There is evidence to show that about half of all women over the age of 50 experience some amount of hair loss. Female pattern hair loss is different than the type of hair loss that men experience – while men lose hair in a specific pattern women tend to have more diffuse hair loss; a thinning of hair all over the scalp rather than specific areas. This is the reason that many women do not realize that they’re losing hair until it has been going on for a while.
Symptoms of hair loss in women over 50
Many women may not realize that they are losing hair until later and tend to miss the early warning signs because the hair loss is not in patches. Women should look out for tell tale signs such as a thinner plait, a shorter or less dense pony tail. A wider hair part or more of the scalp showing through the hair is an indicator as well. Noticing more hair than usual on the comb or brush is another symptom to watch out for.
Common reasons for hair loss in women over 50
Typically women over 50 are menopausal women – menopause itself is a life altering event that impacts so many aspects of a woman’s life, among them the way the hair and skin, looks and feels. Hair can get less smooth and coarser because of the hormonal changes menopause brings about. More of the unwanted hair may appear on the face whereas the head may start to experience hair thinning or hair loss.
This happens because the proportion of male hormones called androgens increases and also because menopausal women typically experience higher levels of stress. There is also the fact that some women are genetically predisposed to hair loss.
Thyroid imbalances are another reason for hair loss. Women with a thyroid problem may also experience unusual fatigue, weight gain and other symptoms.
Anemia is another problem that contributes to hair loss in older women. When the body is not getting enough iron, this can manifest in many different ways including fatigue and low energy levels.
Non medical reasons for hair loss
For some women there could be other reasons such as extreme grief or bereavement that causes hair loss. Eating disorders or sudden and extreme weight loss can also bring about hair loss. A physical trauma or surgical procedure could trigger hair loss too.