If your mother suffered from excessive hair loss than it may well be that you will too. However, as the condition is rather rarer in women than men it is always best to check with your doctor that there is not any other more serious cause such as diabetes or hypothyroidism.
Many women experience a noticeable diffuse hair loss some months after having a child or after coming off birth control pills. This is because the hormones involved will have caused more hairs than normal to go into the growth stage of the hair cycle at the same time while the pills were being taken or during pregnancy. This means that those same hairs reach the shedding stage of the cycle at the same time and because hormone levels have fallen there arent the same number to replace them all at once. This is a matter that normally rights itself after a few months and so isnt really a problem. A similar diffuse loss can be the result of stress. In that case it is obviously better to treat the stress than the scalp, which will gradually right itself. Such stress causes the hair to go into the resting stage, where it remains in the follicle without growing, until it is pushed out by a new hair developing underneath it.
Finally there is hair thinning as part of the normal ageing process. As many as 13 % of women would say that they had some hair thinning before the menopause and by the age of 75 this percentage increase to about 75 %. It is due to the production of a chemical usually known as DHT, an excess of which in the body causes the hair follicles to produce thinner and thinner hair and finally to stop producing any at all.
Another important cause of hair loss in women is an autoimmune condition called alopecia areata in which the white blood cells attack hair follicles so that hair production stops. After a while there may be regrowth, though it can be patchy and does not occur in every case. Loss is usually on the top and at the sides of the head.
Hair loss in women is not caused by washing your hair too often or by brushing It too much. Dyes and perms will not cause permanent loss. Standing on your head will not make your hair grow more thickly, nor will shaving your head. Nor is thinning hair a sign that you are any less than you were before Hang on to that thought. But also get used to the idea that there is no one miracle cure whatever the advertisers may say.