Hair loss can be temporary or long lasting. Temporary hair loss can be easy to fix when its cause is identified and dealt with, or difficult when it is not immediately clear what the cause is. Hair loss that could possibly have been temporary, may become long lasting as a result of an incorrect diagnosis. The potential for such misdiagnoses is perhaps the most frustrating aspect of hair loss for women. The information in this section will help you identify the cause of your hair loss and ideally lead you and your doctors to the right treatments for your particular kind of hair loss, sooner, rather than later.
Alopecia is the medical term for excessive or abnormal hair loss. There are different kinds of alopecia. What all hair loss has in common, whether it's in men or women, is that it is always a symptom of something else that's gone wrong in your body. Your hair will remain on your head where it belongs if hormone imbalance, disease, or some other condition is not occurring. That condition may be as simple as having a gene that makes you susceptible to male or female pattern baldness or one of the forms of alopecia areata, or it may be as complex as a whole host of diseases. Fortunately, hair loss may also be a symptom of a short-term event such as stress, pregnancy, and the taking of certain medications. In these situations, hair will often (though not always) grow back when the event has passed. Substances, including hormones, medications, and diseases can cause a change in hair growth, shedding phases and in their durations. When this happens, synchronous growth and shedding occur. Once the cause is dealt with, many times hairs will go back to their random pattern of growth and shedding, and the hair loss problem stops. Unfortuantely, for some women, hair loss becomes a life long struggle.