Up to 40% of women experience this…

by | Jan 9, 2018 | Menopause, Patient Education, Perimenopause, Pre-Menopause, Uncategorized

Up to 40% of women experience this…

It’s commonly seen in men.  But does this condition occur in women, too?

Yes, it is estimated that up to 40% of American women experience it – it being hair loss.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology, we lose between 50-100 hairs/day.  If you are losing more than that, you’re probably concerned and want to learn more.

Over the 25 years of practice, I have had many patients complaining about hair loss and now find myself, also experiencing it. More hair stuck on the brush, in the shower drain, and on my pillow.  Sound familiar?  So I set out to discover what might be causing this.

women losing hair

While investigating the causes of hair loss, I came across an interesting article in the Huffington post and I will share highlights of that post with you.  For the entire article, please go HERE.


Hair loss can be devastating.  The psychological effects can mimic those from other serious diseases – depression, low self-esteem, lack of confidence and shame.  These effects not only impact your sense of attractiveness but also your physical health.

What is the most common cause of hair loss in women?

It’s known as Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL), also is called androgenic alopecia., and an estimated 30 million American women are affected by it.  FPHL starts with hair thinning on the top and crown of the scalp, usually with a widening gap at the center part.

female baldness, why women lose hair

According to Dr. David Wong of the American Academy of Dermatology, a woman’s hair follicles become smaller and produce shorter, thinner, more brittle hairs, and eventually stop producing hair over time.  Thus, the total number of hair follicles will decrease.  Wong further states that unlike men, women tend to keep their hairline (although widening can occur at the part) and total baldness rarely occurs. occur in women although this is very rare.

So what causes hair loss?

There may be many reasons and it is recommended that a woman consults with a physician ( dermatologist or Ob/Gyn) to get accurate diagnosis.  The reasons are not totally understood, but can be related to family history of male or female baldness, hormonal changes and aging.

Here are the top 5 Causes:

  • Menopause – roughly 50% of women will experience hair loss or thinning due to the hormonal changes occurring during the years of perimenopause and menopause. Hormones, in general, support hair growth.  With the marked decrease estrogen at menopause, many changes can occur with hair.
  • Medical Conditions: Thyroid disease, diabetes, lupus, anemia as well as many other diseases. Sometimes, hair loss can be the first sign of a potential medical disease.  Cancer treatment, such a chemotherapy, also commonly causes hair loss.
  • Stress or Trauma: Stress is everywhere but at times it can reach a peak when your hormones are affected, especially a spike in the stress hormone, cortisol.  Trauma is also perceived by our bodies as stress, thus leading to hair thinning and loss.
  • Dieting and Poor Nutrition: When our bodies are lacking in key nutrients such as protein, iron, Vitamin D and calcium, nutritional stores are shifted to feed our vital organs, such as the brain and heart.  Thus your hair won’t be given what it needs to grow when your diet is lacking.
  • Rough handling: Tight buns, ponytails and braids can put stress on the hair, known as traction alopecia.  Damage can also occur with bleaching, harsh chemical dyes and styling products including straightening irons and curling wands.

What can be done to treat hair loss?

The only FDA approved product for FPHL is minoxidil, commonly know an Rogaine.  It is a topical product and after one year of use can help to slow or stop hair loss in 20% or women and can lead to new hair growth in a small percentage.

Other options include:

  • Spironolactone – a medication for high blood pressure
  • Cimetidine- histamine blocker
  • Anti-fungal agents
  • Cortisone shots to scalp- done by dermatologist
  • Hormone Therapy – see your Ob/Gyn (Me!) for this one.

There may also be some hair care products that help with hair growth. 

Join me in researching some of these products when I have a Facebook Live Interview with hair expert, Sherri Ball on Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 6:30 pm.

There will also be FREE consultations with Sherri in my office on Monday, Jan. 22 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm,

with Open House from 4:30 – 7:00 pm. 

Please call my office 760-635-5600 to schedule your consultation.

Here’s to healthier and happier hair in 2018!

Dr Diana Hoppe OBGYN in encinitas, CA. signature- hormones, menopause, weight loss, pap smear, total women's health care