Causes of Hair Loss In Women

In women more often than in men, hair loss may be due to conditions other than androgenetic alopecia. The more common of these causes are:
  • Trichotillomania: compulsive hair pulling. Hair loss due to trichotillomania is typically patchy, as compulsive hair pullers tend to concentrate the pulling in selected areas.
  • Alopecia Areata: a possibly autoimmune disorder that causes patchy hair loss that can range from diffuse thinning to extensive areas of baldness with "islands" of retained hair.
  • Triangular Alopecia: loss of hair in the temporal areas that sometimes begins in childhood. Hair loss may be complete, or a few fine, thin-diameter hairs may remain. The cause of triangular alopecia is not known.
  • Scarring Alopecia: hair loss due to scarring of the scalp area. Scarring alopecia typically involves the top of the scalp and occurs predominantly in women. The condition frequently occurs in African-American women and is believed to be associated with persistent tight braiding or "corn-rowing" of scalp hair. A form of scarring alopecia also may occur in post-menopausal women, associated with inflammation of hair follicles and subsequent scarring.