Why am I losing hair and how do I make it stop?

About 40 percent of women in midlife experience thinning hair. What you can do to make it stop depends on the cause. Your hair loss may be the result of hypothyroidism. It’s pretty common; one in eight women will have thyroid disease in her lifetime. Your doctor can order a simple blood test that will show if that’s the problem. Supplementation of thyroid hormone is usually the treatment.

Changes in hormone levels are another likely cause. When estrogen and progesterone decline, as they do during menopause, the hair thins and it grows more slowly. 

About 40% of midlife women experience thinning hair.

Are you getting enough iron and vitamin D? If not, that may be part of the problem. Stress, weight loss, and medications (e.g., antidepressants) may be the culprits.

Your doctor can help you identify what’s going on and then recommend the treatment that’s best for you. In the meantime, be gentle with your hair. Blow drying, coloring, straightening, and highlighting take a toll on hair, so cut back if you can.