Unfair and wrong as it is, society treats hair loss differently in women than it does in men. No one bats an eye when they see a bald man or one with thinning or receding hair walking down the street. But women who suffer from hair loss often experience a different level of embarrassment and even shame because of societal expectations about feminine appearance. Finally, however, women with hair loss issues are speaking out about what is a very common phenomenon, trying to remove the stigma and change perspectives about female hair loss.
Earlier in 2020, Rep. Ayanna Presley made headlines by speaking openly and proudly about her struggles with alopecia. More recently, a series of TikTok videos have gone viral in which a young woman from Oklahoma discusses her hair loss journey.
What Makes Hair Loss In Women Different
The emotional and psychological impact of hair loss in women and the way it is viewed by society at large are not the only things that distinguish male and female hair loss. Many hair loss cases in women share the same cause as most cases of hair loss in men: androgenetic alopecia. But the way women typically lose hair – in a diffuse pattern throughout the scalp rather than in distinct patches – is different than for men. And women also shed hair for reasons specific to their gender, including the hormonal fluctuations that accompany pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause.
Diffuse Hair Loss Patterns In Women
Androgenetic alopecia in men follows a familiar and predictable pattern. It begins with shedding in the front that causes gradual receding of the hairline. This progresses to more noticeable hair loss across the top of the head, and finally toward the crown. Hair remains relatively robust in the back and sides of the head of most men who have pattern baldness.
In women, androgenetic alopecia usually progresses differently. Instead of losing hair in isolated areas, women tend to experience hair loss throughout the scalp. This diffuse pattern of hair loss in women makes it a challenge to safely extract the donor hair necessary for a transplant. In women, potential donor hairs share space with thinning areas. That means these hairs also share the same problems that caused neighboring hairs to fall out. That also means the follicles won’t likely survive and thrive if transplanted to a recipient area.
Female Hair Transplant Candidates
While a relatively small percentage of women are good candidates for hair transplant surgery, the procedure can help restore hair in women with certain types of hair loss issues. Specifically, women with the following conditions should discuss the possibility of a hair transplant with their hair restoration surgeon:
- Women who have suffered hair loss due to traction alopecia.
- Women who have had previous cosmetic surgery and are concerned about hair loss around the incision sites.
- Women who have pattern baldness that manifests itself similarly to how it does in men and have a donor area unaffected by androgenetic alopecia.
- Women who experience hair loss due to trauma.
- Women with alopecia marginalis, a condition that appears very similar to traction alopecia.
There Is No Shame In Hair Loss. But If You Want To Do Something About It, Call The Miami Hair Institute Today
We are glad to see that female hair loss issues are emerging from the shadows and that women are opening up about their struggles. While there is no shame in hair loss, many women want to find ways to address it.
For men and women alike, the first step towards addressing hair loss is arranging for a comprehensive evaluation as soon as possible. Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment provide the best chance of restoring your hair — and regaining your confidence.
Schedule an appointment with the Miami Hair Institute today by calling 305.925.0222. We look forward to assisting you.