Genetically predisposed people produce an enzyme called 5 alpha reductose, which combines with testosterone. The resulting combination, called dehydrotesterone or DHT, causes hair follicles to shrink and deteriorate. Women produce far less testosterone than men, and therefore lose less hair.
As women enter menopause their hormones begin what has been called “The Poop-Out Syndrome.” Without adequate estrogen support, ovaries don’t perform as they once did.
But doctors shouldn’t be quick to dismiss hair loss in women as genetic. Often it can be a sign of a serious disease that needs to be evaluated.