Hair loss: not just a men’s thing

With most hair-loss therapies targeted to men, where can women turn for help?

Hair loss: Men vs. Women

When men lose their hair, the first strands typically fall from the front of the head, near the temples. The next hairs to go are on the back of the head. Eventually the two balding areas meet, leaving a horseshoe-shaped ring of hair the perimeter of the scalp.

Possible causes

Genes are often at the root of hair loss. They affect the way the body responds to male hormones (androgens)-which both men and women have. Too much of these hormones in the hair follicles can slow the growth of the new hair and make the hair that does grown in shorter than it was before.

Hair loss in women can also result from a number of conditions, including:

  • Underactive thyroid gland
  • Anemia
  • Pregnancy
  • A significant illness
  • A stressful event
  • Certain medications, such as chemotherapy for cancer.

Restoring lost hair

If a thyroid problem or other medical issue is making you lose your hair, treating the condition should stop the hair loss. Eventually, your hair should grow back in.

Treating hair loss that doesn’t have a clear medical cause is trickier in women

Getting past the stigma

Rarely do we talk openly about hair loss in women or see women represented in commercials for hair transplant companies and hair-loss medications. The gender bias surrounding this condition can make us hesitant to ask for help when our hair starts to thin.

Don’t let preconceived ideas prevent you from getting the treatment that could stop– or even reverse– your hair loss. Even though you may not see other women openly dealing with hair loss, you’re definitely not alone. Don’t be afraid to address it. Though the options may not be as broad as they are for men, hair loss in women can be treated. And it’s important to make sure there isn’t an underlying medical cause.


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