On the heels of my appearance on “The Doctors” TV show discussing Hair Transplants for female patients, I have decided to write about different causes of hair loss in women. Common causes of hair loss in women can be traction alopecia, which results from constant pulling on the hair as in braiding or tight pony tails. Alopecia Areata, which is an autoimmune disease which results in smooth round patches of hair loss. Medications such as blood thinners, seizure medication, anti inflammatory medications, Beta blockers, prednisone, mood altering drugs, chemotherapy, oral contraceptives, thyroid medications, and illicit drugs such as cocaine, can all be causes of hair loss. Anemia, which is a low blood count can also cause hair loss. Other causes include thyroid disease, connective tissue diseases such as lupus, crash diets, stress, and post general anesthesia. Major events where big hormonal changes occur, such as childbirth and menopause, can also cause hair loss in females. Scars caused by trauma or other surgical procedures can also cause hair loss in those areas. Probably the most common cause of female hair loss is a genetic form of hair loss that is an inherited trait that can come from either the mother or father’s side of the family. This typically manifests as diffuse thinning in the scalp. Often the hairline can be preserved in these cases. Some of these causes of hair loss may be treated with medications or a hair transplant procedure but it is important to have a thorough medical work up and examination to determine the exact cause, and then we can determine the treatment.

All the best,

Marc Dauer, MD