It is true that men are more likely to experience hair thinning than women, due to male pattern baldness, but that doesn't mean that hair thinning and hair loss isn't common in women also. There are many different factors that can lead to thinning and loss of hair in both men and women. In a lot of cases, hair thinning is associated with age; however many factors can take effect at any stage in life.
Physical and emotional stress
Any form of physical trauma and stress can lead to temporary hair loss that is also known as telogen effluvium. Going through a stressful event can shock the hair system and push through the growth and rest phase straight to the shedding stage. The good news is that as your body recovers, your hair cycle will also. Emotional stress is less likely to have the same effects on your hair as physical stress, but it could have some impact.
Male pattern baldness
Around 95% of hair thinning in men by the age of 60 is down to male pattern baldness. It is mainly characterised by the receding hair line and thinning in the crown of the head. This particular type of hair loss is caused by a combination of genes and sex hormones. The age of onset and severity is mostly genetically determined, but various supplements and treatments are available to slow down its effects and restore hair health.
Many studies have shown that poor nutrition, limited food intake and lack of certain nutrients can lead to hair thinning. Protein, biotin, zinc and iron are all important for healthy hair growth but a lack in these nutrients, a diet high in animal fats and a high intake of vitamin A can all have an effect on hair growth.
As previously stated, the onset and development of male pattern baldness is partly genetically determined and it is suggested to be similar for women. The female version of male pattern baldness is known as androgenic or androgenetic alopecia and if you come from a family where the women have started to lose their hair at a certain age, then you may be more likely to experience the same. Women may experience a widening of the parting and noticeably thinning hair.
Temporary hair thinning and loss can be caused by several different medication, including those for blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease as well as any medications that can affect the body's hormone balance like hormone replacement therapy, steroids and acne treatment. Hair loss can also be a side effect of certain drugs like chemotherapy.
Dramatic weight loss
Sudden and significant weight loss is a common cause of hair thinning and loss, especially if this is due to physical trauma. It is possible that the rapid loss of weight is causing stress on your body and not eating correctly can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Noticeable hair loss can also be a side effect of certain eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia. Any sudden weight loss can shock the body, but you hair growth cycle should correct itself after a certain period.