What Is Female Pattern Baldness
Female Pattern Hair Loss or baldness is typically characterized as a nonscarring diffuse reduction in hair density that begins over the scalp’s frontal and vertex areas.
FPHL is a progressive follicle miniaturization process transforming terminal follicles into vellus follicles. Hormones or genetics are likely responsible for FPHL.
Medical Causes For Hair Loss In Women
The direct cause of female pattern baldness is unknown, but general hair loss in women can be due to many other medical reasons. Before you point to FPHL as your diagnosis, look for these:
An underactive or overactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism may cause hair loss, and is easy to rule out with a blood test that measures levels of TSH .
Iron deficiency anemia. Women with low iron levels often suffer from hair loss. An easy lab test to detect iron levels looks for ferritin in the blood. Women with ferritin levels lower than 100 ng/dl tend to report hair loss more frequently.
Psychological and emotional stress. A major illness, severe psychological trauma, significant weight loss and childbirth may trigger an episode of hair loss that begins a few months after the episode. This is called telogen effluvium, and hair loss occurs in all areas of the scalp.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome . Sometimes, this condition causes your body to produce too many androgens, which can decrease the growth of hair on your scalp.
Medications. Some common culprits of medication-related hair loss include beta-blockers, antidepressants, anticoagulants and chemotherapy drugs. I cover a list of them here.
Should I Have Any Hormone Tests Done
Blood tests include female and male sex hormone levels as well as thyroid function, as part of the diagnostic workup.
The majority of women affected by FPHL do not have underlying hormonal abnormalities. However, a few women with FPHL are found to have excessive levels of androgens. These women also tend to suffer from acne, irregular menses and excessive facial and body hair. These symptoms are characteristic of the polycystic ovarian syndrome although the majority of women with PCOS do not experience hair loss. Less often, congenital adrenal hyperplasia may be responsible.
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How To Stop Thinning Hair: Hair Loss Treatment For Women
Medications are the most common treatment for hair loss in women. They include the following:
Minoxidil . This drug was initially introduced as a treatment for high blood pressure, but people who took it noticed that they were growing hair in places where they had lost it. Research studies confirmed that minoxidil applied directly to the scalp could stimulate hair growth. As a result of the studies, the FDA originally approved over-the-counter 2% minoxidil to treat hair loss in women. Since then a 5% solution has also become available when a stronger solution is need for a woman’s hair loss.
Clearly, minoxidil is not a miracle drug. While it can produce some new growth of fine hair in some not all women, it can’t restore the full density of the lost hair. It’s not a quick fix, either for hair loss in women . You won’t see results until you use the drug for at least two months. The effect often peaks at around four months, but it could take longer, so plan on a trial of six to 12 months. If minoxidil works for you, you’ll need to keep using it to maintain those results. If you stop, you’ll start to lose hair again.
Some women find that the minoxidil solution leaves a deposit that dries and irritates their scalp. This irritation, called contact dermatitis, is probably caused not by the minoxidil itself, but rather by the alcohol that is included to facilitate drying.
What Happens To The Hair In Female Pattern Hair Loss
FPHL causes the hair to miniaturise. This means that each time we naturally shed a hair, the new hair rests inside the hair follicle and thins. This is an ongoing and gradual process, and over time the hair thins so much that it is unable to grow, leaving the scalp more visible. At this stage we see a general diffuse thinning to the top of the head.
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Women And Hair Loss: Coping Tips
Losing your crowning glory can be particularly difficult for women. But there are ways to cope.
Losing your hair as a woman, especially if you’re young or at a vulnerable time in your life, can badly affect your confidence.
Hair loss, known medically as alopecia, is fairly common. It’s estimated, for instance, that around 40% of women aged 70 years or over experience female-pattern baldness the most common type of hair loss, which is thought to be inherited.
How Will A Healthcare Provider Diagnose Hair Loss In Women What Tests Are Done
The tests performed to diagnose hair loss in women can be simple or complicated:
- Gently pulling on your hair to see how many hairs come out.
- Blood tests. These check for vitamin and mineral levels and hormone levels .
- Scalp examination under a microscope and trichoscopy.
- Scalp biopsy to remove and examine a very small piece of scalp skin.
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Female Pattern Hair Loss
Hair loss at any age can be devastating, wreaking havoc on your self esteem. Your hairstyle decision to camouflage the loss may even become the subject of an awkward joke at the Oscars delivered on the world wide screen. Hair loss can result from many causes, not just the autoimmune kind Jada Pinkett Smith famously suffers. Hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, nutritional deficiencies, stress, illness and traction all contribute to hair loss in women.
The most common type of hair loss in women is female pattern hair loss , according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It can occur at any age but typically begins during your menopause transition, in your 40s and 50s, as your estrogen and progesterone levels begin to decline. Unfortunately, female pattern hair loss is progressive, meaning you will continue to lose your hair overtime. Look around the next time you are in a room full of senior women. I bet you see a lot of scalps visible through the sea of hair. Thankfully, unlike men, women rarely go bald.
Since hormonal hair loss is usually gradual, you may not notice right away but there are signs. The slow widening of your part, thinning of your ponytail or overall thinning of your hair on the top of your head are common complaints. A great resource for your hair health is your stylist. If your hair is thinning, they notice, so dont be afraid to ask.
Barbra Hanna, DO, NCMP
Are There Other Treatment Options For Fphl
Women want innovative treatments for FPHL. To meet this need, researchers continue to look for new ways to stimulate hair growth and stop hair breakage. Other treatments that you may find for FPHL include the following.
Lasers for at-home use: The FDA has approved laser combs, helmets, and other devices, which are available without a prescription, to treat hair loss at home. These devices emit a low level of laser light that may help stimulate new hair growth. A few studies show that this can be effective for treating FPHL.
As with minoxidil and prescription medicines, you must continue using an at-home laser device to see results. We still do not know whether these devices are safe for long-term use or if they can continue to produce new hair growth.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy:
It is believed the platelets help stimulate your cells to grow hair.
Researchers are just beginning to study this therapy as a treatment for hair loss. The early findings show promise, but more studies are needed to know whether this is a safe and effective treatment for FPHL.
Stem cells: Using stem cells to treat FPHL is still in the experimental stages. Like platelet-rich plasma therapy, more studies are needed to know whether stem cells are a safe and effective treatment for FPHL.
Hair loss shampoos: These shampoos tend to do one of the following.
Help your hair hold moisture, which makes hair look fuller and thicker
Lessen breakage, which can reduce thinning
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Contact Vera Clinic For More Information
If you are interested in finding out more about female hair loss treatment you can contact us at Vera Clinic. We are one of the best hair transplant and cosmetic surgery hospitals and Europe and are proud to have opened back in 2013. All our hair transplant doctors have many years in the field and an artistic eye, they pride themselves on a passion for detail.
Causes Of Female Pattern Hair Loss
Different kinds of female hair loss have different causes. Some factors that can contribute to hair loss in women include:
- A family history of female pattern hair loss
- Certain medications, including some birth control pills
- Heavy blood loss during menstruation
- Changes in levels of androgen, the hormones that produce typically male features
Each one of your hairs rests inside a follicle. This is a hole in your skin that holds the hair in place. As you age, your hair follicles shrink, causing hair loss. The follicles might not grow new hair, but they stay alive. Research suggests that its possible for these follicles to eventually grow new hairs.
Some women may also suddenly start losing hair because of physical or emotional stress or shock. You may notice your hair falling out in your hands when combing or washing. Youll notice your hair getting thinner, but this kind of hair loss is usually only temporary.
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How Much Hair Loss Is Normal
Lossing around 50 to 150 hairs every day is considered normal. For women with long hair, losing 200 hairs per day is not unusual.
In the photo below, images 1 through 4 are considered normal daily hair loss. Images 5 and 6 indicate excessive shedding and close to 70 percent of women with female pattern baldness have excessive shedding.
Top Tips For Managing Female Pattern Hair Loss:
- Eat a balanced diet. In particular, protein is essential for good hair growth, so make sure you include it in your diet every day.
- Wash your hair everyday or every other day, which will help to keep the scalp balanced and clean.
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Noticeable Hair Loss In Women Can Be Deeply Distressing Here Are Some Medical Treatments That May Help
About one-third of women experience hair loss at some time in their lives among postmenopausal women, as many as two-thirds suffer hair thinning or bald spots. Hair loss in women often has a greater impact than hair loss does on men w, because it’s less socially acceptable for them. Alopecia can severely affect a woman’s emotional well-being and quality of life.
The main type of hair loss in women is the same as it is men. It’s called androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern hair loss. In men, hair loss usually begins above the temples, and the receding hairline eventually forms a characteristic “M” shape hair at the top of the head also thins, often progressing to baldness. In women, androgenetic alopecia begins with gradual thinning at the part line, followed by increasing diffuse hair loss radiating from the top of the head. A woman’s hairline rarely recedes, and women rarely become bald.
There are many potential causes of hair loss in women , including medical conditions, medications, and physical or emotional stress. If you notice unusual hair loss of any kind, it’s important to see your primary care provider or a dermatologist, to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. You may also want to ask your clinician for a referral to a therapist or support group to address emotional difficulties. Hair loss in women can be frustrating, but recent years have seen an increase in resources for coping with the problem.
Hair Loss: What Is Normal And What Is Not
All men and women lose hair. If you see a couple of your hair strands in the comb or the hairbrush, you have nothing to worry. The average person loses 5-100 strands of hair in a single day. This is absolutely normal. Hair has a growth cycle, and so every time hair completes the phase, it falls out.
Therefore, losing hair in a couple strands now and then is not actually a scalp condition or hair loss problem. The actual problem begins when you start to lose hair in clumps during bath or combing.
If you are experiencing excessive hair loss, you should instantly take notice of the same. In the case of female pattern hair loss, youll be able to see large areas of your scalp. This means you are losing a lot of hair, and so you should reach out to a dermatologist or doctor for clinical advice and treatment.
Early diagnosis plays a crucial role in determining the severity of the hair loss or thinning and getting the treatment to prevent further hair loss.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- What is the cause of my hair loss?
- How many strands of hair am I losing per day?
- What type of hair loss do I have?
- Will my hair loss be permanent?
- Whats the best treatment for me?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hair loss may cause you distress whether it happens because of genetics, a disease, or even stress. Know that there are some treatments you can try, and expert dermatologists are there to help you. Your hair loss may be able to be reversed. See your healthcare provider as soon as you notice something wrong because the sooner you start treatment, the better.
What Are The Myths About Hair Loss
Myths about hair loss are widespread. Nothing in the following list is true:
- Youre losing hair because you shampoo it too much, or because youve colored it or gotten a perm.
- Dandruff causes permanent hair loss in women.
- Stress causes permanent hair loss in women.
- If you shave your head, your hair will grow back twice as thick.
- If you stand on your head youll increase circulation, stimulating hair growth.
- If you brush your hair 100 strokes a day that will make your hair healthier.
- Hats and wigs cause hair loss in women.
- Hair loss only affects intellectual women.
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