Female Pattern Baldness
If you are one of the growing number of women looking for information to help you make a sound decision about your hair loss, you are in the right place.
No longer is it true that hair loss is the domain of men. If fact, Since 2004, the number of female surgical hair restoration patients worldwide increased by 24 percent. Worldwide, women make up 14.2 percent of all hair restoration patients.
If the increase of female hair loss occurs in spring or autumn, it is considered normal. Also considered normal is if hair loss occurs after childbirth or after a surgical operation under general anesthesia. There are however cases where help from experts is needed. The highest percentage of female hair loss is due to androgenetic alopecia (female type), which is caused by hormonal disorders. Other factors that may cause female hair loss is anemia, low iron levels, inadequate protein intake and thyroid gland troubles. When female hair loss is a symptom of a pathological problem, its eradication through appropriate treatment, will address the issue of hair loss without any additional treatment.
One of the most effective methods to deal with female hair loss is Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technique of transferring individual hair follicles directly to the problematic area.
Female Hair Loss FAQs
If you are looking for answers to explain why your hair is shedding more than it normally should, here are answers to the common questions that women, like you, are asking.
1. What is female pattern hair loss?
This is a condition that causes balding in females which creates a diffused thinning of hair on the scalp. It affects a lot of women, particularly those in their 50s, often due to hair shedding or reduced hair volume.
2. What are the potential causes of female hair loss?
There are several causes for female hair loss, and knowing what these are is important so proper treatment can be given. Here are the possible causes of hair loss in women:
- Women who are affected by female pattern hair loss has a strong genetic predisposition to it, and these genes could be inherited from either parent or both.
- Experts are also looking into the role of estrogen in female hair loss as studies suggest that this could also suppress hair growth. Some women experience this during child birth, when hormones fluctuates. Pills can also be a contributing factor.
- Stress can also be a reason for women to lose hair. This can be due to reasons like trauma, a divorce or death by a loved one. There are also psychological conditions which causes a person to lose hair.
- You can also factor in hair styling methods which eventually strains the follicles resulting in excessive hair shedding.
- Certain diseases can also result in hair loss such as ringworm of the scalp.
- Prescription drugs can also result in hair loss as a side effect.
- Some cancer therapy treatment can also cause excessive hair shedding.
Diet may not directly cause hair loss, but it can be a major contributing factor. For instance, a woman crash dieting has the tendency to experience more hair loss. A person with inadequate protein or iron can also suffer from excessive hair loss.
3. What is the usual age when women are affected by hair loss?
Women actually start to lose their hair in their 20s or 30s, but they will not notice the thinning not until they have lost 50% of their total hair volume or more. Statistics even show that 40% of women already have visible hair loss by the time they hit 40.
4. What laboratory tests can be done to help determine female pattern hair loss?
Blood tests to check sex hormone levels is important because the type of hair loss could be caused by hormonal imbalance. Laboratory tests to check thyroid function is also part of a diagnostic workup for hair loss.
5. Is extensive hormonal evaluation necessary for female pattern hair loss?
Hormonal evaluation is also an important step in determining the root cause of hair loss. Upon consultation the doctor may require blood tests to check female sex hormone levels and thyroid function. The doctor will only require extensive evaluation if the patient is experiencing irregular periods, cystic acne, galactorrhea, and infertility.
6. Is it also possible for women to shed hair similar to that in men?
Female hair loss sheds in a different manner compared to that in men because their hair tend to fall in a diffused pattern. Men, on the other hand have a more defined pattern which usually starts in the frontal hairline receding backwards, or at the crown growing larger in diameter.
7. What are the woman’s chances in developing hair loss?
A woman’s chances of developing hair loss may not be as high, or common, compared to that in men. But her risk is increased if she has a genetic predisposition to it. Factors like health, stress, or medications can also aggravate the situation.
8. Is hair loss a genetic condition inherited from the mother’s side of the family?
This is actually a common misconception about hair loss. This condition can be inherited either from the father or mother’s side of the family. There is no scientific evidence that supports the claim that hair loss comes only from the maternal side.
9. What is the treatment available for female pattern hair loss?
Fortunately there are several treatment options available for female hair loss. This include the following:
- Cortisone medications, whether topical or injectable have been shown to increase hair regrowth in certain types of hair loss
- Minoxidil, which is a topical hair loss medication which can be used for men and women is also a proven treatment that promotes hair regrowth in some types of hair loss.
- Estrogen or other female-specific hormone either in oral or topical form can also be prescribed for women who suffer from hair loss.
- Hair transplant is also a good hair restoration option which provides permanent replacement by transplanting existing hairs from donor sites to bald or thinning areas.
- Laser combs are also said to be an effective treatment to promote hair growth although the results are not as dramatic as the ones you get with hair transplant.
10. Am I at risk for hair loss when on the pill?
Being on the pill doesn’t necessarily put you at risk for hair loss. but this can aggravate the situation only if you are genetically predisposed to female hair loss.
11. When is a woman considered a good candidate for hair transplant surgery?
The surgeon has to evaluate the woman to see if she can pass as a good candidate for surgery. She can be one if her hair loss has fully progressed. There should also be no conditions or medications that would put her in serious risk during and after surgery. It is also important that she has a realistic view of the procedure. The surgeon has to evaluate the patient and base his decisions according to individual findings.
12. How can styling affect the hair or cause hair loss?
A woman’s hairstyle can significantly affect her chances for hair loss especially if she wears one that is too tight. For instance, tight ponytails, hair weaves or braids can uproot the follicles if worn for long periods of time.
13. Where can I seek help for female hair loss?
There are a lot of places that provide support and help for female hair loss patients. Your first stop should be your general practitioner. He can evaluate you and arrange for a general workup to rule out other possible causes, or rule in underlying conditions that cause hair loss. A scalp biopsy may also be necessary in some cases.
Since hair loss can also be emotionally traumatic for women, you can also seek help and support from groups or online forums.
At Dr Daood Clinics each case is treated individually and the choice of treatment is decided jointly with the patient, upon the advice of Dr. Daood.
Request a Private Consultation with Dr Daood
For questions about Female Hair Loss and to discuss expectations, risks, cost, and benefits of surgery, please contact the office by calling 1300 656 236 to arrange a free confidential consultation.