Almost 40 percent of all hair loss sufferers are women. Despite the astounding statistics, male pattern baldness is more commonly discussed – and aesthetically accepted – than female hair loss. Famous actors like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel make balding look fashionable. Women, on the other hand, rarely opt to shave their scalps, even while suffering with thinning or shedding locks. Instead, female hair loss sufferers are left with widening parts, limp locks and a diminished sense of self-confidence.
Men who suffer from hair loss can certainly suffer a blow to their self-esteem. For women, who often favor long and thick hairstyles, hair loss adds further psychological and emotional damage. Hopefully, better education and widespread discussion can normalize female hair loss and help patients find comfort in knowing they aren’t alone – and that treatment is available.
How Does Female Hair Loss Occur?
Female hair loss due to androgenic alopecia transpires due to the miniaturization of hair follicles, which causes strands to appear shorter, thinner or more delicate and prone to breakage. Over time, miniaturization encourages hair follicles to discontinue production, thus limiting the overall active follicle count on the scalp. Genetic hair loss in women rarely results in total baldness. Women who suffer from total baldness may have alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder, or chemotherapy-induced hair loss.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, female pattern hair loss (FPHL) affects roughly 30 million American women. Female pattern baldness is the most prevalent cause of progressive hair loss in women. The symptoms of FPHL are a widening part and thinning crown, generally differing from the receding hairline seen in male patients.
Like male pattern baldness, female hair loss is understood to be a genetically predetermined condition. But, other risk factors include the following:
Lupus, anemia, diabetes, ringworm, polycystic ovary syndrome and thyroid dysfunction are all commonly associated with hair loss, which is why visiting a hair loss specialist or physician to diagnose your condition is critical. Hair loss is often the first sign of a more serious illness, so ruling out other motivating medical conditions helps physicians determine ideal treatment options while minimizing further health damage.
Menopause, Pregnancy or Post-Partum
Hair loss due to aging can worsen with menopause, particularly when considering the massive hormonal changes during the change of life. Estrogen levels fall during menopause around age 50, frequently manifesting as thinning or shedding on the scalp. Similarly, women who are pregnant or who have just given birth might experience hair loss due to hormonal shifts.
After a traumatic event like a death in the family or job loss, hair loss is common. When your body undergoes severe emotional shock, normal functions like hair growth are put on the back burner. In fact, serious distress “shocks” follicles into a resting state, which means they aren’t active to produce replacement strands after ordinary shedding. Stress-induced hair loss is known as telogen effluvium (TE) and can resolve itself, assuming anxiety and tension dissipates.
Eating too little to lose weight fast often means you miss out on key nutrients that keep the body functioning. Hair follicles require proper nutrition to function, and eliminating these from your diet can harm the growth cycle. If you see hair loss while dieting, consult a nutritionist to review your caloric needs, current intake and dietary recommendations.
Women’s hair loss is treatable. Early detection helps increase your odds of reversing follicle miniaturization and regaining a healthy, full head of hair. At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, patients suffering from female hair loss can undergo both low-level laser therapy or hair restoration surgery, depending on individual candidacy and hair loss patterns. To schedule a consultation to diagnose your hair loss condition and move forward with treatment, reach out to us at 305-925-0222.