The American Academy of Dermatology has estimated that at least half the women in the U.S. will experience some form of hair loss by the time they are fifty. The problem typically falls into a few general categories. One being telogen effluvium, it is described as generalized hair-shedding. It can occur in the months post-childbirth, after you stop birth control pills, or after a major emotional or physical trauma. Fortunately, in most cases it recedes within a year.
Another type of effluvium is brought on by medication or a medical problem, such as severe anemia, hormonal or endocrine abnormalities, or a thyroid disorder. Dermatologists will take a history, then order blood tests and maybe a scalp biopsy to determine the cause.
The third type of hair loss is female pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia. Women do not get large bald spots like men do, but if your hair is relentlessly thinning, your hairline is becoming more see-through and your part is growing wider – you’ve got FPB. It is genetic, and occurs with the plummeting estrogen levels related to menopause. Some women will opt to slow the progression of FPB with a topical solution minoxidil (Rogaine) which can take up to a year for results and is better for keeping what you have rather than replacing what you have lost.