Women’s hair shown to be particularly sensitive to underlying medical conditions. Since systemic medical conditions often cause a diffuse type of hair fall arrangement that can be confused with genetic balding, it is important that women with undiagnosed alopecia be properly estimated by a doctor specializing in hair loss (i.e., a dermatologist).
Below is a list of medical conditions that can lead to a diffuse pattern of hair loss:
1.Obstetric and gynecologic conditions; such as post-partum and post-menopausal states or ovarian tumors
2.Anemia (iron deficiency)
4.Connective tissue diseases, such as Lupus
5.Nutritional causes including crash diets, bulimia, protein/calorie deficiency, essential fatty acid or zinc deficiency, malabsorbtion, and hypervitaminosis A
6.Stress from surgical procedures, general anesthesia, or severe emotional problems
Drugs That Can Cause Diffuse Hair Loss in Women
A relatively large number of drugs can cause “ telogen effluvium,” a condition where hair is shifted into a resting stage and then several months later hair loss. Fortunately, this falling is reversible if the medication is stopped, but the reaction can be confused with genetic female hair loss if not properly diagnosed. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can cause a diffuse type of hair loss called “anagen effluvium” that can be very extensive. This hair loss is also reversible when the therapy is over, but the hair does not always return to its pre-treatment thickness.
Hair Shedding in Women & Aging
Many of the factors that cause the rate of loss to speed up or slow down are unknown, but we do know that with age, a person’s total hair quantity will decrease. This is referred to as senile alopecia. Even when there is no predisposition to genetic hair loss, hair across the entire scalp will thin over time resulting in the appearance of less density. The age at which these effects finally manifest themselves varies from one individual to another and is mainly related to a person’s genetic makeup.
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