The majority of females are born with a hair loss condition called female pattern baldness. Which is also referred to as androgenetic alopecia. It is quite comparable to male pattern baldness. With the exception that the thinning of hair typically takes place in a distinct manner. Many individuals are under the impression that only men suffer from hair loss. On the other hand, it is predicted that more than half of all women will experience a loss of hair that is apparent. Female-pattern hair loss, also known as FPHL, is the most common and significant cause of hair loss in women. This condition affects around one-third of vulnerable women, which translates to over 30 million women in the United States.
What causes female pattern baldness?
Hereditary female pattern baldness is typically brought on by a genetically shortened hair-growing period and a genetically prolonged gap between the shedding and growth phases of the hair cycle. A person’s hair may also be affected by the genes inherited from their parents. Which may result in finer strands and fewer follicles. However, ageing and hormones may also play a role, as this condition is more common after menopause. Which is when oestrogen levels begin to decrease. It is also possible for there to be more androgenetic activity as a result of an underlying endocrine disease. Such as a tumour on the ovarian gland.
Which females are more likely to lose their hair?
Hair loss can happen to every girl or woman. However, it is more typical in:
- Females over 40.
- Women who recently gave birth.
- Chemotherapy survivors and people who have taken other drugs and experienced side effects.
- Women who frequently wear their hair in tight braids or ponytails or who use harsh chemicals on their hair.
- Women in menopause.
What does female pattern baldness look like?
Female pattern baldness is characterised by a slowing of the hair growth. Additionally, the start of fresh hair growth is slower. This may cause hair to break easily. Although total baldness is less likely, people with this illness also tend to shed more hair than the ordinary person. Hair loss in men with male pattern baldness begins in the front of the head and moves to the back until the person becomes completely bald. But female pattern baldness, which can occasionally be seen all over the head, begins at the portion line. There may be a receding hairline near the temples.
How to diagnose Hair lose in Women
The cause of thinning hair can be identified by a dermatologist or physician. In most cases, testing is not required, but they will check your scalp to determine the pattern of hair loss. A blood test to assess your levels of thyroid hormone, androgens, iron, or other substances that can affect hair development might also be done if your doctor suspects you are experiencing hair loss other than female pattern baldness. The tests used to identify hair pattern loss in women can be straightforward or difficult as the case may be, and they include:
- Carefully pulling at your hair to count the hairs that fall out.
- Blood examinations which test the levels of vitamins and minerals. (such as vitamin D, vitamin B, zinc, and iron), as well as hormones (including thyroid and sex hormones).
- Trichoscopy and a close-up look at the scalp.
- Scalp biopsy, which involves removing and examining a little portion of scalp skin.
Treatment for female pattern baldness
If you suffer from female pattern baldness. Changing your hairstyle may help you conceal your thinning hair during the early stages of the condition. However, it frequently gets to the point where it is impossible to conceal the receding hairline. It is recommended that you get a diagnosis as soon as possible because this will allow you to begin a treatment plan and may help prevent further hair loss. It is likely that your treatment plan will include one or more medications that have been authorised to treat the illness.
The only medication recognised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as effective in treating female pattern baldness is minoxidil (Rogaine). It comes in 2% or 5% formulations. If at all possible, choose the 5% recipe; earlier research has shown that it is superior. Every day, apply minoxidil to your scalp. Although it won’t replace all of the hair you’ve lost. It can grow back a lot of hair and make you look thicker overall. Results may not be visible for six to twelve months. And to keep the effect going, you must continue using minoxidil; otherwise, it will stop functioning. Your hair can revert to its prior appearance if this occurs. Some of the likely side effects of minoxidil includes redness, dryness, itching, and hair growth in places you didn’t want it, including on your cheeks.
Finasteride and dutasteride
To treat male pattern hair loss, the FDA has given its approval to the use of finasteride (Propecia) and dutasteride (Avodart). Although they are not officially approved for treating female pattern hair loss, several physicians nevertheless recommend using them. Studies on the usefulness of these medications for people with AFAB is inconclusive, there is some evidence that they are helpful in regrowing hair in women who suffer from female pattern baldness. Among the various side effects may be headaches, hot flashes, decreased sex drive, and especially during the first year of use and pregnancy should also be avoided because it raises the chance of birth abnormalities.
Spironolactone, also known by its brand name Aldactone, is a diuretic. This means that it helps the body get rid of excess fluid. Additionally, it inhibits the production of testosterone, and as a result, it may facilitate the regrowth of hair that has been lost due to female pattern baldness. This medicine is known to have a number of potential negative side effects, some of which include electrolyte imbalances, exhaustion, spotting in between periods, irregular menstruation, and sore breasts.
While you are taking medication, you might need to have your blood pressure and electrolyte levels checked on a frequent basis. Because of the possibility of birth defects, you should avoid using this drug if you are pregnant or if you are planning on becoming pregnant in the near future.
The FDA has also cleared the use of laser combs and helmets to treat hair loss. They stimulate hair growth using light energy, but additional research is required to understand whether this is actually useful. Therapy using platelet-rich plasma might also be advantageous. In order to promote hair development, this procedure entails extracting your blood, spinning it down, and then injecting your own platelets back into your scalp. Though encouraging, further research is still required.
Similar to this, there is no proof that ingesting iron can cause your hair to grow back, however, a doctor or other healthcare provider can still advise taking an iron supplement if low iron is a factor in your hair loss. The promotion of additional supplements to thicken hair also includes biotin and folic acid. A 2015 study found that consuming omega-3, omega-6, and antioxidants led to stronger hair growth in participants.
To be safe, it’s important to see a doctor before taking any supplements for this purpose. Consider using a wig or spray-on hair product if you want an easy solution to hide hair loss. Also, a hair transplant is a longer-lasting fix. A medical practitioner performs this operation by removing a small section of hair from one place of your head and implanting it in a bald spot. The graft grows back just like your own hair.
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