Hair loss in women is not often discussed. But a new study shows how prevalent it is, and how it relates to age and hormones.
Hair loss is not often discussed as a cause of concern for most women, who are affected by hair loss just as much as men. Moments like pregnancy and menopause are common triggers of hair loss episodes.
A new study published in the journal Menopause found that hair loss is common in women, appearing as they grow older. The study found that half of women over the age of 50 experience thinning hair. Conducted in Thailand, the study analyzed 200 women between the ages of 50 and 65, tracking their hair loss patterns and measuring a variety of factors that could have had an influence, like hormones levels and body mass indexes.
Out of the women that experienced hair loss, 73% of them experienced mild hair loss, 22% experienced moderate hair loss and only 4% experienced severe hair loss. Researchers found links between older age and higher body mass indexes with higher odds of hair loss.
Hair loss in women looks different than it does in men. While men face issues like receding hairlines, women tend to experience “female pattern hair loss,” which is hair loss that leaves their hairline intact but affects the top of the scalp.
“In postmenopausal women, hair loss is typically caused by general aging and hormonal changes. As anyone ages, hair loss and thinning start to become more common,” explained Dr. Jessica Shepherd to Prevention magazine. “This is also when estrogen levels start to drop which makes hair grow slower and appear thinner. Lowered levels of estrogen and progesterone also contribute to hair loss as these hormones are what typically make hair grow faster and stay on the head longer.”
Hair loss in women is rarely discussed and can be triggered by a variety of issues, from age to switching birth control brands. Due to its cosmetic nature, hair loss is a topic that often goes unaddressed. Still, there are dermatologists that specialize in the issue and that can provide the necessary help depending on the situation.