When we talk about the causes of hair loss in women, while there is typically a primary cause, we often talk about it being multi-factorial, as there can be many contributing factors. Some of the most common contributing factors including stress, diet, postpartum, hormonal changes, and aging. While these can happen at any time, there are certain age groups that are certainly at higher risk for each of these potential causes of hair loss. Below we will look at different age groups and examine potential risk factors to be on the lookout for.
Ages 20 to 30 – Nutritional Deficiencies
What feeds your body feeds your hair and young women are at especially higher risk for nutritional deficiencies. Nutrition plays a key role in hair health as the hair follicle is an extremely complex structure that requires specific vitamins and nutrients to grow healthy and vibrant hair. Unfortunately, many of the vitamins and nutrients needed by the hair follicle are also needed by key organs in our body and when we are deficient in these, our body does not give them to our hair. One study conducted in Australia in 2014 on 308 women between the ages of 18 and 35, found a high rate of iron, vitamin B12, and selenium deficiency, which are all known to play an important role in hair health.
Ages 30 to 45 – Genetic Hair Loss
Androgenic alopecia, more commonly known as Female Pattern Hair Loss, is a genetic form of hair loss and is the most common form of hair loss affecting around 40 percent of women in their lifetime. Typically, androgenic alopecia will start for women in their early thirties, but it can take many years before they really notice. Over time, the hairs begin to thin in a process called miniaturization and over time the hair will disappear. The key to treating androgenic alopecia is starting early as it is easier to prevent a further loss than it is to regrow what was already lost.
Ages 45 to 55 – Hormonal Changes
Women’s bodies go through tremendous hormonal changes during our lifetime and after age 45 as women start to get into those premenopausal years, the hormonal changes can be drastic. The biggest issue becomes the ratio of estrogen (estradiol) to testosterone. Testosterone is one of the biggest drivers of androgenic alopecia, but when the hormones are in balance and the estrogen and progesterone levels are normal, the testosterone does not have the same effect. Right before menopause and during menopause, the levels of testosterone and estrogen decrease, but not at the same rate. Your estrogen levels drop 75-80%, while testosterone only drops around 20-25%, which means the ratio of testosterone to estrogen increases and this is not good for your hair and can accelerate androgenic alopecia.
Age 55+ - Rejuvenation Slows
Unfortunately, as we age, our body does not rejuvenate itself the way it did when we were younger. Once we reach about 60, we definitely see this with our hair. Our hairs are not only grey, but they are thinner and there will be less of them. It is important to be careful with your hair as any damage we cause them, will not be repaired as efficiently, since our bodies are not able to rejuvenate in quite the same way it did before.
Whatever age you may be experiencing hair loss, you have options for treatment. Schedule your consultation today to take back control of your hair loss and rewrite your hair story!