the mother or even by both parents.
There is no general rule, hereditary transmission is complex.
Moreover, this affliction can also affect siblings equally and can also jump an entire generation.
Secondary circumstances can be at the origin of hair loss or can contribute to the effects of hereditary pathology.
It is important to find out which of the following causes are at play:
The hair loss can be due to a hormonal unbalance.
- Hyperthyroidism (insufficient thyroid hormones)
- Hyperandrogeny (too many male hormones)
- Hypo-oestrogeny (insufficient female hormones) which explains the hair loss in post-menopausal women.
The hair loss can be due to a mineral or vitamin deficiency :
- Iron, copper, magnesium deficiency,
- Vitamin B deficiency
- Protein deficiency
Or due to taking medications:
- Anti-cancer drugs
- Anti-thyroid drugs
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Roaccutane, vitamin A excess
Or even some unusual dermatological afflictions:
- Alopecia aerata ,lupus, alopecia, tinea/ringworm due to a mycosis
- Hirsutism : the problem strictly occurs in women.
Hair recession in the anterior-temporal line.
With or without signs of virilism: male hyperpilosity in the rest of the body, acne, deeper voice, amenorrhea (absence of periods), hypertrophy, reduction of breast volume.
- Compulsive disorder: the female patient tears out her own hair (this may be compared to people who bite their nails).
- Alopecia of traction: often occurs in black women,
- Cicatricial Alopecia (for example after a burn)
A consultation will allow the doctor to define the cause of the hair loss.
A detailed blood analysis is required in order to eliminate all secondary causes one by one.
Sometimes the doctor will need to resort to a biopsy to fine-tune his diagnosis.
What is the difference with male alopecia?
Women lose their hair in a diffuse way and most of their hairs become rather thin and fine.
Generally the front hair line is preserved.
The donor area is often slightly balding.