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What Is Female Pattern Hair Loss

Whats Hair Loss In Women

Cause of Androgenetic Alopecia in Women! (Female pattern hair loss part 1)

Hair loss in women is just that when a woman experiences unexpected, heavy loss of hair. Generally, humans shed between 50 and 100 single hairs per day. Hair shedding is part of a natural balance some hairs fall out while others grow in. When the balance is interrupted when hair falls out and less hair grows in hair loss happens. Hair loss is different than hair shedding. The medical term for hair loss is alopecia.

Hair grows on almost all of your skin surfaces not the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, lips or eyelids. Light, fine, short hair is called vellus hair. Terminal/androgenic hair is thicker, darker and longer.

What Is Androgenetic Alopecia

Almost every woman eventually develops some degree of female pattern hair loss. It can start any time after the onset of puberty, but women tend to first notice it around menopause, when hair loss typically increases. The risk rises with age, and it’s higher for women with a history of hair loss on either side of the family.

As the name suggests, androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens, which are essential for normal male sexual development and have other important functions in both sexes, including sex drive and regulation of hair growth. The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes. It can also result from an underlying endocrine condition, such as overproduction of androgen or an androgen-secreting tumor on the ovary, pituitary, or adrenal gland. In either case, the alopecia is likely related to increased androgen activity. But unlike androgenetic alopecia in men, in women the precise role of androgens is harder to determine. On the chance that an androgen-secreting tumor is involved, it’s important to measure androgen levels in women with clear female pattern hair loss.

Female Pattern Hair Loss In Female And Male: A Quantitative Trichoscopic Analysis In Chinese Han Patients

  • 1Department of Dermatology, Peking University People’s Hospital, Beijing, China
  • 2Department of Dermatology, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China

Objectives: To investigate the trichoscopic features of female pattern hair loss in Chinese Han patients and analyze the difference between male and female patients with FPHL.

Materials and Methods: Trichoscopic images were taken in four different scalp areas, including right frontal hairline, vertex, right parietal and occipital areas. Hair density, hair shaft diameter, vellus hair ratio and single hair follicle unit ratio were counted manually and analyzed.

Results: Seventy-three subjects were enrolled in this study, including 38 patients with FPHL and 35 normal controls without hair loss. The hair density and hair shaft diameter of FPHL patients reduced in the whole scalp. Vellus hair ratio and single hair follicle unit ratio were both increased in FPHL compared to normal controls. The vertex was the most affected area and the hair shaft diameter showed the most significant difference. Parietal and occipital area were also affected in FPHL. The reduction or increase was correlated with the severity of Ludwig staging. Very few gender differences were detected in male and female FPHL patients.

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How Common Is Hair Loss In Women

Many people think that hair loss only affects men. However, it is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss , which affects about one-third of susceptible women, which equals out to some 30 million women in the United States.

Psychological Consequences Of Fphl

Female Patterned Hair Loss

Hair loss in women has a substantial psychological impact, and several studies have noted that it may result in depression symptoms and reduced quality of life . Interestingly, hyperandrogenic disorders, but mainly PCOS, may be associated with mood disorders and depression symptoms per se , but to our knowledge no study has specifically addressed the impact of hyperandrogenism on depression symptoms and quality of life in women with FPHL.

Pattern hair loss in women has significant impact on psychological well-being and quality of life .

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Single Hair Follicle Unit Ratio

The single hair follicle ratio is shown in the last part of Tables 2â4. Similar to the vellus hair ratio, the frontal area had the highest single hair follicle ratio and the lowest ratio was found in occipital area in both FPHL and normal participants . All four areas in FPHL patients showed statistical significance compared to the normal subjects, and the vertex area still had the top decrease among other scalp areas . There was no gender difference in both normal and FPHL participants .

What Causes Androgenic Alopecia

Androgenic alopecia in women is majorly linked to two factors – genetics and variations in the levels of androgens in your body. You may inherit it from a parent, if any of them has the condition.

Since it usually affects women above the age of 40 , it is also thought to be linked to elevated androgen levels. However, the exact cause remains unknown.

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Find A Trichologist In Toronto Gta

With the numerous available treatments for alopecia areata our Trichologist can recommend the best treatment that can help with alopecia areata. At Trichology Centre, we have helped patients with alopecia areata, advising them the best treatments available and helping them regain their confidence and self-esteem. Early assessment and treatment from the onset of hair loss is important and can help prevent the condition to worsen.

We have two clinics in the Toronto GTA,


225 Wellesley St E, Toronto9140 Leslie St, Richmond Hill.Please give us a call at 647-492-9093

When To Seek Medical Care

Causes of Female Pattern Hair Loss

If you are having significant, persistent hair loss or if there is redness, itching, or skin changes associated with the hair loss, seek medical advice, as there are sometimes other causes for hair loss that can be treated.If you have hair loss that is cosmetically concerning and other causes have been ruled out, you might consult a surgical specialist in hair replacement.

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What Happens In Female Pattern Hair Loss

In FPHL, the hair follicles progressively become shorter in length and smaller in diameter which causes thinning of the hair and eventually hair loss. Women affected by FPHL have diffuse thinning of the scalp hair and widening of the central parting. The hairline at the front of the scalp remains normal but there could be thinning of hair at the front of the scalp also. Some women may experience periods of increased hair thinning and shedding followed by periods of stability but over the years it progresses, and hair volume and density gradually decrease on the scalp.

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Coping With Hair Loss

Female pattern baldness can have an impact on your psychological and emotional well-being. Whether your hair loss is long-term or temporary, it can be difficult to accept. To make things easier, you can consider joining a support group or talking to your friends or family about it.

If youre having a hard time with your new appearance, you can consider options like scarves, hats, or hair extensions. You might choose not to cover your head at all. Either way, focus on the qualities that you love about yourself and celebrate them.

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How Long Does It Take For Fphl To Progress

FPHL can affect women in any age group, but it occurs more commonly after menopause. The hair loss process is not constant and usually occurs in fits and bursts. It is not uncommon to have accelerated phases of hair loss for 36 months, followed by periods of stability lasting 618 months. Without medication, it tends to progress in severity over the next few decades of life.

What Questions Might Your Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose And Categorize Your Hair Loss

Read This Before Your Decide On Your Hair Loss Treatment ...

Your healthcare provider might ask about your habits:

  • What kinds of hair products do you use?
  • What kinds of hair styles do you wear?
  • What types of food do you eat ?
  • Do you have a habit of pulling your hair out ?

They might ask about your history:

  • Has anyone in your immediate family experienced hair loss?
  • Is there anything stressful going on in your life?
  • What medications and supplements do you take every day?
  • Has hair loss ever happened to you before?
  • What foods are in your diet?

And, they might ask about your observations:

  • How long have you been losing hair?
  • Have you been shedding more?
  • Have you noticed hair loss in places other than your scalp, like your eyebrows? Leg and arm hair?
  • Does anything worsen your hair loss?
  • Does anything improve your hair loss?
  • Have you noticed hair loss occasionally or has it been going on continuously?
  • Have you noticed if your hair growth has changed?
  • Has your hair been breaking more often?

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Pathology And Pathogenesis Of Fphl

The histological hallmark common to male pattern hair loss and FPHL is miniaturization of hair follicles with a progressive transformation of terminal hair follicles into vellus-like follicles. Terminal hair follicles have a shaft diameter of greater than 0.06 mm, whereas vellus-like follicles are defined as hairs with a hair shaft diameter of 0.03 mm or less and are thinner than the hairs inner root sheath. In addition, women with FPHL have more follicles in the telogen or shedding phase of the hair cycle, and fewer in the anagen or growth phase .

The pathogenesis of MPHL involves activation of hair follicle cytoplasmic androgen receptors . Both testosterone and dihydrotestosterone activate the AR, however DHT binds 5 times more avidly than testosterone and DHT is thought to be the principle androgen involved in MPHL. Testosterone is converted into DHT by 5-reductase , and DHT in turn is converted into estrogen by the cytochrome P450 enzyme aromatase . Two isoforms of 5-reductase have been identified and separated on pH optima, substrate affinity, and tissue distribution . The type 2 isoform is found in the dermal papilla of the hair follicle and inhibition of this isoenzyme with finasteride is the principle treatment for MPHL .

Systematic Review Of The Literature And Meta

Peer-reviewed studies evaluating FPHL published through December 2017 were reviewed. Multiple databases were searched, including MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane, ERIC, EBSCO, Dissertation Abstracts International, and Current Contents. This review focuses on the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of the disorder. Some studies were eliminated because the data were either not related to the focus of the systematic review, insufficient for epidemiological analysis, or reported in previous publications. All data sources were analyzed while recognizing positive publication bias.

A meta-analysis was also performed to obtain pooled prevalence estimates on FPHL in subjects with PCOS. The terms of the MEDLINE search for this meta-analysis were: AND prevalence AND . The search was completed by examining the references listed in the articles identified.

After study identification, screening, selection, and inclusion, a quality-effects model was applied considering the heterogeneity of the studies in terms of age, race, and ethnicity of the populations being described. Double arcsine transformations were applied to stabilize the variance . Publication bias was assessed by a funnel plot representing the double arcsine transformation of the prevalence against the SE . MetaXL 3.0 software was used for the meta-analysis .

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Cosmetic Solutions For Female Pattern Hair Loss

SMP Scalp Micropigmentation is a popular cosmetic solution for female pattern hair loss. If your condition persist and hair is not growing back fully, you may consider SMP to camouflage the bald spots. SMP, commonly known as hair tattoo, the technique of placing individual pigment tattoo to replicate the appearance of real hair follicles. For more information about scalp micropigmentation, please visit Here

Are There Other Treatment Options For Fphl

The Role of PRP in Female Pattern Hair Loss

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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Shedding Light On Female Alopecia

Rashi C. Waghel, PharmD

Jennifer A. Waitzman, PharmD, BCACPAssistant Professor of PharmacyWingate, North Carolina

US Pharm. 2013 38:62-65.

ABSTRACT: Alopecia is a common problem in females. Several typesof alopecia exist, each having different etiologies and treatmentoptions. Regardless of the cause or type of alopecia, hair loss can havea negative impact on an individuals self-image therefore, it isimportant to address patients emotional needs as well as their medicalhealth needs. Although FDA-approved pharmacologic options for femalealopecia are limited, several medications are being investigated fortheir use in this population. Regardless of whether a patient decides toutilize pharmacologic treatment, minimization strategies can helpreduce hair loss and alleviate the negative emotional impact of thiscondition.

Alopecia, more commonly referred to as hair loss, is a problemfaced by millions of people in the United States. Alopecia does notrefer to normal, everyday loss of hair. It is common for a person tolose around 50 to 100 hairs each day.1 Alopecia suggests anamount of hair loss greater than what is normally expected.Traditionally, more attention has been paid to male-pattern baldness however, alopecia is common in females as well. More than 21 millionfemales in the U.S. are affected by alopecia.2

Hair Parameters From Grade L1 To L3 In Fphl Patients

We then analyzed the hair parameters of different severity in FPHL patients. According to the FPHL disease severity, patients were stratified into three groups . In all scalp areas, the hair density and hair shaft diameter showed a decreasing tendency with the aggravation of the disease, and the ratio of vellus hair in and single hair follicle unit all raised as the disease got worse. Compared with normal group, the significant difference of the parameters was mainly found in vertex area and in L2 and L3 groups. In L1 group, only the hair shaft diameter and vellus hair ratio of vertex area were significantly different with normal subjects.

Figure 3. Hair density , hair shaft diameter , vellus hair ratio , and single hair follicle unit ratio of FPHL patients from Ludwig L1 to L3. *p< 0.05 compared with normal subjects.

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