Hair loss in men is widely discussed, generally because it’s so common, but hair loss in women is less widely talked about and can cause a great deal of distress for the one in five women affected by this condition.
Because having a lustrous head of hair is so closely linked with self-esteem, women are particularly vulnerable to developing anxiety issues over their hair loss, which only makes the condition worse.
When faced with excess hair shedding during daily grooming or with handfuls of hair coming out in the shower, women shouldn’t hesitate to talk to their doctor to find the underlying reason. In this article, we’ll take a brief look at some of the causes of female hair loss and the treatments available.
Which Factors Are Implicated in Female Hair Loss?
Temporary hair loss can be caused by excessive stress, and usually once the situation causing the stress is resolved or ways of managing of the stress have been found, hair growth can return to normal.
Other types of hair loss are caused by hormonal disruption, with a major factor in female hair loss being the hormonal change that occurs after menopause. Additionally, underproduction of certain hormones can result in autoimmune diseases like hypothyroidism and its characteristic patchy hair loss known as Alopecia Areata. Medical therapies targeting the underlying autoimmune condition can reverse the hair loss caused by this form of Alopecia.
Genetic factors are implicated in another type of hair loss. Female Pattern Hair Loss primarily affects the top and front of the scalp. Pattern Hair Loss is the most common form of hair loss in both men and women, affecting approximately 50% of men and 25% of women by the age of fifty.
Many instances of Female Pattern Hair Loss will respond to treatments with carefully selected regrowth formulations, but in some cases the only solution is to undergo hair transplant surgery.
Topical Hair Regrowth Formulations
A number of hair regrowth formulations exist, but not all are suitable for women to use. One popular substance used to treat male pattern baldness, Finasteride, can cause birth defects if taken by women during pregnancy, so it’s vital that women seek out treatments that are not only effective but safe.
For women needing a solution to hair loss, Minoxidil based preparations are a much safer choice, but side effects can still occur, although these are usually limited to benign effects like dandruff and burning and irritation in the area of application.
Some products like Scalp Med use a minoxidil formulation containing nutrients and moisturizers that eliminate these issues and make treating hair loss a much more bearable process.
Hair Transplant Surgery
When topical treatments are unsuccessful, hair transplant surgery offers an effective solution to hair loss for those that can afford the procedure—most insurance plans don’t cover hair transplant surgery.
While hair loss is distressing, the condition doesn’t have to be permanent. Treating underlying medical issues can resolve many cases, while other types of hair loss can respond well to topical treatments. Before you attempt to tackle your hair loss, it’s a good idea to seek your doctor’s advice.