HAIR-LOSS OR BALDNESS: CAUSES AND TREATMENT

Female pattern baldness also called androgenetic alopecia, is hair loss that affects women. It’s similar to male pattern baldness, except that women can lose their hair in a different pattern than men.

Hair loss in women is normal, especially as you age. Up to two-thirds of women experience hair-loss after menopause. Less than half of women will make it past 65years with a full head of hair.

Female pattern baldness is not due to a vitamin deficiency, poor circulation, dandruff, or wearing hats. There is progressive shrinking of the hair follicles until they produce only fine, wispy hair or cease functioning.

The sooner you get treated, the faster you’ll be able to stop the loss- and possibly even regrow hair.

 

TYPE OF FEMALE HAIR-LOSS

In female pattern baldness, the hair’s growing phase slows down. It also take longer for new hair to begin growing. Hair follicle shrink, leading the hair that does not grow to be thinner and finer. This can be thinner and finer. This can result in hair that breaks easily.

It is normal for women to lose 50-100 hairs each day but those with female pattern baldness can lose many more.

In men, hair loss starts in the front of the head and recedes to the back until they go bald. Women lose hair from all over their head, starting at their part line. Hair at the temple may also recede.

Women are less likely to go completely but you may have a lot of thinning throughout your hair.

There are three types of female hair-loss:

Type 1: Small amount of hair start thinning around your part.

Type 2: It involves widening of the part, and increase thinning around it.

Type 3: There is thinning throughout, with a see-through area at the top of your scalp.

 

You are more likely to have female pattern baldness if your mother, father or close relations have experienced hair loss.

Women are less likely to develop female pattern baldness before midlife. Like men, women are more likely to start losing the hair once they get into their 40s, 50s and beyond.

High level of hormones (chemical) in the body called androgens contribute to hair loss in men. It is believed that androgens are also at play in female pattern hair loss.

Smoking may also increase your risk for developing female pattern hair loss.

 

DIAGNOSIS

Your doctor can easily make the diagnosis of female pattern baldness by looking at your scalp.  However, your doctor may request for some blood check- thyroid hormone, androgens, iron or other substances that can affect hair growth.

 

IS THIS CONDITION REVERSIBLE?

Female pattern baldness is not reversible. Proper treatment can stop the hair loss and potentially help regrow some of the hair you have lost. Treatment may take some months before you start seeing significant improvement.

 

TREATMENT

Current therapies are aimed at stimulating regrowth of terminal hairs and might include topical minoxidil and oral medications like spironolactone or cyproterone acetate. Finasteride, also an oral medication, is approved for male balding only, and studies show no effect for female pattern hair loss.

Finasteride, spironolactone and cyproterone should not be used in women of childbearing potential.

Surgical therapy to improve the appearance includes scalp reduction, flaps and hair transplant (micro-grafting). Not everyone is a good candidate for these procedures.

BEFORE YOU USE ANY OF THE DRUGS ABOVE, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR.