Causes of Female Hair Loss

Although baldness is usually thought of as a men’s issue, more than 50% of women will experience significant hair loss or thinning at some point in their life. For women, hair loss can be an especially great source of embarrassment and concern that undermines self-confidence.


Fortunately, there are a wide variety of safe and effective treatments that can help stop hair loss and/or regrow full, healthy hair in women. But the first step involved in choosing a hair restoration treatment is identifying the woman’s underlying causes of hair loss.


Finding the cause of female hair loss is a complicated problem, because there are more than 50 different factors that can affect thinning hair. Basically, these factors can be broken down into one of four categories: hereditary, medical, pharmaceutical or environmental factors.


Through expert medical examination by Dr. Ruthie Harper in our Austin, TX office, we can typically identify the cause of a patient’s hair loss – so that we can offer the most successful hair regrowth treatments customized for them. the great news is that, in most cases, once the underlying cause of hair loss is correctly identified and properly treated, a woman’s hair will hair will grow back.


Hereditary Causes of Female Hair Loss

Female Pattern Hair Loss

Androgenetic Alopecia is a hereditary condition that affects about 30 million American women. Although it can occur at any time, it is most common in a woman’s late 50s or 60s. Normally when a hair is shed it will be replaced by a hair of equal size. But in Female Pattern Baldness the new hair grows back finer and thinner, and eventually the follicle may stop making hair altogether.


Autoimmune Female Hair Loss

Alopecia Areata is another type of female hair loss thought to be hereditary. In this upsetting condition, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy hair follicles – causing the hair to fall out in patches. Fortunately, this type of female hair loss is typically not permanent – and the missing patches usually grow back in six months to a year.


Hormonal Causes of Female Hair Loss

Thyroid Disease and Female Hair Loss

Healthy thyroid hormone levels effect almost every function of the body – including healthy hair growth. As one of the “Top 10 Thyroid Doctors in Texas,” Dr. Ruthie Harper will perform complete testing for the optimal thyroid functions that are necessary for healthy hair.


PCOS and Female Hair Loss

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – or PCOS – is another condition that causes a woman’s body to make excess levels of male hormones. These “androgens” can cause unwanted hair to grow on the face and body, while causing hair on the scalp to become thinner.


Pregnancy and Hair Loss

The hormonal changes of pregnancy can keep resting hairs from falling out as they normally would, and then suddenly fall out at an alarming rate after childbirth. Called Telogen Effluvium, this type of female hair loss may take up to two years to return to normal. But with hair restoration treatment in our Austin, TX office, hair can grow back much faster.


Menopause and Female Hair Loss

The hormonal changes that occur due to menopause are also often the cause of female hair loss. Changes in estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels can result in the loss of healthy hairs, as well as slow down the rate of new hair growth.


Other Medical Causes of Female Hair Loss

Anemia and Female Hair Loss

Many women experiencing thinning hair or hair loss have an iron deficiency. For these women, iron supplementation typically stops hair loss and hair regrows normally. But taking iron supplements when not needed can lead to a dangerous iron overload that can damage the liver and other organs.So blood work should be done in our Austin, TX office before starting iron supplements.


Fungal Infections and Female Hair Loss

Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection that can trigger hair loss that occurs in itchy, round patches. Anti-fungal medication can treat ringworm and arrest this type of hair loss.


Lifestyle, Environmental and Female Hair Loss

Medications Can Cause Female Hair Loss

Hair loss can be a side effect of birth control pills, as well as other medications including blood thinners, and certain high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, and depression medications. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy to treat cancer can also damage hair follicles, triggering dramatic hair loss.


Dieting Can Cause Female Hair Loss

Many women notice hair loss 3 to 6 months after losing more than 15 pounds or more. This is typically the result of consuming insufficient amounts of the foods, vitamins and minerals that are critical for hair health.


Hair Styling and Female Hair Loss

Traction Alopecia refers to hair loss caused by damage to the follicles from extensions, cornrows, tight ponytails, tight rollers, etc. Frequent or harsh hair dyes, chemical treatments, blow drying, or straightening can also result in damage, breakage and hair loss.


Stress and Female Hair Loss

Additionally, extreme physical or emotional stress can cause the condition called Telogen Effluvium, in which hair follicles stop growing, lie dormant and fall out within two to three months. Anything that causes extreme physical or mental stress to the body including illness, surgery, an accident – as well as a loss or psychological trauma – can trigger hair loss in women. Hair growth is typically restored within 6 to 9 months, or faster with proper treatment.


Find Out Why Your Hair is Falling Out – Austin, TX

Don’t just “guess” why your hair falling out! With a thorough examination and blood work in our Austin, TX office, Dr. Ruthie Harper can identify the underlying cause of your thinning hair, so that the right hair restoration treatments can be recommended.


Ruthie Harper MD has been helping women in the Austin, TX area resolve their hair loss problems since 2000. She takes a thorough and scientific diagnostic approach to finding the cause of your female hair loss, so she can prescribe the most effective treatment(s) to restore a healthy, beautiful head of hair for you.


At Ruthie Harper, MD in Austin, TX we are experienced in addressing the many causes of female hair loss. We offer the latest treatments and technologies to create a customized hair loss and regrowth program specifically for you that will restore full, thick hair.


Female Hair Loss Consultation

Austin, TX






Ruthie Harper, MD


Ruthie Harper, MD

Dr. Harper founded Ruthie Harper MD, her internationally recognized practice in Austin, Texas, in 1999. Since that time, she has consulted with more than 10,000 patients and offers the latest services and techniques in health and wellness in the medical division of her practice, as well as non-surgical rejuvenation and skincare in the cosmetic portion of her practice. Her ongoing success serving the health and beauty industries is based primarily on her innovative integration of research, nutritional science, advanced functional testing, and advanced aesthetics.