Female patter baldness is a specific type of baldness that affects women and is caused by several potential causes. Some of them are hormonal changes, the process of aging and genetic predisposition. Loss of hair can be very stressful for both genders since it interferes with one's appearance.
What Are Causes of Hair Loss in Women?
It is estimated that each hair grows at an average rate of approximately 1/2 inch per month. The growth goes through several stages - active growth, rest and what follows in falling out. But even if one hair falls out it is soon replaced with another one. In case of baldness the loss of hair occurs because the lost hairs are simply not replaced with new ones. There are many reasons and causes of improper hair replacement.
The first one is the process of aging. Namely, after entering menopause many women start to complain about thinning of their hair. This can be explained by changes in the level of androgens (male hormones). Furthermore, the condition may develop due to positive family history of both, male or female pattern baldness. Hair loss can be connected to breaking of hair (hair twisting, hair pulling etc.), certain illnesses that affect hair follicles, hormonal abnormalities, iron deficiency or intake of certain medications. Additionally, hair loss affects women suffering from alopecia areata and may occur in women suffering from syphilis. Transient shedding of hair generally occurs after a major illness, surgery or it can be associated with pregnancy. Lack of some vitamins may also contribute to the condition. And finally, temporary hair loss may be associated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy of the brain and lesions that affect the head.
Clinical Characteristics of Hair Loss in Women
In female pattern baldness hair commonly becomes thinner on the top and the crown of the scalp. The widening starts from the center hair part. The front hair line remains intact and the process may progress to near total or in severe cases total baldness. In majority of cases there is no itching and skin sores.
Treatment for Hair Loss in Women
Fortunately, in many cases of female pattern boldness hair loss is mild to moderate. The only medication approved by FDA in treatment for female pattern baldness is minoxidil. Once it is applied it helps in regrowth of the lost hair in approximately 20-25% of women and it can also stop further hair loss. The only problem is that once the person stops taking minoxidil hair loss continues. In women who suffer from hair loss associated with excess of male hormones the condition can be treated with spironolactone. And finally, if medications do not provide with desirable solutions women are left with one more option - hair transplant surgery.