Hair loss in female occurs in more than one pattern. Hair Loss is caused by the actions of two enzymes; aromatase (which is found predominantly in women) and 5-a reductase (which is found in both women and men). The reason that women experience hair loss during and after menopause is that their estrogen levels decline. Female pattern alopecia affects approximately one-third of all susceptible women, but is most commonly seen after menopause. Common or “hereditary” baldness in women, also called female pattern alopecia, is genetic and can come either the mother’s or father’s side of the family. Various forms of estrogen can “oppose” androgens and thereby reduce their availability to the cell, by blocking androgen receptors. A woman who notices the beginning of hair loss may not be sure if the loss is going to be temporary or permanent – for example, if there has been a recent event such as pregnancy or illness that may be associated with temporary hair thinning.
In women more often than in men, hair loss may be due to conditions other than androgenetic alopecia. Because beautiful hair is a sign of youthfulness and longevity, hair loss can leave you feeling confused, helpless, frustrated and angry. Many women do not realize that hair loss can occur after pregnancy or following discontinuation of birth control pills. It may also follow any sudden physical or psychological stress to the body. Alopecia means baldness, but just as in men, it does not have to be complete hair loss. This is seen as hair thinning predominantly over the top and front of the head. Treatment of this type of hair loss includes immunomodulating therapies such as glucocorticoids, topical immunotherapy, or anthralin, or biologic-responce modifiers such as Minoxidil. The choice of treatment depends on the patient’s age, as well as the extent of hair loss.
Causes of Female hair loss:
The most common causes of hair loss in women are not related to inherited genes, but to temporary metabolic problems associated with pregnancy, unusual stress, thyroid hormone deficiency, chemotherapy, crash diets, major surgery, severe infection or high fever. A possibly autoimmune disorder that causes patchy hair loss that can range from diffuse thinning to extensive areas of baldness with “islands” of retained hair. Hair loss due to trichotillomania is typically patchy, as compulsive hair pullers tend to concentrate the pulling in selected areas. Hair loss due to this cause cannot be treated effectively until the psychological or emotional reasons for trichotillomania are effectively addressed. Certain drugs can also take their toll on once lush and healthy tresses.
Symptoms of Female hair loss:
The main symptoms are:
1. Thinning of hair over the entire head.
2. Mild to moderate hair loss at the crown or hairline.
Treatment of Female hair loss:
Treatment options for women are more limited than those available to men. A consultation with a skilled specialist to discuss your options is advised. The popular topical treatment Rogaine for women (minoxidil) can be used by women. And many women do hair restoration surgery to restore their hair. Hormone replacement pills, such as Prempro, plus Aldactone are better after menopause. Experienced hair transplant surgeons can often achieve excellent results in women with the new follicular unit and minigraft techniques. If treatment fails, or is not desired professional counseling might be of help. Perms, dyes and other cosmetic options can be used to give a fuller appearance to hair.