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Hair Loss in Women: Reasons, Forms & Treatments

Hair Loss in Women: Reasons, Forms & Treatments

Medical Director Dr. Hans-Georg Dauer

11 min

March 10, 2021

Is hair loss exclusive to men? Not at all, women are also affected. Around 20 percent of all women suffer from premature hair loss at least once in their lives - but not only in old age. Every fourth woman under 40 is affected by hair loss - a pretty shocking result.

The frightening thing: It often hits women even harder than their male counterparts. Thinning hair is an itch for their self-confidence. Spider spots and bald patches simply don't fit into the ideal of beauty.

More often than you’d think, the enormous pressure of suffering from hair loss even leads to psychological complaints. Inner restlessness, depression and anxiety are just around the corner.

This should be reason enough to take a closer look at hair loss in women. What causes it, what forms are there and how can it best be treated?


Hair loss is not always the same. The beauty blemish not only has different causes, but also different forms. We present the most common factors and clinical cases.

Hereditary Hair Loss

Just like men, women most often suffer from hereditary hair loss. In this case, the medical term is androgenetic alopecia. But what actually happens there?

With hereditary hair loss, the hair roots react hypersensitively to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). And exactly this hypersensitivity makes the coat of hair lose its fullness, its volume and its vitality.

For men, the loss of scalp hair mainly appears on the back of the head, while for women mainly the forehead area is affected. The hair thins out especially in the crown area. It becomes thinner and weaker, which makes the naked scalp shimmers through more and more. And precisely because of this, the crown appears more conspicuous and wider.

Unlike men, however, women rarely develop a semi- or full bald head. They mostly remain light parts in their hair coat.

Most often, hereditary hair loss occurs during menopause. After all, the hormonal fluctuations affect not only the skin, but also the hair.

But fortunately, women are not powerless in the face of hair loss. The active ingredient minoxidil can demonstrably slow down the advancing hair loss - whether in the form of shampoo or tinctures.

The mechanism of action: Minoxidil effectively stimulates blood flow to the hair roots, providing them with valuable nutrients. And the more nutrients the hair roots absorb, the more eagerly they work. This is how hereditary hair loss can be temporarily stopped. Occasionally, new hair even grows back thanks to Minoxidil.

Hormonal Hair Loss

From hot flushes to sleep disorders, to depressive moods - menopause is a stress test for many women. The stress test becomes even greater when your body decides to throw hair loss into this mixture.

Unfortunately, it’s not a rare to occur during menopause. On the contrary, every third woman complains of hair loss during their menopause. In medical terms, this is referred to as telogen effluvium.

The blame for hair loss are yet again hypersensitive hair roots that can no longer tolerate the male sex hormone DHT. How come they no longer tolerate it?

This is due to the change in estrogen levels. During menopause, the amount of estrogen decreases, flipping the ratio between female and male hormones upside down. Precisely these changes are literally pulling hair for women.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Mothers-to-be actually have reason to rejoice: the increased production of estrogen during pregnancy gives them a real growth spurt. The hair becomes fuller, stronger and shinier.

Unfortunately, some women are not as lucky. For them, hair growth decreases during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The result is lighter and weaker hair. But how so, you may ask?

More often than not, an iron deficiency is the culprit in hormonal hair loss. Did you know that during pregnancy, a woman needs about 60 percent more iron than usual? This is essential for the development of the unborn child.

However, if a woman does not consume enough iron through her diet, the risk of deficiency develops. And it is precisely this deficiency that makes one's hair stand on all ends.

Good to know: Hair loss occurs after pregnancy more often than during pregnancy. In this case, we speak of postpartum effluvium.

The reason: During breastfeeding, the body reduces estrogen production. The hormone balance of the new mother gets jumbled up, and the body’s response is hair loss.

Almost all women are affected by postpartum effluvium during the breastfeeding period - but to completely different degrees. While one loses tufts of hair, another may only find more hair in their hair brush.

So far so clear: However, there is no reason to worry about postpartum effluvium. Six to nine months after birth, hair growth usually goes back to normal.

The Birth Control Pill

The contraceptive pill actively interferes with a woman's hormonal balance. With the help of the hormones estrogen and progestogen, it artificially interferes with ovulation. It is not without reason that it has long been one of the most popular and reliable contraceptives in the world.

But the interventions in the hormonal balance are not always unaccompanied. For some women, in addition to mood swings, they even experience hair loss - both while they are taking them and after they have stopped.

Things are actually looking up once women start taking birth control pills. The pill often stimulates hair growth. The high level of female hormones gives the woman visibly stronger, shinier and fuller hair. It’s not without reason that the contraceptive is also called the beauty pill.

But the switch can flip quickly. If this is the case, progestogen is usually the culprit. It is not uncommon for the artificial hormones to cause hypersensitivity of the hair roots to the male hormone DHT. And this is exactly what causes the hair to lose its fullness, shine and vitality. However, only in very few cases do bald patches develop in hormonally induced hair loss.

Importantly, the female body quickly gets out of sync not only while they’re taking the pill, but also when they suddenly discontinue using it. If the body is suddenly restricted from artificial sex hormones, it likes to take revenge with skin blemishes or hair loss.

Fortunately, the visual changes are usually short-lived. The body simply needs time to find its balance again. Only slowly does the female body get re-accustomed to the production of estrogen in the ovaries to control the female cycle.

Circular Hair Loss

With circular hair loss (alopecia areata), the name says it all: circular, completely bald patches form on the scalp. In the worst case, there is even the threat of baldness - or even complete loss of the hair coat.

Circular hair loss is caused by an autoimmune reaction of the body. In other words, our immune system turns against our own body - more precisely, against our own hair roots.

Usually, the circular hair loss subsides on its own in a few months. However, it does not have to remain a one-time affair. It may strike again at any given time.****

Diffuse Hair Loss

Unlike alopecia areata, diffuse hair loss does not follow a specific pattern. On the contrary: the hair thins in many random places - be it on the forehead, the crown or the back of the head. Thus, the entire head of hair suddenly makes a significantly thinner and more feeble impression.

The special thing about diffuse hair loss: Often, the hair is not lost immediately. They only pause the growth phase for the time being and then switch to the so-called resting phase. Only at the end of this resting phase do several hairs fall out at the same time, leaving the impression of a thinning hair coat.

Diffuse hair loss is much more common in women than men. The two most common causes of this type of hair loss are hormonal fluctuations and thyroid disorders. However, stress, several infections or malnutrition are also possible causes - especially iron deficiency.

It is therefore all the more important to have the diffuse hair loss clarified by a trusted dermatologist. Often a single blood sample is enough to provide clarity.

Other Causes and Forms of Hair Loss

It doesn't always have to be hormonal fluctuations or genetic predispositions. Sometimes it comes down to simpler things, such as styling our hair. Aggressive shampoos, conditioners, treatments, setting lotions and hairsprays are full of chemicals - especially silicones and mineral oils. And exactly these are the ones that massively attack the healthy hair roots.

Equally damaging, of course, is extreme heat. Constant blow-drying, straightening, curling or crimping unnecessarily irritates the sensitive hair roots. If we go overboard with the hot styling, we quickly lose one or the other hair.

Another hair root killer is stress. When we are tense, our body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. And this is known to be straight-up poison for a lively and healthy hair growth.

At the same time, stress increases the number of nerve fibers that tightly surround our hair roots. The problem: These nerve fibers release various messenger substances - neuropeptides, for example. These messenger substances can attack our defense cells,  such as the mast cells.

Neurogenic inflammation is a real threat for our hair. In this case, an excessive number of cells die, causing hair loss. A first warning signal is itchiness of the scalp. However, many who fall victim to this only notice it when it’s too late. Suddenly, almost 20 percent of the hair is missing - a serious blow.

Is There Anything I Can Do About It?

There is good news for all hair loss patients: You do not have to hopelessly succumb to the loss of your hair. Fortunately, premature hair loss is easily treatable nowadays, with a variety of effective methods. There is not just one solution, but many.

The most valuable advice: always take it easy. Keep a cool head and weigh all your options. Don't stress yourself out and start jumping to conclusions. It's best to get advice from an expert - for example from HAIR & SKIN.

Our trained team of experts consists of competent medical professionals with a wealth of experience. With vision, innovative spirit and state-of-the-art technology, they develop tangible solutions for skin and hair - without long waiting times and exorbitant prices.

Another plus point: HAIR & SKIN offers you a free hair scan. The professional analysis is the first step towards healthy and full hair. It reliably determines the number, growth stages and composition of your hair.

Based on the findings, our experts then work out a tailor-made treatment method for you - for example:

The Hair Transplant

You long for strong and voluminous hair with a seductive shine. But you don't want the result to be visible for just a few weeks or months. You want it to last.

Hair transplantation finally makes your wish come true. It magnificently thickens bald patches, receding hairline and half or full bald patches with fresh and strong natural hair. Immediately, your hair looks much more youthful and vital - forever.

By the way: Have you already heard of the most innovative and advanced transplantation technique on the current market? The FUE method (Follicular Unit Extraction) is considered the number one method for transplanting your own hair.

Oh is that so? It definitely is, as it achieves promising results in both hereditary and hormonal hair loss. Not only the high success rate, but also the gentle procedure speak for the minimally invasive method.

How it works: Step by step, the surgeon removes strong hair follicles from the back of the patient's head - one by one. Shortly after, he carefully plants the hair roots that have just been removed into the bald areas. And voilà - now, virtually nothing stands in the way of your new hair coat.

Eleven to twelve months at the latest after the transplantation you will be happy with the final result. The sparse and bald patches have become a uniform, densely overgrown coat.

Good to know: For the best possible results, we recommend that you have autohemotherapy after the transplant. Directly after the procedure, we supply the freshly transplanted hair roots with a valuable nutrient bundle. This will really get your cell renewal and cell regeneration going.

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Hair Transplant

from CHF 100.–/month


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Autologous blood treatment – autohaemotherapy

It does not always have to be a hair transplant. Often, autohaemotherapy can help to jumpstart the desired hair growth.

How it works: Blood is drawn from you and is treated in a special preparation process. In this process, we isolate your red blood cells – for good reason.

This is because blood cells are rich in precious nutrients. Your hair roots literally can't get enough of them. Shortly after the first contact, the cells are already working at full speed.

Immediately after autohemotherapy, natural hair growth kicks in and provides extra volume and extra freshness on your head.


Hair loss is an issue affecting both males and females. Around 20 percent of the female sex complain about thinning hair, even occurring in women in their thirties.

The cause and type of hair loss could not be more different. Sometimes genes are to blame, sometimes it's hormonal fluctuations. Other known culprits are stress, infections, incorrect styling and aggressive hair care products.

In the meantime, however, no woman has to accept the diagnosis of "hair loss" without a possible solution.

Modern medicine provides her with highly effective, innovative treatment options that quickly, easily and effectively help her regain her youthful glow. Often, autohemotherapy is already enough.

Hair transplantation is at least just as popular. This gentle treatment conceals not only conscientiously, but also permanently eliminates small blemishes on the scalp. May your hair forever be youthful!