When Does Hair Normally Start Thinning on Women?

When most people think of hair loss, they typically think of temple recession and thinning in men. But, both men and women can (and do) experience thinning hair.

While the causes for thinning hair (known as telogen effluvium) can be both hereditary and a result of daily habits, most women will experience it during their lifetime. But, the average age at which they do isn’t always immediately clear.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

So, What Is Telogen Effluvium?

As previously mentioned, this condition involves the thinning of the scalp’s hair.

The main symptom is excessive shedding, which is what eventually leads to noticeable thinning. Finding extra hair on your brush, in the drain, or on your pillow is a telltale sign that you may have this condition.

Hair naturally sheds when it enters the telogen phase, and it’s a normal part of the hair growth cycle.

Telogen effluvium causes hair to enter this phase prematurely and at an increased rate, which is what results in extra hair shedding from your scalp. 

While the primary cause in women can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint, it typically stems from one of the following:

  • Certain prescription drugs
  • Poor nutrition
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes from menopause
  • Pregnancy or childbirth

Fortunately, though, the effects of this condition are reversible. Some women may find that their scalp goes back to normal on its own, while others may need mild medical treatment in order to recover fully.

What Are The Effects of Thinning Hair?

When looked at objectively, hair loss is only devastating because of hair’s cultural association with youth, fertility, and beauty. This also applies to men who lose their hair.

But, since our society is so image-centric, these feelings can easily become overwhelming despite the fact that thinning hair does nothing to your body’s capabilities.

While it may seem superficial, women with thinning hair can experience a drastic drop in self-esteem. And, confidence plays a large role in many different parts of our lives.

The effects of thinning hair are entirely cosmetic. But, this can serve as a catalyst for other conditions that adversely impact a woman’s mental health.

These can include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional distress
  • An excessive fixation on the condition

Many women are able to cope with the symptoms on their own, but most would likely prefer treatment if they knew how simple and readily available it is. And, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to reverse the effects.

What Is The Average Age A Women Will Experience Thinning Hair?

This is difficult to say due to the genetic factors involved.

Similar to how some men are predisposed to balding at an early age, there are women who will experience thinning far younger than others will. Similarly, there are women who will keep most of their hair well into their 80’s and 90’s.

As previously mentioned, menopause is also a huge factor that comes into play.

Since this bodily change impacts some women more drastically than others, women who may have not experienced thinning until their elderly years may find they have telogen effluvium during the onset of menopause.

Given the wide range of years that women could begin to have thinning hair, it’s safe to say that sometime in your 40’s or 50’s will be when you first begin to notice it.

What Habitual Factors Can Contribute to Thinning Hair?

Thinning hair isn’t always the result of a medical condition. In fact, there are a handful of habits that can lead to increased shedding and subsequent thinning.

The good news is that they’re all entirely preventable. If making changes to your daily routine doesn’t improve your hair thinning, though, then telogen effluvium is likely the cause.

Let’s explore a few of them.

Heavy Brushing

As you may expect, forceful brushing is an easy way to cause premature shedding since you’re actively pulling out the roots of your hair.

Luckily, all it takes is a gentler touch to prevent this.

It’s also better to use a wide-toothed comb while your hair is wet as opposed to a traditional brush (unless you’re using a brush designed for use on wet hair).


Baseball caps specifically are often the culprit. The rubbing and pulling that occurs while wearing caps often leads to breakage.

This is especially true for women who have finer hair thickness, as this hair is more sensitive to physical contact.

Too Much Styling

Over-styling your hair can quickly lead to increased shedding and hair loss. This is especially true if you frequently subject your hair to high amounts of heat.

In general, the more you do to your hair while styling it, the greater the risk of breakage. So, simplifying your routine can go a long way when it comes to preventing thinning.


Those who swim competitively (or simply spend a lot of time in the pool) may find that they experience more thinning than they used to.

While it’s necessary to keep pools clean, chlorine strips away your hair’s natural oils and can leave your hair prone to breakage and dryness.

Limiting your time in the water or using restorative shampoo can help combat this.

Managing Thinning Hair Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about thinning hair in mind, you’ll be well on your way to taking the next steps that are best for you.

Want to learn more about quality oils that can help improve your hair’s health? This article has plenty of useful info.

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