Female type hair shedding or androgenetic alopecia is the most common reason of hair loss seen in women, and is more common in usual than estimated. Hair loss is seen in females 25% at ages of 35-40, and 50% above age 40. 20% of the women with hair loss have a positive family story. In the genetical type hair loss, the woman may have inherited the genes from either father or mother. In this genetical originated hair loss cases, aromatase enzyme and 5 alfa reductase enzymes have a significant role. 5 alfa reductase enzyme, which is the number one cause of hair loss in males, is in smaller amounts in women. Aromatase enzyme is found in the estron and estradiol generation, which are the estrogens, and decreases the amount of DHT. Due to the activity of aromatase enzyme, no shedding is seen in the front hairline in females, which is different from males.
Even though it is considered that the hair loss among females is rare, 30% of women suffer from thinning of hairs at least once in their lives. As this situation commonly occurs in the whole hair in women and does not cause a complete baldness contrary to the men, the front hairline is usually preserved; this is why the female type shedding (thinning and dilution) is rarely perceived. This situation, which is considered to be rare but affecting 1/3 of women, may cause a huge demoralization even at the first phases of thinning in hair because it is a case that women do not want to experience and the feared complete baldness is unacceptable by the society. Women usually want to cover and hide their shedding and thinning hair; even do not share their problem with other women. All these false beliefs and behaviors make the female type shedding cases harder than they usually are.
Androgenetic female type hair shedding ranks first among the causes for hair loss in women. Apart from that, frequently seen causes for hair loss are as follows: Hypo and hyperthyroidism (loss of hair may be one of the early symptoms of thyroidism disfunction, and the loss of hair stops after the treatment); polycystic ovarian syndrome (a hereditary ovarian disease that might be seen in the 10% of women during reproductive period); hormonal changes affiliated to pregnancy (temporary hair loss during pregnancy, recovered afterwards); hormonal changes affiliated to menopause (hair loss may be seen with the start of menopause, and it decreases and disappears with medicine treatment that fixes menopause syndromes). In approximately 80% of women going through the menopause, the thinning of hair may be seen.
Hair damages in women can be misunderstood as thinning or shedding of hair. The reasons for split ends may be hair straighteners, hair softeners, frequent hair dyeing and permanent hair setting (may be straightening or waving like Brazilian hair setting etc.) In addition, tying the hair very tight, weaving, tightly shaping as Egyptian weave and tying by stretching to the back damage the hair follicles and cause traction alopecia). These kinds of hair models that damage the hair by causing stress should be avoided.