While it is normal for women’s hair to fall, it can also be normal for them to lose some hair every day. However, if there are bald patches or thinning, this could be because of female pattern baldness.
It is normal to shed 50-100 hairs per day. However, new growth will usually replace these hairs. If someone has a female pattern 50%Trusted Source women have full hair for their entire lives.
The female pattern of baldness and the genetic connection
Female pattern baldness is a genetic condition that appears to play a major role in the development of female pattern hair loss. This means that it can be passed down from one generation to another. The gene that causes pattern baldness in women can be inherited from either parent.
Female pattern baldness is more common in middle age, but it can also occur earlier.
It is common to develop after menopause. Hormonal changes could also be a factor.
Other causes of hair loss
The majority of female pattern baldness is thought to be genetic. It could also be caused by an underlying condition that reduces the hormone androgen production.
Pattern baldness is caused by the hormone androgen. Hair loss can also be caused by tumors of the pituitary gland and ovary that secrete androgen.
Hair loss can also be caused by:
- Autoimmune disorder: Alopecia Areata causes hair loss by causing the immune system to attack hair follicles.
- Medication: Certain medications, such as those that are used to treat fever or surgery.
- Traction: This refers to hair loss caused by excessively tight hairstyles.
The extent of hair loss and other factors will determine the type of treatment that is recommended.
Female pattern baldness treatment can prevent hair loss in the future and may even result in hair regrowth. Long-term treatment is required in most cases to stop hair loss from recurring.
There are many treatment options available:
Minoxidil, a topical treatment that treats hair loss in men and women, is an effective medication. Minoxidil is applied daily to the scalp and can stimulate hair growth. It also helps prevent hair loss.
Minoxidil takes 6 months to one year to show visible results. It is not for everyone. Itching, dryness, redness, and other side effects may occur. After stopping using the product, hair loss can occur again.
Spironolactone is a diuretic, and one of the most commonly used oral medications to treat female pattern hair loss. Diuretics are used to remove excess water from the body.
It may also prevent the production of androgen. This may help to prevent hair loss and encourage hair growth. Side effects of Spironolactone include dry lips, nausea, and dizziness.
Pregnant women should avoid spironolactone, as it could cause congenital disabilities.
A hair transplant may be an option for some women. Hair transplantation can be performed using a variety of techniques.
Hair loss usually affects just a small portion of the scalp. A doctor will remove hair from an area that has healthy hair growth and transplant it to the missing hair.
The doctor usually transplants hair from an area that is not affected by hair loss. It takes several hours for the doctor to perform the procedure. To prevent pain, the doctor will administer local anesthesia.
You may be interested in at-home laser hair treatment. These devices emit low levels of laser light to stimulate hair growth.
Some researchTrusted Source shows that low-level laser light therapy can stimulate the growth of hair in men and women. This type of treatment is not yet proven effective. Laser treatment companies could have funded some of the research.
Female pattern baldness is genetic and not always avoidable. There are steps women can take to protect their hair from damage and breakage.
These are some hair care tips to consider:
- Hair treatments that could cause hair damage such as perming and straightening or hair extensions should be avoided.
- A diet high in protein and essential nutrients is a good choice.
- Wearing a hat can protect your hair from the sun.
- Do not brush your hair if it is still wet or fragile. Instead, use a comb or your fingers.
Female pattern baldness is a distressing condition that can affect self-confidence and self-image. Talking to your doctor or dermatologist about excessive hair loss is a good idea for women who are experiencing it. They can determine the cause and recommend the best treatment.
A person can be diagnosed early to help them develop a treatment plan that will prevent further hair loss. There are many treatments that can help to restore hair growth. The treatment is chosen and the extent of hair loss may affect the effectiveness.
What causes female pattern hair loss?
Female pattern baldness can be caused by an underlying hormonal condition or tumor.
Consult your doctor if you experience other symptoms such as irregular periods, severe acne or increased hair loss. It is possible that you are experiencing a different type or hair loss.
Are women able to get female pattern hair loss in their 20s?
Female pattern baldness is less common in women than it is in men. Women are less likely than men to lose their hair in their 40s, 50s and beyond.
Hair loss can be caused by high levels of male sex hormones (called androgens). It is generally believed that androgens also play a role in female hair loss.
Smoking can also increase your chances of developing female-pattern hair loss.
Check out: Can birth control cause hair loss? >>
How can it be diagnosed?
Consult your doctor if you notice thinning hairs on your scalp. The Healthline FindCare tool will help you locate a doctor in your area if you don’t have one. To determine the cause of your hair loss, your doctor will examine you. Female pattern baldness is not usually diagnosed by testing.
They may perform a blood test if they suspect that you have another type of hair loss. This will check for levels of thyroid hormones, androgens or iron.
Treatment of female pattern baldness
Female pattern baldness can be disguised by changing your hairstyle. You might eventually notice too much hair loss at the top of you scalp.
It is important to be diagnosed early in order to start a treatment plan. This will help you avoid future hair loss. Most likely, your treatment plan will include one or more approved medications to treat hair loss.
Minoxidil (Rogaine), is the only approved drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It’s used to treat female pattern hair loss. You can choose from a 2% or 5-percent formula. The 5% formula is recommended if you can.
Apply minoxidil daily to your scalp. Minoxidil won’t completely restore your hair, but it can help to grow back a substantial amount of hairTrusted Source. This will give your hair a thicker appearance.
You won’t see any results in for 6-12 months. Minoxidil will not stop working if you don’t keep using it. Minoxidil may stop working and your hair could return to its original appearance.
These side effects can be possible:
- Hair growth in areas you don’t want, like your cheeks
FDA-approved treatments for hair loss in men include Finasteride (Propecia), and dutasteride(Avodart). Although they are not approved for use in women, some doctors recommend them for treating female pattern baldness.
Although there are mixed results regarding whether these drugs work for women, some researchTrustedSource has shown that they can regrow hair in female-pattern baldness.
Side effects include hot flashes and headaches. This drug can cause birth defects in women who are pregnant.
Spironolactone (Aldactone), is a diuretic. It removes fluid from the body. It may also block androgen production and help to regrow hair in women.
Side effects of this drug include:
- electrolyte imbalances
- spotting between periods
- Unusual menstruation
- Tender breasts
While you are taking this drug, you may need to be tested for electrolyte and blood pressure. This medication should not be used if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. Spironolactone may cause birth defects.
Your doctor may recommend an iron supplement if you have hair loss due to low iron. There isn’t any proof that iron can regrow hair. Hair thickening supplements such as biotin or folic acid are also recommended.
One studyTrusted source showed that women with thicker hair benefited from taking omega-3 fatty acid, omega-6 fat acids, and antioxidants. It is best to consult your doctor before you take any supplements to grow hair.
FDA-approved laser combs and helmets can be used to treat hair loss. These devices use light energy to stimulate hair growth. To determine if this method is effective, more research must be done.
It may also prove to be beneficial to use platelet-rich plasma therapy. To stimulate hair growth, this involves taking your blood and spinning it down. Although promising, further research is needed.
Wearing a wig, or spray hair products may help conceal hair loss.
Hair transplants are a permanent solution. Your doctor will remove a small amount of hair from your scalp and place it in the area that is missing. The graft grows back like natural hair.
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