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Hair Loss in Women Over 40

Bhakti Satalkar
Though hair loss is often observed in the elderly, it could even occur due to nutritional deficiencies, stress, or use of hair products that contain harsh chemicals. This story provides the causes of hair loss in women over 40.
Healthy hair is a sign of healthy body, which is why hair loss or the problem of thinning hair should be taken seriously. More often than not, women don't consult a dermatologist or trichologist to find the underlying cause of the problem. It is advisable to consult specialists instead of a physician.
Also, the problem may sometimes be self-inflicted. For instance, the use of hair color, dryers, hair straighteners, or other hair products that contain harsh chemicals could be a trigger. At times, women over the age of 40 may develop female pattern baldness.
This condition cause bald patches at the crown or top of the head. Aging and changes in the levels of androgens (male hormones) could be the contributing factor. Also, women with a family history of male or female pattern baldness could be at a greater risk.

Contributing Factors

The term Androgenetic alopecia refers to pattern baldness. This condition is caused by two enzymes called aromatase and 5-a reductase. Androgenetic alopecia is classified as an immune system problem, and the severity of the problem varies in different women. It can manifest as small round bald patches in some women.
At times, hair might grow back without any medical treatment. In chronic extensive hair loss, the loss of hair is observed not only on the scalp, but also on other parts of the body. In androgenetic alopecia, bald patches are predominantly observed on the crown of the head and on the sides of the head.
Women in their 40s could be affected by alopecia areata, a condition in which hair follicles are attacked by the white blood cells. In mild cases, appropriate treatment can bring about great improvement. However, problems can arise in severe cases.
Men and women have both male and female hormones, but the amount varies. The male hormones are known to cause androgenetic alopecia. It should not be assumed that this problem is caused due to elevated hormone levels in women. The actual cause is that some women are more sensitive to the hormone.
Diabetes or thyroid disorders could also be contributing factors. If the thyroid glands are not functioning properly, it can result in thinning hair. Nutritional deficiencies often give rise to hair loss in women.
Also, emotional stress is often a trigger. Thus, women who are going through a very stressful period could experience this problem.


The first step is to get blood tests done for checking the androgen levels in the body. These tests will help in assessing the exact cause of the problem. There are a number of immunomodulating therapies that can help treat the problem.
Basically, identifying and treating the underlying cause would help resolve this problem. Among the various other available treatments are hair transplants or the use of hair pieces.
At the same time, it is important to note that the use of drugs used to treat medical conditions such as cancer, high blood pressure, antidepressants, birth control pills, and blood thinners could lead to hair loss. Therefore, women who are taking such drugs need to inform their healthcare provider.
On a concluding note, consult a dermatologist on observing excessive hair loss or breakage. Following a healthy diet and staying stress-free will also go a long way in addressing this problem.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this story is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.