The Truth: Female Pattern Hair Loss & Thinning

female hair loss

Female hair loss can be a frustrating experience, but don’t worry, it’s normal to lose a few strands each day. However, if you’re shedding more than 100 hairs daily, it’s a red flag.

Hair loss comes in different shapes and sizes, including Female-Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL), Alopecia Areata and Traction, Telogen Effluvium.

Our guide is here to help you navigate this challenging circumstance. In this article you’re going to learn:

  • What is women hair loss?
  • Causes of female hair loss?
  • Different types of hair loss?
  • What are the early signs?
  • How common is it in women?
  • What tests are used?
  • How does FPHL loss differ from male?
  • Are there any effective treatments?
  • Cycles of hair growth?
  • How does menopause affect female hair loss?
  • What questions should you expect to ask?
  • Side effects of treatments?
  • Effective ways to prevent losing?
  • How to cope with it?

Let’s explore the underlying causes of hair loss in women. Women’s hair loss, also known as female pattern hair loss or alopecia, is a natural yet frustrating experience that affects many women worldwide.

But before you start worrying, it’s important to understand that losing your hair such as a few strands daily is normal.

In fact, we usually shed between 50 and 100 hairs daily! It’s all part of the growing cycle, where old hairs fall out to make way for fresh, new ones.

But, when the balance is thrown off, and we lose more hair than we’re growing, we face hair loss.

Types of Hair Loss Incl. Alopecia

Let’s shed some light on the various types you might encounter.

Androgenetic Alopecia

The most common culprit! FPHL is often hereditary. Loss of hair begins at the top and crown of the head. While hair may thin at the top and crown of the head, the hairline usually remains intact.

Alopecia Areata

This hair loss (alopecia areata) occurs when the immune system targets hair follicles, resulting in round, smooth bald patches or missing hair. It can affect men and women of any age.

Telogen Effluvium

This type occurs when your body experiences a shock or stress, causing hair to shed rapidly.

Traction Alopecia

Caused by tight hairstyles like ponytails or braids, this type of hair loss can happen when too much tension is placed on the hair shaft.

Symptoms and Causes

Hair loss doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s essential to recognize the signs early on. Let’s take a closer look at the symptoms and causes of hair loss in women, so you can tackle the problem head-on!

Symptoms:

  • Thinning hair: The most common sign is a wider part in your hair or overall thinning on the top of your head.
  • Bald spots: Look for small, circular areas where hair is missing. They might be smooth or feel a little rough.
  • Excessive shedding: Losing more than 100 hairs per day? That’s a red flag!

Causes:

  • Genetics: Female-pattern hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia, is often inherited. This can be attributed to genetic factors.
  • Hormonal changes: Pregnancy, menopause & HRT, or birth control can lead to temporary hair loss.
  • Medical conditions: Thyroid issues, iron deficiency, and autoimmune diseases like lupus can cause hair to fall out.
  • Medications: Some medicines, like those for cancer, arthritis, or depression, might have hair loss as a side effect.
  • Hair styling: Tight ponytails or braids. Give your hair a break once in a while!

Cycles of Hair Growth

Just like the seasons, your hair has its own natural cycle.

AnagenThe Growing Phase

In the anagen phase, your growing hair, with each strand sprouting from the hair follicle.

This stage can last anywhere from 2 to 7 years; at any given time, around 85-90% of your hair is in this phase.

Fun factyour hair grows about half an inch per month during the anagen phase.

Catagen: The Transition Phase

The catagen phase is a short transitional period, lasting about 2-3 weeks. During this time, hair growth slows, and the hair follicle shrinks.

This phase prepares the hair for the next stage: the resting phase.

Telogen: The Resting Phase

The hair stops growing and rests in the telogen phase, which lasts about 3 months. Around 10-15% of your hair is in this phase at any given time.

The hair naturally sheds at the end of the telogen phase, making room for new hair in the anagen phase.

Female Pattern Hair Loss

Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL), is the most common type of hair loss experienced by women.

Unlike male pattern baldness, which usually starts with a receding hairline, FPHL typically causes hair thinning on the top and temple.

This gradual process can begin as early as your 20s or 30s, and by the age of 70, nearly 40% of women may experience it.

The Science Behind FPHL

In FPHL, hair follicles become smaller over time, leading to thinner, weaker hairs with a shorter lifespan. Genetics plays a significant role in FPHL, so if your mum or grandmother experienced it, chances are you might too.

How Common Is Hair Loss in Women?

When you think of hair loss, it’s natural to assume it’s mostly a male problem. However, hair loss is quite common among women too!

According to nhs.uk, approximately 40% of women experience some form of hair loss by the time they reach the age of 70.

Hair loss can be a sensitive topic for many, but it’s important to remember that it’s a normal part of life.

The good news is that understanding the causes and signs can help you manage and, in some cases, reverse the hair loss process.

Which Women Are More Likely to Have Hair Loss?

Hair loss can impact females of all ages, but certain groups of girls and women might experience it more frequently:

  • Age Matters

As women age, their hair naturally goes through changes. Females in their 60s and 70s may notice a more significant difference in their hair’s thickness and quality.

  • Hormonal Changes

Pregnancy, or conditions like PCOS can lead to temporary hair loss.

  • Stress

Prolonged high-stress levels may cause increased hair shedding or thinning.

  • Hairstyles

Tight ponytails or braids.

  • Medical Conditions & Treatments

Thyroid disorders, lupus, anemia, or treatments like chemotherapy can lead to hair loss.

Connection Between Women Hair Loss & Menstrual Cycle

It is a natural stage in a woman’s life when her menstrual cycle ends. This period is marked by significant hormonal changes, particularly a decline in estrogen and progesterone levels.

These hormones are crucial in maintaining healthy hair rejuvenation, and their decrease can affect hair health.

As estrogen and progesterone levels drop, hair follicles become more sensitive to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that can shrink hair follicles, leading to thinner hair and, eventually, hair loss.

What to Expect During Menopause and Hair Loss

During this time, many women experience a change in their hair’s texture and thickness. Some might notice their hair becoming drier and more brittle, while others may see increased shedding.

It’s essential to remember that every woman’s experience is unique, so it’s crucial to pay attention to your body’s signals.

What Tests are Done for Hair Loss & Thinning Hair?

Yes, some tests can help determine the cause of hair loss, so you can take the proper steps to manage it.

Pull Test

The pull test is a simple, painless way to check if your hair is shedding more than usual. Your dermatologist will gently tug on a small section of your hair to see how many strands come out.

If more than a few hairs are dislodged, further tests may be needed to identify the cause.

Scalp Examination

During a scalp examination, your dermatologist will closely inspect your scalp to look for any abnormalities, such as redness, scaling, or bald patches.

Blood Tests

Blood tests can help detect underlying medical conditions contributing to hair loss, such as thyroid issues or iron deficiency.

A sample of your blood will be taken and sent to a lab for analysis.

Biopsy

Sometimes, a small sample of your scalp skin may be taken to determine the cause of your hair loss. This is called a biopsy, and it’s usually only done when other tests have not provided a clear diagnosis.

The sample will be examined under a microscope to check for any issues with the hair follicles.

When Should You Visit a Provider?

Losing a few strands of hair daily is normal, but when should you begin to worry and seek professional help?

Wider Hair Part or Thinning Hair

If you’ve noticed that your hair part is getting wider or your ponytail is feeling thinner, it might be time to consult a hair care provider.

These could be early signs of hair loss, and addressing them early can significantly affect treatment effectiveness.

Bald Patches or Sudden Hair Loss

Have you discovered any bald spots or experienced large amounts of hair falling out suddenly?

Make sure to visit a provider promptly, as they can help you determine the cause and recommend the best course of action.

Excessive Daily Hair Shedding

We all shed some hair daily, but if you lose more than 125 hairs daily, it’s time to visit a dermatologist.

Scalp Irritation or Inflammation

If your scalp feels itchy, painful, or inflamed, it might contribute to your hair loss. A hair care provider can help determine the cause and provide relief, so you can return to enjoying your fabulous mane.

Questions Your Healthcare Provider May Ask You

To make the most of your appointment, it’s important to be prepared for questions your provider may ask, such as:

  • When did you first notice hair loss?
  • Has your hair loss been gradual or sudden?
  • Have you noticed any specific patterns?
  • Are you experiencing any other symptoms?
  • What medications or supplements are you taking?
  • Have you recently experienced significant stress or trauma?
  • Is there a family history of hair loss?
  • Have you tried any treatment for women?

Questions that May Help You

How do you ensure you’re getting the best advice?

Here are some essential questions to ask your hair loss provider to help you take control of your hair’s future.

  • What could be the cause of my hair loss?
  • Which diagnostic tests do you recommend?
  • What treatment options do you suggest?
  • How long will it take to see results?
  • Are there any side effects or risks associated with the treatment?
  • How can I prevent further hair loss?

Hair Loss Treatment

There are several ways to manage and treat fphl.

Medicines & Supplements

  • Minoxidil

Minoxidil may help slow down hair loss and promote growth. The medication is applied topically to the scalp which can slow down hair loss and promote growth.

  • Finasteride

This medication is taken orally and works by blocking the production of a hormone that contributes to hair loss in women.

  • Biotin

This supplement promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails.

Non-Surgical Hair Loss Treatments (PRP Hair Treatments)

  • What is PRP?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a non-surgical hair restoration treatment that uses your body’s plasma to promote hair and thicker hair.

  • How does it work?

PRP is created by drawing a small amount of your blood and spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. The plasma rich in growth factors is then injected into the scalp to stimulate hair rejuvenation.

  • Why choose PRP?

PRP hair treatment is a safe, non-surgical option for women who want to promote hair rejuvenation. . It’s a natural treatment that uses your body’s growth factors, meaning there is no risk of an allergic reaction or rejection.

Surgical Treatments

  • Hair Transplantation

Hair transplantation involves taking hair from one area of the scalp and transplanting it to the area of hair loss.

  • Scalp Reduction

This procedure involves removing a section of the bald scalp and stretching the adjacent skin to cover the area.

Treatment Side Effects

It’s important to understand that some treatment of female pattern hair can come with potential side effects.

Medications

Medications such as Minoxidil and Finasteride are FDA approved for treatment. However, like any medication, they come with potential side effects.

Minoxidil can cause itching, dryness, and flaking of the scalp.

Finasteride can cause sexual side effects such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and ejaculation disorders.

Surgical

Surgical treatments, such as hair transplants, can have risks such as bleeding, infection, scarring, and even shock loss, a condition where hair falls out due to trauma.

Self-Medication

Self-medicating for hair loss can be tempting, but proceeding cautiously is essential. Some over-the-counter treatments may be ineffective or even harmful, depending on the cause of your hair loss.

Always consult with a dermatologist or medical professional before trying any new treatments.

Preventing Different Types of Hair Loss

Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent hair loss, certain measures can help minimize its impact and promote healthy hair to grow.

Here are some tips:

  • Follow a balanced diet

A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and biotin can promote healthy hair to develop. Add spinach, lentils, eggs, and nuts to your diet.

  • Avoid tight hairstyles

Tight hairstyles such as braids and ponytails can pressure your hair and cause it to break or fall out. Try to avoid these styles or wear them loosely.

  • Avoid harsh chemicals

Avoid using harsh chemicals such as dyes and relaxers, as they can damage your hair and cause it to fall out. If you must use them, do so sparingly and follow the instructions carefully.

  • Manage stress

Stress can have a negative impact on your hair health. Take steps to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques.

  • Seek medical help

If you notice sudden or excessive hair loss, consult a dermatologist to identify the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

Ways to Cope with Noticeable Hair Loss

There are ways to cope with hair loss and regain your confidence.

Here are some tips for managing hair loss:

Outside Support Groups

Joining a support group can help you connect with other women going through the same experience. This can provide a sense of comfort and belonging and can help you feel less alone.

Accept it’s Part of Your Life

Accepting hair loss as a part of life can be difficult, but it is essential to coping with it. Remember that hair loss is a natural part of aging and that there is no shame in it.

Talk about it With Close Friends or Family

Talking to close friends or family about your hair loss can help you process your emotions and gain support. This can also help educate those around you about the realities of hair loss, reducing stigma and shame.

Use a Wig to Cover Up

Wigs can be a great option if you prefer to cover up your hair loss. Wigs come in various styles, colors, and textures, making it easy to find one that suits your preferences.

Be Patient

Regrowing hair takes time, and it’s important to be patient with the process. There are no quick-fix solutions to hair loss; it can take several months or even years to see results from treatments.

Avoid Miracle Cures & False Claims

Many products on the market claim to cure hair loss, but many of them are not backed by scientific evidence. Be wary of products that make exaggerated claims or promise instant results.

Myths Around Hair Loss & Baldness

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding lost hair that can make it even harder to deal with. Here are a few of the most common myths debunked:

Myth #1: Only men experience hair loss.

Fact: Actually, hair loss is relatively common among women. In fact, it’s estimated that around 50% of women will experience some form of hair loss by age 50.

Myth #2: Hair loss is always genetic.

Fact: While genetics can play a role in hair loss, it’s not the only factor. Hormonal changes, stress, nutritional deficiencies, and certain medications can all contribute to hair loss.

Myth #3: Wearing hats or using hair products can cause hair loss.

Fact: Unless you’re wearing a very tight hat or using a harsh chemical product, these things are unlikely to cause hair loss. However, certain hairstyles that put a lot of tension on the hair (like tight braids or ponytails) can drive hair loss.

Myth #4: Hair loss is always permanent.

Fact: This is not necessarily true. Depending on the cause of your hair loss, it may be reversible. For example, if your hair loss is caused by a nutritional deficiency, improving your diet can help your hair grow back.

Conclusion & Next Steps

In conclusion, hair loss can be a challenging experience for many women, but there are various treatment options available to help manage it.

Medications such as Minoxidil and Finasteride, as well as non-surgical treatments like PRP hair treatments and surgical treatments like hair transplantation, can all be effective for promoting hair growth.

However, it’s essential to understand the potential side effects of these treatments and to consult with a medical professional before trying any new treatment.

While there’s no guaranteed way to prevent hair loss, there are many ways including following a balanced diet, avoiding tight hairstyles and harsh chemicals, managing stress etc.

All can help minimize its impact.

Remember that hair loss is a natural part of aging, and there are ways to cope with it, such as joining support groups, talking to close friends or family, using wigs, being patient with the regrowth process, and avoiding miracle cures and false claims.

By understanding the myths and realities surrounding, we can help reduce stigma and shame and take control of our hair’s future.

We hope our guide has provided you with valuable insights and tips on coping with hair loss.

To recap, here’s what we’ve learned:

  1. Women’s hair loss is common, with shedding 50-100 hairs daily being normal.
  2. Causes include genetics, hormonal changes, medical conditions, medications, and hairstyling.
  3. Hair loss is more frequent in certain groups, including those with hormonal changes, high stress, or specific medical conditions.
  4. Tests for hair loss include the pull test, scalp examination, blood tests, and biopsy.
  5. Seek professional help for hair loss signs like widening parts, thinning, or bald patches.
  6. Ask your provider about diagnosis, treatments, and side effects.
  7. Hair has a natural growth cycle: anagen, catagen, and telogen phases.
  8. Menopause can contribute to female hair loss through hormonal changes.
  9. Treatments include medications, supplements, PRP therapy, and surgery.

If you’re struggling with hair loss and looking for effective treatments, consider booking a consultation with Artistry Clinic, for female PRP hair London.

Artistry Clinic offers a range of treatment options, including non-invasive PRP hair treatment.

This treatment uses your blood plasma to stimulate hair growth and has been shown to provide positive results for many individuals.

With their team of experienced professionals and state-of-the-art technology, Artistry Clinic can help you find the right solution for your hair loss needs.

FAQs

  • Which vitamin is best for hair?

Biotin (Vitamin B7) is the best for hair as it promotes healthy hair growth and strength. It helps in the production of keratin, a protein that is essential for maintaining hair structure.

  • What foods contain biotin?

Biotin-rich foods include eggs, almonds, sweet potatoes, spinach, liver, yeast, salmon, and avocados. A balanced diet, including these biotin-rich foods, can help prevent hair loss.

  • Can lack of sleep cause hair loss?

Yes! Sleep is crucial for the body’s regeneration processes. Insufficient sleep can disrupt the hair growth cycle and lead to hair loss.

  • Is baby shampoo good for hair loss?

Baby shampoo is gentle on the scalp and hair and free of harsh chemicals. This makes it suitable for those experiencing hair loss.

  • How often should you wash your hair?

Ideally, you should wash your hair every 2-3 days, depending on your hair type and lifestyle, to avoid damage from overwashing. Washing your hair too frequently can strip it of its natural oils, leading to dryness and hair loss.

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