Female Hair Loss
You expect to get wrinkles as you get older, but did you ever
imagine you'd lose your hair? Alarmingly, hair loss affects about
one-third of women,
according to the American Hair Loss Council, and though it's most
common after menopause, it may even start as early as puberty. We wish
to help you figure out whether your hair loss is normal and find out
what to do to fight it.
What's Female Hair Loss
The most common type of hair loss seen in women is androgenetic alopecia, also known as female pattern 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. It affects
approximately one-third of all susceptible women, but is most commonly
seen after menopause.
In female pattern hair loss some excess loss of hair is noted, but
gradual thinning is what is what usually brings the woman to a
dermatologist. Normal hair shedding is approximately 100-125 hairs per
day. A lower number of hairs lost would apply to those whose hair is
already thin. Hair loss occurs when the daily hair loss exceeds 100
hairs. In female pattern hair loss, when the affected hair is shed, the
root grows one in its place that is shorter. Eventually it becomes
invisible "peach fuzz". Genetically, hair loss can come from either
parent's side of the family.
Female pattern hair loss may begin as early as puberty. In these
cases if there are signs of hormone imbalance, such as excess facial or
body hair, a hormone evaluation should be done. Hormonal changes are a
common cause of femal hair loss.
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. These types of hair loss are "Telogen Effluvium" and are
usually temporary. It is important to remember that this hair loss may
be delayed by up to three months following the change. Up to 8 months
will be required for regrowth to be fully achieved.
What's the treatments
Female hair loss treatment often starts with women's Rogaine
(topical minoxidil 2%). Women's Rogaine is the only FDA approved
medication currently available for female pattern hair loss.
Experienced hair transplant surgeons can often achieve excellent
results in women with the new follicular unit and minigraft techniques.
You have to be a qualified candidate and have realistic expectations.
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. Contrary to common wisdom,
shampooing doesn't increase real hair loss. Some salons specialize in
the modern forms of hair additions; these have also made recent
improvements in simulating a natural appearance. A consultation with a
skilled specialist to discuss your options is advised.
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