Female pattern baldness

The most common cause of hair loss in women is the same as in men, Androgenetic Alopecia. This inherited sensitivity to the effects of male hormones (androgens) on the scalp and hair follicles causes thinning of the hair in the same way that it does with men but women rarely develop a receding hairline. Women do not develop the same Pattern Baldness or complete baldness that men do.

Androgenetic Alopecia affects one-third of susceptible women. It is most commonly seen in women after the menopause but can occur in younger women and has even been known to begin in puberty. Research has found that 13 per cent of women suffer from this type of hair loss before the menopause and the figure rises after the menopause. At the age of 65 some 75 per cent of women suffer from some sort of hair loss.

The signs of Androgenetic Alopecia in women differ from those in men in that there will be no ‘horseshoe’ shape to the hair that is left. In women the hair loss is from the whole scalp and is uniform. This thinning rarely results in female baldness but the hair thinning can be exaggerated at the back or the front.

Female hair loss is less predictable and more varied than male hair loss but follows a similar development. It is, to a large degree, genetic. Normal hair loss, which is experienced by everyone, is approximately 100-125 hairs per day. These are replaced with no noticeable difference. However hair loss occurs when these hairs are not replaced or the daily loss increases.

Female hair loss can be broken down into three types: Type1: Diffuse thinning of hair over the whole scalp, often with more noticeable thinning towards the back of the scalp. Type2: Diffuse thinning of hair over the whole scalp, with more noticeable thinning toward the front of the scalp but no change in the frontal hairline. Type3: Diffuse thinning over the whole scalp, with more noticeable thinning toward the front of the scalp. Sometimes the frontal hairline is involved and can begin to recede.

If you are a woman experiencing some degree of hair loss or hair thinning your first step should be to have the condition correctly diagnosed by a specialist. After a diagnosis is correctly made an appropriate approach to treating the condition can be recommended. This might involve medical or surgical treatment.

There are many other reasons for hair loss as well as Androgenetic Alopecia. Hair loss can be brought on by surgery, illness, medication or stress. In these situations the body simply shuts down production of non-essential products, including hair, so that it can concentrate its resources where they are most needed. Medical conditions such as anaemia, low blood count, hormonal changes, pregnancy and thyroid problems can also affect hair growth and lead to hair loss. Usually in these cases the hair loss is temporary and will grow back.

Ludwig Classification of Female Pattern Baldness

If you are a woman with thinning or lost scalp hair, your first necessary step is to have the condition correctly diagnosed by a physician hair restoration specialist. After a diagnosis is made, the physician will recommend an approach to effective medical or surgical treatment.

Causes of hair loss: Surgeries, severe illness, and emotional stress can cause hair loss. The body simply shuts down production of hair during periods of stress in order to devote its energies toward repairing vital body structures. In many cases there is a delay between the actual event and the onset of hair loss. Furthermore, there can be another long delay prior to the return of noticeable hair re-growth. This means that the total hair loss and re-growth cycle can last 6 months or possibly longer when induced by physical or emotional stress. There are some health conditions which may go undetected that can contribute to hair loss — these include anemia or low blood count and thyroid abnormalities. Both of these conditions can be detected by a simple, inexpensive blood test.

Women may experience some noticeable hair loss in the wake of a major hormonal change. In most cases though, the condition does not become terribly advanced. Post pregnancy hormone conditions can be a cause of this type of hair loss as can discontinuation of birth control pills, menopause and menstrual cycles. In most cases though, the condition is temporary. Many women discover that their hair will grow back to its former luster within a year.


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