Female Hair Loss – What's Happening?

There are a number of different reasons for female hair loss. It can be caused as a result of nutritional factors, situation specific hormonal factors as w…

There are a number of different reasons for female hair loss. It can be caused as a result of nutritional factors, situation specific hormonal  factors as well as environmental factors. I have summarised some of the more common causes.


Female hair loss is not uncommon at  the time of menopause, although ironically additional unwanted hair can appear on the face. During menopause there is a drop in the female hormone estrogen and this changes the ratio of estrogen to testosterone. As a result there can be an overproduction of DHT or Dihydrotestosterone, which is also the main bodily substance responsible for male hair loss. It is interesting that the symptoms of menopause experienced by women in the western world are not as commonly experienced by Asian women. This is probably due largely to dietary factors (less consumption of red meat and animal fats) and possibly less stress.

Postpartum or Postnatal Hair Loss

During pregnancy hair growth increases quite markedly  in most women. As a result, after childbirth there seems to be an increase in hair loss due to more hair follicles than usual entering the rest phase. Although this could be classified as female hair loss, ultimately the thickness of the haisr should come to rest at a reasonable pre-pregnancy level.   A similiar effect can occur after ceasing birth control pills or switching types of birth control pills.

Toxic  Hair Products

Many well known hair products can contain chemicals that are actuall harmful to your hair as well as your immune system and can definitely contribute to female hair loss. The most commonly included toxic chemical is sodium lauryl sulphate, a chemical used as an industrial surfactant and commonly used as an engine degreaser. It is used in hair care products mainly for it’s ability to lather up. Check your hair care products for the ingredients but chances are that if you purchased it in a supermarket or chemist it will contain this toxic substance. Look for healthier options at your health food shop or online.

Nutritional Deficiencies

There are specific nutrients that will affect hair loss and hair health.

Vitamin D is one of these nutrients. Female hair loss can be a result of a vitamin D deficiency.  For women having sufficient vitamin D is also important for the absorption of Calcium. The easiest and most common source of vitamin D is plain old sunshine. Morning and afternoon sunshine is best and not as severe as the midday sun. Don’t use sunblock if you want the sunshine to result in vitamin D production. You also have the option of using a good quality vitamin D supplement.

Deficiencies in lysine, copper, and zinc can also contribute to female hair loss. If your diet consists of a wide variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole foods then this is unlikely to be the cause.

Sufficient protein is also important if you want to avoid female hair loss. Hair strands are made up of protein, but if your diet lacks protein then the body will divert what it gets from hair production to other vital bodily functions. You can get good quality protein from fish, chicken, eggs, dairy products as well as good quality low-fat red meat.

Poor  Digestion

In some cases female hair loss can be the result of poor digestion and the lack of the body’s ability to absorb the nutrition it requires to create healthy hair, as well as just create or maintain a healthy body. If you do have poor digestion you will probably experience bloating after eating and a drop in energy and have a general issue with fatigue as well. Supplements such as acidophilus can help as well as digestive enzymes. If in doubt see your health care professional.

Beautiful thick hair is desirable to most women whose confidence can be greatly enhanced by a beautiful head of hair. In many cases thinning hair in women it can be handled without too much effort so it is well worth trying a simple approach.