Scalp Hair Loss (Female)

What Causes Scalp Hair Loss (Female)?

Scalp hair loss can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' to 'very serious'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose scalp hair loss, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "scalp hair loss" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Drug Side-Effects
  • Vitamin A Toxicity
  • Hypopituitarism
  • Vitamin B6 Need
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • Mercury Toxicity
  • EFA Need
  • Zinc Need

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
jaw lymph node problems
minor inflamed cuticles
diminished perspiration
seizures
fatigue after slight exertion
often/always feeling unusually cold
tongue soreness
minor mouth sores
moderate alcohol consumption
bulging eyes from hyperthyroidism
a few white spots on fingernails
history of cysts in breasts
... and more than 110 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of scalp hair loss:
Cause Probability Status
Vitamin A Toxicity 93% Confirm
Drug Side-Effects 23% Unlikely
Lupus (SLE) 18% Unlikely
Zinc Need 2% Ruled out
EFA Need 2% Ruled out
Vitamin B6 Need 2% Ruled out
Mercury Toxicity 0% Ruled out
Hypopituitarism 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Hair-Related Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about scalp hair loss (female):
Is the hair on your head becoming less dense? In other words, are you losing hair at a noticeable rate?
Possible responses:
→ Normal loss / not applicable / don't know
→ Moderate loss
→ Much loss
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate scalp hair loss, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Calcium Requirement

Mineral metabolism of 19 patients with hair loss was examined.  Eighteen of those patients showed considerable problems with calcium absorption.  Specific nutritional and mineral therapy resulted in improved hair growth after 2-3 months of treatment.  [Blaurock-Busch, E.  Wichtige Nahrstoffe fur Gesunde Haut und Haare, Kosmetik Internat.  3/87]

EFA (Essential Fatty Acid) Requirement

Essential fatty acid deficiency can results in dry, brittle hair and hair thinning or loss.

Effects of a Low Carbohydrate Diet

Hair loss is a common side-effect of low-carb diets.  A study funded by Dr. Atkins himself found that about 10% suffered from hair loss.  The precise cause is unknown at the time of writing: it may be due to basic malnutrition, or, as one of our doctors notes, "I've seen this over and over again in my practice.  Basically, this diet can cause your cortisol levels to go sky high, which will lead to hair loss.  Ideally, you should change your diet to help solve this problem."

Hypothalamus / Pituitary / Pineal Dysfunction

Any condition that upsets the ovary, adrenal or pituitary gland may result in hair loss.

Hypothyroidism

In rare cases, diffuse hair loss may be the only symptom of hypothyroidism, but in many people with hypothyroidism the hair is not affected.  Once thyroid hormone is administered, regrowth of hair occurs in approximately 2 months.

Iron Requirement

Iron deficiency anemia can in some cases contribute to hair loss.

Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)

Alopecia occurs in 50% of patients.  Typically manifested as reversible hair thinning during periods of disease activity, it is demonstrated by the ease with which hair can be plucked from the scalp and the development of "lupus hairs" (i.e. short strands at the scalp line).  Following an acute attack of SLE, usually with fever, patients may experience much generalized hair loss.  This results from a period of arrested hair growth during the acute episode.

Manganese Requirement

Mineral metabolism of 19 patients with hair loss was examined.  The analysis showed manganese deficiency in all 19.  Specific nutritional and mineral therapy resulted in improved hair growth after 2-3 months of treatment.  [Blaurock-Busch, E.  Wichtige Nahrstoffe fur Gesunde Haut und Haare, Kosmetik Internat.  3/87]

Mercury Toxicity (Amalgam Illness)

Mercury toxicity can cause hair loss.

Vitamin A Toxicity

Vitamin A toxicity symptoms include skin that has a rough and dry appearance, hair loss and brittle nails.

Vitamin B6 Requirement

Especially if associated with birth control pill use.

Yeast / Candida Infection

Candida can cause hair shedding in male or female patients.  The exact mechanism is unclear because there are so many possible pathways.  The three most likely pathways are thyroid dysfunction, allergies and enzyme suppression.

Zinc Requirement

Mineral metabolism of 19 patients with hair loss was examined.  Twelve of those patients had problems with their zinc metabolism.  Specific nutritional and mineral therapy resulted in improved hair growth after 2-3 months of treatment.  [Blaurock-Busch, E.  Wichtige Nahrstoffe fur Gesunde Haut und Haare, Kosmetik Internat.  3/87]

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