10 causes of hair loss in young women

Hair loss and thinning are typically associated with men and aging. However, young women can be affected by this issue more often than you think. Losing your hair while young can be particularly stressful, as this is a time when many young women are struggling with issues of confidence and body image.

Losing some hair every day is completely natural, but when you’re losing a lot of hair, it can be difficult to understand what’s causing that hair loss.

Losing up to 100 hairs per day is totally normal and most of the time minor hair loss is just a sign that your body’s growing new, healthy hair to replace the old. In fact, It’s a good idea to pay attention to what you typically see in your brush or shower drain if you think you may be losing more than normal.

What causes hair loss in women?

If you’ve noticed your hair is falling out more than usual, or looks thinner, and you may be wondering, “What can cause hair loss in women?” Here are some of the most common reasons for hair loss in women.

Can nutritional deficiencies contribute to causes of hair loss in young women?

It’s important to maintain a healthy diet to sustain healthy hair. In particular, deficiencies in iron, zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), and protein have all been associated with various types of hair loss.

Dietitians can aid hair loss treatment by assessing nutrient deficiencies and working with patients to eliminate dietary gaps that may affect hair health. If that doesn’t help, your doctor may take a blood test and then treat any deficiencies with prescription supplements.

Causes of hair loss in young women – genetics

When we think of hereditary hair loss, we usually think of male pattern baldness, but people of all genders can be inclined to hair loss from genetics. Hair loss can be passed down from parents to their children, involving many different genes. You can inherit these genes from either parent, but you’re more likely to have female pattern baldness if your mother, father, or other close relatives have experienced hair loss.

In women, the hair loss is usually concentrated at the crown of the head, especially at the parting. In men it’s more likely to be along the hairline.

Although you can’t prevent this type of hair loss entirely, there are treatments available, such as over-the-counter finasteride or minoxidil, that can slow it down and help keep hair fuller for longer. The sooner you start treatment, the better.

Can birth control cause hair loss in women?

Women sometimes suffer from hair loss from hormonal contraception. Coming off hormonal contraception or changing to a different type of birth control contraception can both cause hair loss. Whether you’re just starting it, discontinuing it, or changing brands, your body can react and your hair could fall out. This type of hair loss, technically hair shedding, is called telogen effluvium and is usually temporary; you can depend on styling and volumizing products while you wait for your hair to regain its fullness.


As a rule, your hair goes through three major life stages. Initially, there’s a growth phase, then there’s a transitional phase, when the growing stops but the hair doesn’t fall out, and then there’s a resting phase. Finally, after the resting phase, your hair will fall out.

However, during pregnancy, most women notice their hair appears to be thicker. That’s when everything is in a growth phase because there are surges of the hormones, estrogen or oestrogen. The growth stage kicks into high gear and also lasts longer than normal, meaning that normal shedding doesn’t occur.

Hair resumes its normal growth cycles once estrogen levels go back to normal after delivery. The thick, luscious hair that accumulated over the previous 10 months starts to shed. Some women only experience very mild shedding while others experience heavy shedding for a few months.This is another form of telogen effluvium, which means that it’s usually temporary, so you don’t really have to do anything to treat it.


Some medications can cause chronic shedding, in particular, those used to manage high blood pressure, cancer, arthritis and depression.

If it’s possible you are experiencing hair loss from medication, check in with your doctor and, in many cases, this type of hair loss is temporary. But if your hair loss becomes chronic, it may be possible for your doctor to prescribe a different medication that doesn’t cause this side effect.

Emotional or physical stress

When you’re experiencing something stressful or traumatic, such as a divorce, a death or another significant event, you may experience a temporary stop in hair growth as your body puts its resources into getting you through the issue.

When you have stressful conditions, your body halts hair growth. Then all the hairs that have been halted start to get pushed out at the same time. The same thing can happen with physical stress and trauma, such as having a big operation, an operation, or even losing weight very quickly.

The good news is that usually this type of hair shedding is usually temporary.

Autoimmune diseases

An autoimmune condition makes the body think its own hair follicles are foreign and so it attacks them and makes the hair fall out.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease which attacks the hair follicles. Sometimes people with alopecia areata do see their hair grow back, although it may fall out again. But if not, dermatologists can help by prescribing treatments, such as corticosteroid injection to stimulate hair growth.

Conditions such as thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, sickle-cell anemia or Lupus can cause hair loss as one of many symptoms.

If you think your hair loss may be connected to an underlying issue like an autoimmune condition, it’s important to talk to your doctor. These conditions can be serious and require a diagnosis from an experienced health care provider.

Overprocessing or too much heat styling

You may not think what causes hair loss in women could be over processing or heat styling, but using harsh chemicals on your scalp and hair can cause follicle damage and leave you with permanent hair loss.

Thermal damage from using hot tools and over bleaching appear to create hair loss, but, in fact, overprocessing causes the hair shaft to break off easily, creating the appearance of hair loss.

Wearing your hair in hairstyles that are too tight

Wearing too-tight hairstyles too often can cause traction alopecia. This happens when people wear tight braids and ponytails. It can cause progressive thinning of the hairline, and if done for long enough, the hair loss may actually become permanent. It’s a scarring process, which can damage the hair follicle beyond repair.

To help prevent and treat hair loss due to traction alopecia, never wear one hairstyle for too long, and try not to pull too tightly.

Scalp psoriasis or dandruff

When the skin on the scalp is inflamed and itchy, it can be tempting to scratch it and so cause your hair to shed more than usual.

Dandruff is the most easily treated cause of hair loss because it can be treated with over-the-counter products, such as a shampoo containing zinc pyrithione or exfoliating ingredients. Consistency is key, so it’s important to find a shampoo and conditioner you like enough to use regularly.

Other conditions can also cause itchiness and scalp flaking, including seborrheic dermatitis, a more severe version of dandruff caused by a buildup of yeast and oil, and psoriasis, an autoimmune condition that causes thick patches of skin. It’s important to visit a dermatologist if you think you may have one of these conditions.

What causes hair loss in women?

Hopefully we have answered your question, “What causes hair loss in women?” Where hair loss is permanent, Enhance Hair Restoration gives an unrivalled service providing hair transplants for women whose hair loss may be distressing. Book an appointment to begin your hair restoration.

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