Female Alopecia What is female pattern hair loss

Mar 21, 2017Hair Treatments

What Is Female Pattern Hair Loss?

The prevailing notion that the hair is an integral part of a woman’s identity and sexuality makes hair loss very distressing for women. It causes feelings of unattractiveness and leads to other self-esteem and body image issues. It also impacts their social and overall quality of life.

What Causes Hair Loss In Women?

Progressive hair loss in women is usually due to Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL), also known as androgenetic or androgenic alopecia. In this condition, the affected follicles become smaller and produce hairs which are shorter, lighter (in colour) and more brittle. In the long run, these follicles shrink then cease to make new hair. Most women start experiencing FPHL when they reach 40 or 50. However, there are some who manifest symptoms at an earlier age. Some of the possible causes of hair loss in women include genetics, hormones, aging, menopause, stress, illness and poor nutrition.

What Are The Symptoms Of Female Pattern Hair Loss?

Women suffering from FPHL experience a decrease in hair density in the crown and frontal scalp areas. The frontal hairline remains normal, except for recession in expected areas like the temple. Also, unlike in men, hair loss in women does not result in baldness. Hairs in the affected areas become noticeably thinner and shorter. Before an obvious decrease in hair volume is noticed, women typically experience episodic or continuous hair shedding.

Diagnosis And Treatment Options for Female Pattern Hair Loss

Much like other illnesses, early diagnosis is very helpful in addressing FPHL. This is because once diagnosis is made, treatment can commence. When it comes to this condition, preventing or slowing down the progression of the hair loss is more effective than stimulating the growth of new hair.

To ensure a successful treatment outcome, accurate diagnosis of the cause of the hair loss must be done. The diagnostic process, conducted by a dermatologist, typically involves examination of the scalp and observation of the pattern of hair loss. Getting the patient’s family and medical history is also part of the process. Sometimes, blood tests and hormonal evaluation are done.

A treatment proven to be effective for FPHL is the use of minoxidil lotion. Apart from slowing down the progression of hair loss, this lotion is said to help stimulate hair regrowth in some women. How is it used? It is applied on the affected area using a pump spray device or a dropper. It takes at least six months to a year before results become visible. It is important to note that, to maintain the positive results, treatment should be continued. Some of the known side effects of this treatment include dryness, scaling or itchiness and redness. Also, hair fall may happen during the first weeks of treatment.

Other non-invasive ways to address FPHL include oral medications, skin camouflage sprays and wigs.

Nowadays, there are surgical treatment options available to address hair loss. One option is hair transplantation, which has been used for quite some time already in men. In this procedure, healthy hair follicles from the sides or back of the scalp are transplanted onto bald areas. However, not everyone can get a hair transplant. Certain criteria must be met first for one to become eligible to undergo this procedure.

Talk to our specialist to learn more about female pattern hair loss, call us now at 016793618.

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