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What causes hair loss for men and women?

What causes hair loss for men and women?

Posted by Superhairpieces on Aug 26, 2021

At Superhairpieces, we help our customers fight hair loss with the use of hair systems such as wigs and toupees. These hair systems cover up thinning or balding hair and instantly provide density and thickness along with plenty of hair coverage, confidence and beauty.

But what causes both men and women to lose their hair in the first place? And why does it seemingly happen randomly as well? Superhairpieces takes a look at what causes hair loss in men and women.

What is the main reason for hair loss in men?

hair loss in men

When it comes to men, the most common reason for hair loss is male pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia.

It usually involves balding or thinning in the front hairline, the top of the head and the crown area while in most cases, the hair on the sides and back of the head remain. As per the American Hair Loss Association, 25 percent of men will start losing their hair before the age of 21 while 85 percent of men will experience significantly thinner hair by the age of 50 due to male pattern baldness.

What causes male pattern baldness?

male pattern baldness

Male pattern baldness can be a genetic issue. If every male in your extended family is bald, the chances are you will also go bald eventually. In fact, there is a belief that baldness can come from the mother’s side of the family as well.

However, getting male pattern baldness is no guarantee either nor is it easy to predict. There are cases where one person in a family can have a full head of hair while others don’t and vice-versa. As per an Austin dermatologist, Adam Mamelak, MD, pattern hair loss is not straightforward and is a combination of genetics, hormone levels and the natural aging process.

But what is actually happening in our scalps that results in some men getting male pattern baldness while others don’t?

This is down to male sex hormones called androgens with the main one being dihydrotestosterone or DHT. DHT is converted from testosterone through an enzyme called congenital 5-alpha-reductase (5-AR), and is what contributes to male sex characteristics when one goes through puberty.

And if you’re susceptible to pattern hair loss, any increase in 5-AR will result in more DHT which binds to hair follicles, causing them to shrink and die. The end result is hair loss. This is why finasteride and other DHT-blocking hair loss solutions are used to prevent or fight male pattern baldness while minoxidil can help hair regrow for some.

What causes hair loss in women?

women hair loss

When it comes to women, the main cause of hair loss is female pattern baldness similar to male pattern baldness. Despite androgens being a male sex hormone, it is present in women as well though in smaller quantities. There are some differences, however — the main one being women will lose their hair in a different pattern compared to men. Additionally, female pattern hair loss is not as common in women as the counterpart is in men.

While it is genetic, balding or thinning hair usually develops as women get older and reach their forties and beyond. Many develop it after menopause which means hormonal changes are a big factor while it is also believed to be generally caused by an underlying endocrine condition or a hormone secreting tumor.

Treatment for women includes finasteride and dutasteride. Though they are not approved for men, doctors have prescribed them in some cases to fight female pattern baldness. Both come with the risk of the usual side effects associated with finasteride such as headaches and a decreased sex drive, while women shouldn’t get pregnant while taking this medication as it can cause birth defects. Another popular option is spironolactone which blocks androgen production and can regrow hair for some women. However, it also has side effects.

What are other causes of hair loss?

Both men and women can lose their hair due to reasons other than pattern hair loss. They include the following:

  • Alopecia areata, a rare autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss in patches.
  • Alopecia areata totalis, a rarer type of hair loss where you lose all the hair on your head while Alopecia areata universalis is the loss of hair in your entire body.
  • Traction alopecia, hair loss caused by repeatedly pulling your own hair. Trichotillomania is an example of such.
  • Telogen effluvium, a temporary form of hair loss where stress or trauma causes hair follicles to prematurely enter a resting state.

What’s the best solution for hair loss?

best hair loss solution

If you’re at an early stage in your hair loss, prescription medicine could be a highly-effective option. However, as aforementioned, these medicines come with side effects while any improvements hinge on whether you keep using them. With finasteride and minoxidil for example, you will have to take it for the rest of your life.

A more popular solution, especially if your hair loss is advanced, is a hair transplant. However, that comes with its own risks such as infection or a poorly done job. Additionally, a top quality transplant isn’t affordable for everyone.

If you’re looking for a more cost-effective solution that has no side effects on your body and provides instant results (hair transplants and prescription medicine can take at least a year for results), a hair system is your best option. For men, they can opt for a toupee or wig while for women, they can opt for a wig or hair topper.

Hair systems for balding men

If you are dealing with male pattern baldness, Superhairpieces has provided the following chart to help you determine which hair system is right for you depending on your stage of hair loss.

male pattern baldness

Additionally, you can also view our beginner's guide to buying a toupee or wig below.

hair system buying guide

Hair systems for balding women

For some women who are at an advanced stage of hair loss, they may tend to shave it all off or tie their hair up and wear human hair wigs as a permanent fixture on their heads. Others, however, can opt for human hair toppers instead.

The following stages of hair loss are all ideal for women with thinning or balding hair who would like to wear a hair topper. Additionally, hair toppers are more lightweight, comfortable and affordable than wigs so they may be the best option depending on your needs.

advanced stage of hair loss

What are hair toppers and how do you select one

That said, some of our wigs can be simply put on and require little maintenance compared to a hair topper. So if it’s within your budget, a wig is also a great option. Whatever you end up choosing, your hair loss will be concealed and you’ll have a full head of hair again!


If you are interested in learning more about wigs, toupees or hairpieces, contact one of our Superhairpieces consultants today at 1-866-814-7879 or email us at to set up your virtual appointment.

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