Female hair loss, also known as Female Pattern Baldness (FPB), affects 1 out of every 4 women. Recent findings have found that the incidence of Female Pattern Baldness has been reported to be as low as 8% and as high as 87%. And, Female Pattern Baldness appears to be as common for women as for men. Most often, menopause is the most common time for hair loss in women.
For a woman to lose her hair is even more troubling than for men. A woman with thin hair or thinning hair is not generally accepted as part of the normal aging process. Society has concluded a thick, luxurious head of hair as part of the attractiveness in women.
While both males and females can both experience thinning hair, they typically do not lose their hair in the same order or appearance.
Women with thinning hair compared to Men
Typically men observe their hair loss earlier, whereas women will first notice it in their late 20’s till the early ’40s. Female Pattern Baldness is often seen during hormonal changes. These include the use of birth control pills, following childbirth, or mainly during or after the time of menopause.
Additionally, men typically have localized areas or patterns of thinning, while in women this usually occurs as thinning across the top, or over an even wider area. When women have very scattered thinning over much of their scalp they are usually not good candidates for hair restoration surgery. However, women with localized hair loss, similar to the typical male pattern baldness, can undergo hair restoration surgery.
Thinning hair in females is also characterized by an increase in the combination of normal thick hair mixed in with finer, smaller hairs. This results in a reduction of density, and not total hair loss.
A woman’s hair has also been proven to be more sensitive to the effects of stress than men’s hair. Stress can result in hair loss both in women and men. But this type of hair loss is not called female pattern baldness. Actually, it is known as “Telogen effluvium.” This type of hair loss is the shedding of hair in the resting phase when the body senses that it needs to divert its energies elsewhere. Therefore stress can temporarily change the amount of hair that is shed. But the lost hair is expected to grow back.
The production of the hair loss-inducing androgens is also different among men and women. A woman produces a small number of androgens in the adrenal glands and the ovaries. The ovaries also produce pre-hormones, which are then converted to androgens on the outside of the ovaries or adrenal glands.
Generally speaking, a woman with hair loss will usually not experience total balding in a particular area. But if there is total hair loss, this is most likely a sign of an underlying hidden disease. For this reason, it’s important for females to have their hormone levels checked by a physician if they are experiencing heavy hair loss.
Finally, men and women react differently to several hair loss treatment options. In men, hair loss may be ceased or even reversed by finasteride. However, it is not safe for females or children. Minoxidil (Rogaine) can be effective for both men and women in treating hair loss.
However, for some women, the causes of their hair loss are very complex than the classic “male pattern baldness”. Thus the proper diagnosis of the underlying/hidden cause is of utmost importance before any hair loss treatments are attempted.
The following physician is a well-known expert in hair loss. Feel free to contact him:
Vinod Sonawane –
Bloom hair transplant –