The Hair Clinic London

What Is Female Pattern Hair Loss?

The understanding, technology and research behind hair loss has improved a great deal. However, there is often the mistaken belief that baldness is a predominantly male issue when female pattern hair loss can affect up to 45 per cent of women throughout their lifetime.

With the concept of male pattern baldness more universally understood, female hair loss often has somewhat different causes and effects, some of which are genetic and others based on more environmental factors.

Part of the reason for this is that female pattern hair loss very rarely leads to baldness unlike male pattern baldness, and is often instead more an overall thinning of hair on the scalp, both in terms of the number of hairs, and in terms of producing shorter, finer hairs than before.

As well as purely genetic factors, several environmental triggers can cause an unnatural level of hair shedding, many of which can exacerbate existing female pattern hair loss and can affect both men and women.

Arguably the most common cause of excessive hair loss for women is a diet deficient in iron. Iron is a vital mineral that produces a range of proteins, and often one of the earliest signs of a deficiency will be found in hair loss and more brittle hair strands. It is worth talking to your GP if you are concerned.

Whilst not as common as iron deficiency, not having enough vitamin B12 can similarly cause problems due to the vitamin’s effect on red blood cells.

Diets, in general, can affect hair, with significant and dramatic weight loss such as the type caused by crash dieting leading to hair loss a few weeks later, sometimes exacerbated by stress, although both should eventually normalise.

Finally, there are the physical effects of certain hairstyles, such as particularly tight ponytails. These can cause traction alopecia, which is where hairs are pulled out directly from the scalp.