Why is my hair falling out? 8 major causes of hair loss in women

Losing your hair can be a stressful and traumatic thing to happen, whatever your age. But why does it happen? We look at the major reasons.

Hair loss – something that affects men and very few women, right?

[Read more: Nadia Sawalha praised after revealing she is losing her hair]

While it’s true that more men do experience hair loss, especially as they age, the condition is becoming a more common issue among women too - in fact, new research commissioned by Philip Kingsley found that 1 in 5 of UK women over 25 currently suffers from hair loss or hair thinning.

Noticeably thinning hair or losing it altogether can be a particularly traumatic and depressing experience for women.

Here, we identify some of the key causes of hair loss in women:

1. Genetics

A genetic predisposition of hormonal balances and imbalances, along with the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), are the lead causes of hair loss. Contrary to popular belief, genetic predisposition to hair loss can be inherited by either your mother or your father’s side of the family.

2. Stress and trauma

Stress produces increased levels of testosterone, which converts to DHT and interrupts the hair growth cycle. Stress and trauma can also constrict the blood supply to the capillaries, causing a lack of oxygen and nutrient uptake, as well as poor vitamin and nutrient absorption of the hair follicles.

[Read more: Hairstyles for thin hair and 8 other secrets to making fine hair look thicker]

3. Nutrition and diet

Poor nutrition, rapid weight loss, a high consumption of animal fats and deficiencies in biotin, iron, protein and zinc can reduce vital amino acid and vitamin absorption needed for hair growth.

4. Health

Thyroid diseases, as well as the side effects of the medications used to treat these diseases, are the most common health-related causes of hair loss.

5. Medication

Everything from birth control to steroids, as well as many blood pressure, diabetic and heart disease and acne medications can cause temporary or permanent hair loss.

[Read more: Troublesome tootsies? 9 top tips for happy feet]

6. Environment

Environmental pollutants in the air and water, as well as exposure to chlorine, metals and minerals, can lead to hormonal imbalances that can contribute to hair loss. UV exposure and free radicals can also prematurely age the scalp cells and damage the hair shaft.

7. Life changes

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to temporary hair loss that can last from six months to up to a year after childbirth. Menopausal women can also experience hair loss due to hormonal shifts.

8. Ageing

Unfortunately, as we age, our follicles can deteriorate and cause hair loss.

If you're worried about hair loss, visit your GP or a trained and certified Trichologist.

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