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6 most common reasons for female hair loss

Around 10% of the hair transplant patients at Crown Clinic are female.

This is because around 40% of women suffer from hair loss at some point in their lives.

For most women, this hair loss is temporary and there is no reason to have hair transplant surgery - either a follicular unit extraction (FUE) or follicular unit transplantation (FUT) procedure.

But for a significant number of women hair loss is permanent and a hair transplant offers the only permanent solution to their problem which does not require regular maintenance and upkeep (think hair extensions).

Here Crown Clinic's hair transplant surgeon Asim Shahmalak looks at the 10 most common reasons for female hair loss.

1 Bad hair maitenance 

Over-use of harstyling tools like straighteners and hair products like gels, mousse, sprays and colours can damage the hair shaft - and prolonged use can hamper the growth of new hair. Modern hair techniques: extensions, beads, hair straighteners, weaves, bleaching, dying - all this can damage the hair and lead to hair loss and conditions such as traction alopecia. Naomi Campbell suffers from traction alopecia, as you can see from recent pictures showing substantial hair loss at the front of her scalp. This is almost certainly due to her over-reliance on hair extensions and weaves for most of her modelling life. She has worn straight extensions over her normal curly hair for a number of years. Traction alopecia occurs when the extensions pull on the natural hair, causing it to break, and usually affects the hairline just above the forehead or the sides, where the hair is weaker. It can take between three months to a year for hair to grow back in moderate cases. But if the pulling continues the hair will never grow back and the only option is a hair transplant. Crown Clinic patient Calum Best believes his hair loss is partly down to poor hair maintenance. 

2 Surgery, illness and medication

The body shuts down the production of non-essential products, including hair, so that it can concentrate its resources where they are most needed.

3 Hormones 

Conditions such as low blood count, hormonal changes, pregnancy and thyroid problems can also affect hair growth and lead to hair loss. Usually in these cases the hair loss is temporary and it will grow back.

4 Stress

This is a big trigger for hair loss. Of course, women can take measure to avoid stress. This involves living more healthily: achieving a good work-life balance and eating and exercising well. I cannot stress enough the importance of exercise. Exercise releases
endorphins into the system that are responsible for the feeling of elation.

5 Lifestyle 

Hair loss can also be lifestyle induced. It is important to live healthily to maintain a good head of hair in both sexes.
When you don't eat enough food or avoid the necessary vitamins, your hair will lose the nutrients that make it strong and beautiful. Make
sure your diet is rich in vitamins like iron and zinc.

6 Your parents/genetics 

There is a powerful genetic link to hair loss - put simply, if your mother or grandmother has thin hair or suffers hair loss, there is agood chance you will too as a woman. This is called Androgenetic Alopecia, or hereditary pattern hair loss, and affects around 20% ofwomen - most obviously through thinning over the central scalp. Basically women can inherit sensitivity to the effects of malehormones (androgens) on the scalp and hair follicles causing thinning of the hair in the same way that it does with men. But women rarely develop a receding hairline. Androgenetic Alopecia is most commonly seen in women after the menopause but can occur in younger women and has even been know to begin in puberty.