Female pattern baldness (also referred to as alopecia in women, androgenetic alopecia in women or female hair loss) is a typical hair loss experienced by women in a distinctive pattern. It’s often attributable to aging, menopause, genetic predisposition and hormonal changes. Normal hair growth can be measured at the rate of half an inch each month.
For about 2 to 6 years, each hair follicle grows after which comes the resting period before falling out. Once the hair falls out, a new hair starts growing in its place. Baldness starts when the hair falls out yet a new one doesn’t replace it. When the cycle repeats, hair thinning occurs in different areas result in this condition.
Although the real reason behind hair loss in women has not been identified, some of the causes have been established as follows.
• As a woman grows older, her hair is bound to start thinning out since the hair has gone through the growth, resting and has now reached the falling out phase. That’s the reason why many older women experience this condition than younger ones.
• Women currently undergoing menopause are more likely to experience hair loss due to changes in hormonal levels usually experienced during this stage. During menopause, women experience lower estrogen levels which has been contributed to hair loss.
• Women with genetic predisposition to hair loss are also likely to sail in the same boat. If the family history is riddled with female members with hair loss, the same is expected to happen for other female members.
• There are also women who undergo hair loss due to notable auto-immune diseases such as cancer, alopecia among many more. On the other hand, people with deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals such as iron are also likely to experience hair loss.
Symptoms And Proper Diagnosing Procedures
The symptoms of hair loss in women can be quite different from that experienced by their male counterparts. First, hair starts thinning at the top part of the scalp especially the crown. The hairline at the front usually remains intact. Note that, the hair loss doesn’t result in complete baldness like that of men.
Hair specialists usually diagnose the condition by first ruling out any other known causes of hair loss in women. Next, he/she looks at the pattern of hair loss. Lastly, he/she looks at the patient’s medical history to determine any illnesses that might result in hair loss and rule them out.
Most females experiencing this condition usually express low self-esteem or lack of confidence. Therefore, treatment is imperative to improve an individual’s self-image. However, for the few who are not worried about their appearance, no treatment is necessary. There are a few natural remedies approved for treating female pattern baldness. However, if the condition is stubborn, proper medication might be employed.
Currently, the FDA approved medication for treating this condition is minoxidil which is applied directly to the scalp for the best results. Other aggressive methods such as hair transplants have also been advocated but since hair thinning doesn’t occur on one specific part of the scalp, it might prove unfruitful.