Although androgenetic alopecia is more commonly known as male-patterned baldness, it is also a condition affecting women due to the presence of male hormones in the female body. For women, it is known both as female alopecia or female-patterned baldness.
What Is Female Alopecia?
The pattern of baldness for women is different from men. Rather than making itself known with patches or spots of hair loss, it starts out with the thinning of hair throughout the entire scalp but almost always without causing the hairline to recede. Even better, female alopecia rarely results in complete baldness.
Important Figures for Female Alopecia
As many as thirteen percent of women suffering from premenopausal syndromes are experiencing androgenetic alopecia. The numbers only go up as women get older and reach menopausal and postmenopausal stages. Nevertheless, female alopecia can show up as early as women reaching thirty years of age.
How Does Female Alopecia Start Out and Progress?
Female alopecia may not be a life-threatening illness but even so, it can be a serious cause of dismay as many perceive hair loss as a detractor to their physical appeal. Thankfully, female alopecia takes place gradually. It begins with hair thinning, made more evident with an increased degree of hair shedding.
Procedures for Female Alopecia
Rarely is a biopsy needed to determine if a woman is actually suffering from female alopecia. But if a biopsy is indeed performed, this can also be used to determine whether female-patterned baldness is occurring. It is usually better if two types of hair samples are taken: one from vertical sectioning and another from horizontal sectioning.
Possible Treatments for Female Alopecia
Not all treatments for male alopecia will work well with female alopecia especially if the woman isnt in perfect health. It is best to consult with your doctor prior to taking any kind of medication or treatment for your condition. As medications and treatments are usually taken in a continuous basis, money might also one of the important factors you should consider when choosing the optimal solution.
Minoxil wasnt originally intended to be a medication for baldness, male or female, but rather, it was a medication for high blood pressure. When subsequent studies showed hair growth as one of the side effects of Minoxil, this led to the idea of turning it into a medication for baldness. Later on, Minoxil was officially used for creating a topical solution for baldness and it became one of the two officially accepted treatments for baldness by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Continuous application is necessary since abrupt withdrawal or discontinuation can lead to a sudden reverse effect of all the positive results of the treatment. There are two kinds of this treatment currently available in the market: one that contains 2% Minoxil and another containing 5% Minoxil. The latter is said to be somewhat more effective. The best news about Minoxil is how studies show women responding more positively to the treatment compared to men.
Unlike Minoxil, it is not entirely safe for Finasteride to be prescribed for treating female alopecia. One of the various side effects of taking Finasteride is causing your unborn child to suffer from severe birth defects. Finasteride is thus a danger for women who are already or might become pregnant.
Lastly and the most expensive option of all would be surgery. Women can opt for micrografting a process that transplants hair from other areas of the scalp to those areas suffering from female alopecia.