The reasons why women lose their hair is quite often different to the reasons men lose their hair. Female hair loss is surprisingly common and can happen in your twenties, forties, sixties or eighties. Younger women do not expect to lose their hair or notice hair thinning, so it can be quite distressing. This is why I wanted to share with you the main underlying root causes for hair thinning and loss.
The 6 Main Root Causes For Women’s Hair Loss
Hypothyroidism is where your body is not producing enough thyroid hormones, resulting in dry skin, weight gain, increased fatigue, constipation, nausea, painful or prolonged menstruation, mental health issues and, you guessed it, hair loss.
Just take thyroid hormones, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. These ‘fake’ hormones may still not be converted into T3, if this is the problem which may have been overlooked by conventional doctors as they are just masking the issues with pharmaceuticals, rather than getting to the root cause. If it is making its way to T3, it may be being converted into reverse T3.
Really, you need to bring your thyroid back to healthy levels, which is working out what deficiencies and toxicities are in the body. You also can’t heal your body without looking at your stress levels and the HPA axis. This is because you may not be converting TSH due to deficiencies or toxicity, but if the adrenals are not functioning properly, you will never overcome your thyroid issues.
For this I recommend testing your thyroid with an at-home lab test. Your TSH should be between 0.5-2. Plus, T3 levels should show whether your body is converting thyroid hormones properly. If this isn’t the case, you may have your answer for the hair thinning or loss!
2. Not Enough or Too Much Estrogen
You need a good balance of estrogen, if you have not enough, or estrogen dominance, then you can experience hair loss, along with a lot of other symptoms. There are so many causes for estrogen imbalance: gut health, toxic load, too much exposure to endocrine disruptors and chronic stress.
Most of my clients are chronically stressed and have some kind of gut issue, impacting the liver and digestive’s system ability to detoxify and the body’s ability to manufacture correct amounts of estrogen.
There are ways to improve your estrogen metabolism, such as completing a functional medicine detox, such as the 21 Day Reset. Another non-negotiable would be improving your gut health, using a science-backed healing protocol, such as the GI Protocol.
PCOS can affect women earlier in life and as a consequence they will experience higher levels of cortisol, elevated fasting blood sugar and higher testosterone. Even if PCOS is ‘genetic’, this does not mean that it is inevitable. In fact, these genes need to be triggered to cause PCOS, which can be done by the environment, certain foods, toxins, lifestyle factors and stress.
If PCOS is the likely cause of your hair loss, then we need to work to lower the higher levels of androgens and begin to calm the sympathetic nervous system. Why? If your testosterone levels are high, there is more risk for androgenic alopecia.
What about DHT blockers? Medications like Propecia can affect fertility and seriously harm an unborn child. If you planned on using them short term, you would need to work with a conventional doctor on this, but I will always recommend more natural forms of DHT blockers.
However, I am much more of an advocate of finding the root cause by running lab tests, such as the Weight Management and Thyroid Test. This test is never just used for weight gain or loss, it is so comprehensive and will give you a good indication of whether you are trapped in the vicious cycle of toxicity, inflammation and PCOS.
Once you understand the root cause(s) for your inflammation and PCOS symptoms, you are better equipped to address the root cause for the PCOS and, in turn, your hair loss.
4. Fungal Based Infections
Fungal based infections resulting in hair loss is more common than you’d think, and the crazy thing is so many women have no idea that this is what they’re dealing with. Whether it’s ringworm or candida overgrowth or something else, it can affect the scalp!
When this happens, the hair falls out in the specific spots and can cause scarring. When scar tissue grows back, the follicle does not return, which means this can inhibit regrowth. To know whether this is the case, testing your gut is extremely important. If you can’t afford lab tests, then I recommend going straight on to do the GI Protocol.
In the meantime, you can use anti-fungals topically on the scalp. Sesame oil and coconut oil both have anti-microbial properties and can be massaged into the scalp before bed, killing some of the fungus on the scalp itself.
Stress can also cause your hair to fall out, and this may happen a few days later or it may happen months down the line. How can that be? Well, hair has specific growth cycles, roughly every 90-120 days your hair will enter a different phase. If you had a stressful week or two weeks 90 days ago, then you could only notice the ramifications 3 months later as your hair starts to fall out in its new cycle.
I want to reassure you that some hair loss is normal, it should be about 10% falling out and 90% growth, with naturally more growth in winter, perhaps, and less in summer. However, if you have spotted a noticeable and sudden change, you may want to think about whether you have experienced high levels of stress in the last few months.
Remember, stress isn’t just mental or emotional. Infections and viruses are highly stressful for your body and could be at the root of your hair loss.
6. Lower Calorie & Protein Diet, More Exercise
We have just spoken about stress and stress can come from anything that is putting extra strain on your body. If you are overexercising and undereating then you are causing your body stress, which can result in hair loss.
Not only this, when you exercise you break down muscle tissue. This is what is meant to happen, as it is then rebuilt stronger. But, of course, there is a process to this. The process requires glucose and protein and if you aren’t getting enough of this in your diet, and breaking down more muscle tissue due to exercise, then you will not have enough to rebuild and regrow.
Where does hair come into this? Hair is protein! So, it cannot grow without enough protein, and if your body is putting effort into rebuilding muscle with minimal protein, your hair will suffer. Additionally, your hair needs amino acids from protein to stay strong and unhealthy. Unhealthy hair will fall out and you will notice thinning.
Most people are not getting enough protein in their diet, especially anyone on a vegan diet. You should absolutely be giving your body enough protein and amino acids in your breakfast – I talk about how to do this and the best nutritional breakfast in my Morning Routine Protocol.
The Bottom Line
Hair loss one of the symptoms I had when I was going through my health issues so I know how much distress it can cause.
However, I want you to know that there is an answer for everything, so there is an answer for why you are experiencing hair loss or thinning. The first part of rebuilding your hair health is working out what the underlying issue is that is resulting in hair loss. Once you have worked that out, then you will be better equipped to reverse the issue. Which you totally can do!
If you absolutely cannot afford functional lab tests to help investigate, then I recommend doing the 21 Day Reset to support the liver and detoxify the body, followed by the GI Protocol to reset, rebalance, and rebuild your gut.
The Surprising Link Between Sunglasses and Hormonal Imbalance: Understanding the Impact on Your Health