Female Pattern Baldness
Female Pattern Baldness, known as Androgenic Alopecia, is hair loss which affects women.
It’s a very common condition which effects 2 of every 3 women at some point in their lives. Whilst women are significantly more likely to develop this condition after the age of 65, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect younger women at all.
Female pattern baldness can occur at any point after the onset of puberty, however it is most common later in life because of the effect that menopause has on the body.
The likelihood of you developing this condition is dependent on whether or not baldness runs in your family. Baldness is hereditary, but you can take preventative measures if you’re worried about developing it later in life.
Types of Female Pattern Baldness
There are three main stages of Female Pattern Baldness called “The Ludwig Scale”, that Doctors use to diagnose the severity of your condition:
- First type: a small amount of thinning around your parting.
- Second type: a widening of the parting, and increased thinning around it.
- Third type: thinning throughout the scalp, with an almost see-through area at the top of your head.
The symptoms of Female Pattern Baldness tend to be very easy to spot, as there aren’t many to be on the lookout for. If you find that you have one of the symptoms below, you can book an appointment with one of Ahmeys experts to start a treatment plan.
Here are the symptoms of Female Pattern Baldness:
- General hair thinning, especially at the crown of the head
- Sudden loss of hair in patches
- Patches of broken hair on the scalp and/or eyebrows
Whilst genetics have a big part to play in the likelihood of developing Female Pattern Baldness, there are still many other factors. Stress, for example, as well as severe weight loss/gain are other potential causes for this condition.
The hair on different parts of your body will react to androgens in different ways. For example, the hair on your arms might grow thicker, whereas the hair on your head will stop replacing old hairs as quickly.
This leads to the growth of thinner, shorter hairs and a delay in new growth once hairs are shed. The hair follicle will then shrink over time, and eventually there will be no new hair growth at all.
It is confirmed that if your mother or father experienced patterned hair loss, then your risk of also experiencing this is higher.
When you visit your Doctor or medical expert, they will likely take a look at your hair loss appearance. From there, they will have a look at your medical history, which might reveal a genetic disposition to hair loss.
The next thing they will look for is signs of high androgen levels, such as hair in unusual places (such as the face or lower abdomen), acne, or changes in your menstruation.
They might then feel it is necessary to offer some tests, to rule out any further medical issues:
- Blood tests
- Skin biopsies
- Microscopic examination of the hair
There are many products out there which claim to treat Female Pattern Baldness. However, you need to be careful while choosing your medication. To lessen any risks of side effects, you should stick to the ones that are suggested by your Doctor or medical expert.
Some of the treatments your doctor may suggest include:
- MinoxidilAlso known by the brand name ‘Rogaine’, minoxidil may help regrow hair in some women and will more often slow down or stop hair loss in others.
- SpironolactoneAlso known by the brand name Aldactone, this drug acts as an anti-androgen so blocks them from being able to do what they normally would, helping to get your hair growth pattern back to normal.
- FlutamideThis is incredibly similar to spironolactone, as this drug blocks the effects of androgens on the body.
- CimetidineThis drug is more commonly known under its brand name Tagamet, and whilst it’s mainly used to treat heartburn, it also has an anti-androgenic effect.
- FinasterideThis is useful for women with high testosterone levels, but it is not widely recommended for long term use because it can cause fetal abnormalities in pregnancy.
- Cyproterone acetateThis drug is used to control the effects of testosterone. It’s used to treat symptoms of prostate cancer in men, and as a birth control method in women. It’s also used to treat Female Pattern Baldness as high testosterone levels in women can cause excessive amounts of body hair, as well as thinning hair on the scalp.
- Hair TransplantThis treatment is done by extracting thick, healthy sections of hair and implanting them where your hair is thinning. This process gives good results; however, it can take anywhere up to two years to see the final result.
- Hair piecesBoth hair pieces, and full weaves are great options for thinning hair, but you need to make sure that your hair is strong enough before doing this. Extended use of either of these options can potentially result in further hair loss if not done correctly.