The majority of women with androgenetic – also called androgenic – alopecia have diffuse thinning on all areas of the scalp. (Men rarely have diffuse thinning but instead have more distinct patterns of baldness.) Some women have a combination of two pattern types.
Androgenic alopecia in women is due to the action of androgens, male hormones that are typically present in only small amounts. Androgenic alopecia can be caused by a variety of factors tied to the actions of hormones, including some ovarian cysts, taking high androgen index birth control pills, pregnancy, and menopause.
Just as in men, the hormone DHT appears to be at least partially to blame for the miniaturisation of hair follicles in women suffering with female pattern baldness. Heredity plays a major factor in the disease.
When your body goes through something traumatic like child birth, malnutrition, a severe infection, major surgery, or extreme stress, it can impact your hair. Many of the 90% or so of hairs in the growing (anagen) or transitional (catagen) phases can actually shift all at once into the resting (telogen) phase.
An inappropriate inflammatory reaction is behind alopecia areata. A person’s own immune system attacks the roots of hair follicles. Symptoms include patchy shedding of hair, which sometimes develops quite suddenly. About 70% of patients recover their hair within two years, whether or not they receive treatment.
This condition is caused by localized trauma to the hair follicles from tight hairstyles that pull at the hair over time. If the condition is detected early enough, the hair will regrow. Braiding, cornrows, tight ponytails, and extensions are the most common styling causes of traction alopecia.
Anagen effluvium occurs after any insult to the hair follicle that impairs its cellular-level mitotic or metabolic activity. This hair loss is commonly associated with chemotherapy. Since chemotherapy targets rapidly dividing cancer cells, your body’s other rapidly dividing cells — such as hair follicles in the growing (anagen) phase — are also greatly affected. Soon after chemotherapy begins, approximately 90% or more of hairs in the anagen phase can fall out.