Hair Loss In Women
If perhaps you are in this situation at the moment, you most likely are asking yourself precisely why this is going on with you. You certainly were not expecting it, but you are not alone. This is due to the patterns actually not being identifiable like men’s.
Ladies ought not to be afraid whenever they discover their hair is thinning as it might be due to a particular illness or even pregnancy causing it. When you assess the pattern of men, remember that that a male’s hair starts to thin far sooner compared with a woman. Females begin the process of thinning hair at about 50, or maybe later on. If you really fear that the loss of hair you are suffering is just not normal, you might want to visit a medical specialist to find an early prognosis. It is suggested you see a professional instead of conducting a examination yourself due to the fact that self-diagnosis just isn’t accurate.
As mentioned before women usually do not shed hair like blokes who have hair thinning, as they quite simply have a totally different hair thinning pattern. There are actually various patterns that show as indications of “Androgenetic Alopecia”. If you notice your hair getting thinner at the front and back of the scalp, it may well indicate that you could have Androgenetic Alopecia. Also, if the hair on the whole scalp looks to be thinning, it can be a visible sign of Androgenetic Alopecia. Although usually the women’s pattern starts at about 50, it can possibly start around the late adolescent years towards the early 20’s for women. For this reason you should visit a specialist in order to analyze any thinning.
You will also find that a number of reasons behind hair loss in females is not linked to the hair loss pattern. Examples include:
- Trichotillomania – brought on by hair pulling.
- Alopecia areata – thought to be an autoimmune condition.
- Triangular alopecia – a temporary loss only.
- Scarring Alopecia – scarring of the scalp area.
- Telogen effluvium – associated with drug or stress and hormones
As soon as you begin to notice that your hair is thinning, it is vital for you to comprehend the key reason behind your hair thinning.
If your hair bothers to such an extent that you are avoiding outside social activities, take action now and starting living life to the full again!
The hair restoration and replacement profession has for many years been viewed as an enigma at best, snake oil merchants at worst. The aim of this series of articles is to help women worldwide become more aware of the treatment options available, which are popular, and most importantly, what works.
Date with your Doctor
No, I’m not suggesting that you should ask him or her out for dinner. (Mind you, if they are good looking and single, there’s no harm in trying.) What I am saying is that if you are beginning to experience thinning hair, you should make a date to see them for a blood test (ask for one that specifically deals with hair health, the endocrine system and thyroid function) and a general check up. For years, the condition of your hair has been seen as a good guide to your overall health, so it pays to get checked out if your hair is deteriorating or thinning. It is also good practice to get a referral to see a dermatologist (hair and skin specialist) who may be able to give you further insight into the type of hair loss you may have (e.g., female pattern thinning, a type of Alopecia, or a lupus condition).
Pharmaceutical Drugs for Hair loss
Doctors are often the first point of call for people, and frequently pharmaceutical intervention is their first suggestion. This could involve changing the type of birth control you are using (some forms of the pill cause hair loss, while others help to regrow the hair), or prescribing a drug that may help to regrow some of your hair – or at least slow down the rate of hair loss.
Some of the more common drugs used are Minoxidil (Regaine or Rogaine), Aldactone, Spirolactone, and some doctors have even been known to prescribe Propecia. Propecia is a drug that was previously given to men, but was not recommended for women. All of these drugs have been clinically proven to cause hair regrowth, though results will vary from person to person.
Popularity of Pharmaceutical Treatment for Hair loss
If you were to determine the popularity of a treatment by the sheer number of people employing it, I think pharmaceutical treatment could be deemed “popular.” While it is probably the most common, it is most likely not the most popular in preference. Most people that we meet in our clinic prefer not to use drugs. Every drug has side effects and some prefer not to risk the various and possible side effects in the hope that it may cause future hair re-growth. Some come to us due to drugs causing their hair to thin, the mere thought of using other drugs to re-grow their hair is not an option they wish to pursue. Nevertheless, regardless of side effects, some people will use whatever pharmaceutical drugs possible to keep or re-grow their hair.
Pharmaceutical interventions do offer hope of reversing your hair loss, and even cause it to regrow again. It is our experience that these medications are often better at retaining your hair than regrowing it. Most people don’t notice they have begun to lose their hair until they have lost 30% of it already, and at best these medications might help to recover 10-15% of the hair. It’s also important to note that hair often does not regrow in the same consistency or patterns that it was before.
Your Expectations of Pharmaceutical Hair Loss Treatments
Instead of viewing it as a miracle cure, pharmaceutical drugs should be viewed as an option that will help you to retain the hair you have. For some, they may even help to cause further hair growth. In general, if you are able to re-grow ten percent of your hair, you have experienced a great result.
Our next article will deal with other popular hair loss treatments.
Author: Andrew Wilson
About the Author: Andrew is the owner and Director of Transitions Hair, Sydney, Australia. He has over 16 years experience in the Hair Loss profession. His father entered the hair loss profession over 40 years ago and the author has literally grown up around, serving clients from a very young age. He has seen many changes and positive developments in the profession. He has studied Trichology and constantly attends seminars relating to hair loss issues and concerns.
Transitions Hair is a member company of the highly esteemed Transitions International Group, over 70 studios world wide. He has been trained by a number of people who work with Hollywood ‘A’ list actors. His clinic is one of the few that offer all forms of hair restoration procedures meaning that they are able to give unbiased advice. Each persons hair loss and expectations is different, therefore they do not subscribe to a ‘one size (or solution) fits all’. Rather, choosing to use what will work best for each client. Only then, do you see great results, happy clients enjoying increased confidence – allowing them to be themselves again.
There are many non-drug products on the market today that claim to stop hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia or other conditions such as alopecia areata. Several studies have been performed on some of these non-drug products and they have shown that they are effective at stopping hair loss and in some cases re-growing hair in women.
The reason these non-drug products cannot label themselves as promoting hair growth and preventing hair loss is because they have not been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). To be able to advertise this type of claim, millions of dollars in research must be done in order to be approved by the FDA. So far, the FDA has only approved one drug for use in the prevention of hair loss and re-growth of it in women.
Three non-drug products that studies have shown help prevent the loss of and re-growth of hair in women are:
Crinagen- This product contains two important ingredients in preventing hair loss. One ingredient is zinc and the other is saw palmetto, and both are believed to prevent DHT from developing. Both of these two ingredients prevent the formation of DHT by blocking the enzyme five alpha-reductase. DHT has been found to attach itself to the hair follicle causing the hair fallout and the follicles to die.
Folligen- Folligen is available as either a lotion or cream. This non–drug helps to make your scalp healthy. By having a healthy scalp it prevents hair loss and promotes hair growth. The primary ingredient in this product is copper peptides. They tend to help increase the number of blood vessels supplying nutrients to the follicles resulting in more and better looking hair.
Semodex- This non-drug product contains many natural products such as ginseng, saw palmetto and biotin. This is provided in either shampoo form, as a rinse or as an ointment. The makers of this product found that men and women were losing their hair have a large amount of lipase in their scalp. This enzyme, lipase, damages the hair and scalp causing hair loss. By removing lipase with Semodex, hair will stop falling out and in most cases will re-grow.
These three products are not promoted specifically for preventing loss and re-growing hair studies have found that they can stop and re-grow hair. Remember there is only one product on the market that has been approved by the FDA for the specific purpose of stopping loss of hair and re-growing it in women, Minoxidil.
One of the conditions confronting women today, is the loss of their hair. There can be various conditions that can cause this such as stress, hormone changes and other conditions. But 20 to 30 million women in the United States experience hair loss in the form of androgenetic alopecia or female pattern baldness. This type of hair loss is similar to that found in men called male pattern baldness.
Both are caused by genetics and both are caused by the hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone) that comes from the combination of testosterone and the enzyme 5 alpha reductase. Since testosterone is mainly a male hormone, how can women develop DHT? Lets do an anatomy of women’s hair loss caused by female pattern baldness.
Testosterone In Women
All women have small amounts of testosterone in their bodies that is released after puberty. But this hormone is kept in check by the female hormone estrogen. If the estrogen hormone becomes imbalanced, such as after menopause, testosterone is allowed to combine with the enzyme 5 alpha reductase creating DHT.
DHT And Hair Loss
Hormones that affect hair loss are classified as androgens. Thus DHT and testosterone are considered androgens. Testosterone is the most plentiful androgen found in both men and women.
Women, who have inherited the genes for female pattern baldness, have higher levels of the enzyme 5 alpha reductase. This enzyme can be found in the root of the hair follicles and through a chemical reaction convert testosterone into DHT.
If you wanted a substance to have an adverse effect on your hair, then select DHT. DHT will shrink your hair follicles through a process that is called miniaturization. Blood vessels to the follicle shrink stopping the flow of nutrients to the follicles and hair strands. This will cause the hair strand to shrink, have a shorter growing period before falling out and will eventually cause the follicle to shrink and die.
To stop hair loss caused by DHT you need two things:
DHT Blockers: The main thing you need to consider is a DHT Blocker. This should act on the enzyme 5 alpha reductase to inhibit it from interacting with testosterone to form DHT. One DHT Blocker that has been found to be effective in inhibiting the 5 alpha reductase enzyme is Saw Palmetto
Stimulate Blood Flow: The other thing needed is to stimulate blood flow to the scalp that will allow for nutrients to get to the hair follicle and hair strand. A Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved medication that stimulates the blood vessels in the scalp is Minoxidil, which was originally used to help people with high blood pressure.
Most of today’s marketing for hair loss products is directed at men. Look at television advertising or any printed advertisement and you will see the real focus of these ads is directed toward men. But most people do not know that just as many women suffer from hair loss as men.
So what causes hair loss in women, why is it not as advertised as it is for men and is there a cure?
Main Cause Of Hair Loss In Women
The main cause of hair loss in women is Female Pattern Baldness (FPB). In fact, up to 40% of women will suffer from FPB. This is caused by the same condition that causes Male Pattern Baldness (MPB). Both are caused by the creation of DHT (dihydrotestosterone).
DHT is created when the male hormone testosterone, combines with the 5 alpha reductase enzyme. Women have a small amount of testosterone, which is kept in check before menopause. But after menopause, the testosterone in women is allowed to form DHT. So after menopause, women are more likely to develop FPB.
Men can develop MPB after puberty when they start producing testosterone.
Here is where the similarity between MPB and FPB end. Males who develop MPB will start losing their hair at the crown and forehead. The two places will gradually lose hair till they meet to form one bald spot.
Women on the other hand who develop FPB will lose their hair from all over the scalp. Rarely do they develop a bald spot, but just have a gradual thinning from all over the scalp.
Why Is FPB Not Well Known
There could be several reasons why FPB is not as well known as MPB. Here are a few:
*Since women with FPB do not normally develop a bald spot like men, it is difficult to identify women with FPB.
*In today’s society, it is acceptable for women to wear wigs while it is not as acceptable for men to wear toupees. *Women can easily disguise their hair loss by putting on a wig.
*Women normally have longer hair than men so can style their hair to disguise their hair loss.
Is There A Cure
Like MPB, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug for use by women to stop FPB. The FDA has approved the use off Minoxidil, at 2% strength, for women to use to reduce and stop the effects of FPB.