Losing hair is considered an expected and natural part of the aging process, especially for men. And for many of these men, their hair loss provides an opportunity to re-evaluate their look. Perhaps they may decide to trim their hair short or go for a totally bald and distinguished look, while others choose to undergo hair replacement therapies. But what about women? Permanent and even temporary hair loss, while not uncommon, can be a real concern for women. If you are female and experiencing some level of hair loss, here is what you need to know about female pattern hair loss.
Hair Loss Patterns
There are many reasons why women experience hair loss. The most common reason can be found in our genes. Male – and female — pattern baldness can be inherited from one or both parents. Patterned hair loss is dependent on how your hair follicles react to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone that is responsible for the production of testosterone. While DHT is found in higher levels in men than women, the hair follicles of both men and women become more sensitive to DHT as we age. When this happens, the follicle weakens, causing the hair shaft to grow thinner and eventually cease growing. With men, the hair line to the back of the crown is most affected; in women thinning is experienced most often on the crown of the head.
Other Reasons for Female Hair Loss
Women experience life’s events that take a heavy toll on our hormones. Birth and breastfeeding, menopause and other transitional times in our lives may cause a hormonal imbalance that may temporarily or permanently affect our hair. Hormonal imbalances, thyroid imbalances, metabolic diseases such as diabetes, may also impact hair loss. Stress causes trauma to our bodies which often manifests in hair loss. Medication may influence hair loss. As an example, some antidepressant, arthritis and hypertension medications have been known to list hair loss as a side effect. The same is quite true of chemotherapy. In all these cases, hair should grow back when the body returns to normal.
What Is Alopecia?
Alopecia refers to hair loss or baldness. This issue applies to any part of the body but often affects one’s scalp usually in the front and top of one’s head. There are several types of this condition: androgenic alopecia, alopecia areata, and telogen effluvium. The first refers to pattern hair loss in males and females, the second is spot baldness, and the third occurs due to stressful or traumatic experiences.
Stages or Hair Loss
As mentioned earlier, women experience hair loss often by the thinning of their hair. Doctors track the progression of female pattern hair loss – FPHL – by using the Ludwig scale. There are three stages in this scale. Some thinning at the top of the head occurs in Stage I. Women can often cover this up by switching up their hair partitions or through hair styling. During Stage II you can start to see the scalp. A full mid-line part is often visible at this time. Finally, the scalp becomes very visible during Stage III. When FPHL progresses to this type, you can see thinning in other areas of the head as well.
Seeking Treatment in Washington
There was a time when women who experienced hair loss were forced to don wigs or hats, or be creative in how they styled their hair. No longer. With medical professionals dedicated to hair restoration, there are now many more options for women with hair loss to experience a beautiful full head of hair that provides confidence and joy. Men and women who live in the greater Washington area and are seeking world-class treatments for pattern baldness need look no further than the professionals at Northwest Hair Restoration. With locations in Tacoma, Seattle and Spokane, Northwest Hair Restoration offers a variety of proven treatments for every need. If you’re experiencing pattern hair loss, schedule a consult with Dr. Robert Niedbalski today, or call us at (253) 572-2949. It’s time to restore your hair and your self-confidence.