In men, the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is thought to play a major role in triggering hair loss. While most women have very low levels of this hormone, even small amounts have been shown to cause female pattern baldness (also known as androgenic alopecia). This type of hair loss in women can also be hereditary.
Female pattern baldness usually first manifests as a widening part, and you might start to see more visible scalp. As shedding continues, you may notice diffuse thinning all over the top of your head. It typically does not cause complete baldness, but some women with more advanced cases may have significant thinning on the top of the head and crown area.
Significant hormonal fluctuations have been known to trigger hair loss in women. This frequently occurs when women start or stop taking hormonal birth control pills, and it can also happen after pregnancy. Women who have medical conditions like PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) usually have increased androgens, which are male hormones. These male hormones can cause symptoms like acne, increased body hair, and loss of hair on the scalp.
Nutritional deficiencies are another common cause of hair loss for our female patients. Women are particularly susceptible to iron deficiency anemia because of menstruation. With iron deficiency anemia, the body cannot produce enough hemoglobin, which is essential for hair growth. A deficiency in vitamin D can also lead to significant hair shedding.