Female hair loss is more common than is often recognized. Many women live in secrecy, hiding their thinning hair. Men are expected to lose their hair and revered as more manly as their hair line recedes, but women are expected to keep their hair well into old age. It is never acceptable for a woman to lose her with the notable exception of hair loss caused by chemo therapy treatments. Many personal habits and medical conditions contribute to hair loss.
The most significant cause of hair loss in women is genetics. Like men, women can inherit the recessive hair loss genes that are attached to the x chromosome. Men have only one x chromosome, so they demonstrate the trait more often than women. Since women have two x chromosomes, they must inherit the recessive trait from both parents for hair loss to be a problem. The recessive gene is often hidden by the second x chromosome, but when both the mother and father contribute the gene, hair loss occurs. Other genes that are not related to the sex chromosomes are also a factor in hair loss, but the role of these genes is still under review and currently appear to have a smaller role in the condition.
Medical conditions that affect the hormonal balance in a woman’s body can also contribute to hair loss. Several medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, anemia and thyroid disorders can alter a woman’s hormonal balance, increasing her androgen hormones and causing hair loss. Androgens are male sex hormones that increase body hair, forcing a woman to search for natural facial hair removal techniques, but ironically, these same hormones cause hair loss on the scalp. Other conditions identified as probable causes of hair loss in women include childbirth, drug use, improper vitamin use and highly stressful events.