Hair loss in women is more common than you may think. Almost all women will experience some type of hair loss at some point in their life. While genetics is the leading cause of female balding, you can also experience hair loss due to certain diseases, medications, hormones and certain hair treatments/styles. If you’ve noticed your hair is starting to thin or fall out, we’ve rounded up our best tips to prevent and manage female hair loss.
How Common is Female Balding?
Although attention is mostly given to male balding, at least one third of women experience hair loss at some point in their life. Among post-menopausal women, as many as two thirds suffer from hair thinning or bald spots. While men typically experience balding through a receding hairline, in women, hair loss begins with the gradual thinning of the part line, followed by increasing diffuse hair loss radiating from the top of the head.
11 Causes of Female Balding
1. Genetics/ Family history of hair loss
2. Autoimmune disease such as alopecia areata
3. Illness such as severe infection, high fever or surgery
4. Traction alopecia, which can occur due to frequently wearing hairstyles that pull the hair too tightly
5. Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and thyroid problems
6. Medications and supplements such as those used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout and high blood pressure
7. Radiation therapy to the head
8. An extremely stressful event that causes physical or emotional shock
9. Hot oil hair treatments
10. Vitamin deficiency such as iron deficiency
11. Restrictive diets
7 Warning Signs to Watch For
1. Gradual thinning on the top of the head and overall thinning
2. Patchy bald spots
3. Sudden loosening of hair
4. Excess hair in your sink, shower or brush
5. Thinner ponytail
6. Sudden loss or handfuls of hair
7. Thinning eyebrows or eyelashes
6 Tips to Prevent Female Balding
1. Avoid Hairstyles That Pull on the Hairline
Tight hairstyles such as tight ponytails and braids should be done sparingly. These tight hairstyles cause stress and pull too hard on the delicate hairs on the hairline, which may cause hair loss and thinning to occur. If you need to put your hair up, be sure to use an elastic without metal as the metal can pull out your hair when removing your pony. Use a scrunchie, claw clip or a no-metal hair tie instead.
2. Limit Your Use of Heat Tools
Heat can be very damaging for your hair so limit your use of hot tools as much as possible. Heat causes bonds within the hair to fracture, leading to brittle hair that breaks and falls out. Try to allow your hair to dry naturally as often as possible and if you need to use heat tools, be sure to use a heat protectant spray. Also make sure not to leave the tool on your hair for too long, moving it around every 10 seconds or so.
3. Steer Clear of Chemical Processing Treatments
Chemically straightening or curling your hair, bleaching or lightening your hair can all cause damage to the hair shaft, weakening the hair and causing loss. If you do use chemical processing, make sure to use a deep-conditioning mask at least once a week to minimize damage.
4. Eat Hair-Healthy Foods
Focus on eating foods high in vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc and vitamin B12. Eat lots of leafy greens, nuts, beans, fish and lean meats. You can also try dietary supplements if you don’t feel like you’re getting enough nutrients in your daily diet.
5. Give Yourself a Scalp Massage
A scalp massage can improve circulation to the scalp, stimulating hair growth. Use the fingers of both hands to apply light to medium pressure on your scalp, moving in small circles. Be sure to cover all areas and massage for at least 5 minutes, several times a day. You can do it at your desk, while you’re watching TV or in the shower while you apply shampoo or conditioner.
6. Protect Your Hair From Sunlight (and Other Sources of UV light)
Some vitamin D is important for hair growth, however, constant exposure to the sun or other sources of ultraviolet light can contribute to breakage and visible thinning of your strands. If you’re going to spend a long time in the sun, make sure to wear a hat or find a spot in the shade.
5 Tips to Treat Female Balding
1. Topical treatment like Minoxidil (or Rogaine)
2. Low level light therapy
3. Hormone therapy such as birth control pills if hair loss is due to hormone imbalances
4. Use a biotin hair loss shampoo such as the NewYorkBiology Shampoo & Conditioner Set
5. Consider corticosteroid injections for hair loss due to alopecia areata
4 Tips to Hide Female Balding
1. Touch Up Your Roots
If you’re noticing bald spots, you can head to the salon to touch up your roots, which will help to camouflage the bareness. This can be a lot of upkeep, so you may also try root cover up spray or root cover up powder. These options are meant to lengthen the time between salon appointments. They’re great for masking bald spots and are available in different shades depending on your hair colour.
2. Opt for a Shorter Cut
While you may think having less hair is counterintuitive, longer hair actually weighs down hair near the scalp, so you lose fullness and volume at the root. Finer hair typically looks best at shoulder length or shorter. Longer hair can end up looking stringy and heavy layers thin out the bottom even more, adding to a more scraggly appearance. Stick to cuts like bobs, lobs or blunt cuts if you’re experiencing female balding.
3. Be Strategic with Layers and Don’t Cut Bangs
Cutting bangs is probably one of the worst things you can do if you have thinning hair. Female balding typically begins at the crown, so by creating bangs, you’re removing hair from where you need it most. You should also be strategic with layers as layering your strands can make them look skimpy. Keep layers near the crown of the head for more lift and density. Or instead of layering, consider texturizing the ends, which will make it look longer and fuller.
4. Style Your Part
When it comes to parting your hair, avoid centre part styles and sleek, smooth looks. A deep side part will give you volume and fullness around the face. You can add more texture to your hair by adding waves with a curling iron or wand.
If you’re experiencing female hair loss, we hope these tips help you feel more confident with your hair!