An often unspoken condition, thinning hair affects more than 30 million women in the United States according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Although typically associated with older individuals, women as young as 15 and 16 can exhibit symptoms of female hair loss.
To understand female hair loss, you have to understand a little bit about the causes of the loss. Some people have a genetic predisposition towards thinning hair. An overabundance of testosterone combines with the enzymes in the hair follicle. Over time, this causes the follicle to shrink, changing the overall life cycle of the hair follicle and aborting its natural growth periods. This leads to the condition known as androgenic alopecia, or as some are trying to re-term it, "female pattern hair loss." Other causes can include polycystic ovary syndrome and certain autoimmune diseases.
The most common treatment for hair loss Minoxidil (commonly known as Rogaine). While this treatment works for individuals of both sexes, hair loss resumes as soon as treatment is stopped, making this more a stopgap than an actual cure. In short, it doesn't work, and it quickly becomes expensive.
For people who are experiencing new hair loss, consider changes that you have recently undertaken in your life. If you are on new medications, check online sources and talk to your doctor as this may be a possible side effect from your prescriptions. See if there are alternatives that you can explore.
Further, for women who often style their hair in tighter styles (braids, corn rows, ponytails, etc.), this may cause some tractional loss of hair that can be prevented by wearing in higher in looser styles. Repeated stress on the follicle can lead to individuals losing hair in the temple region.
For those looking for an herbal route, some herbs with estrogenic properties may provide some support in balancing sex hormones. Women should look for dong quai, damiana, black cohosh, or sage for herbal treatment.