Why Is Female Hair Loss Different

It is a well accepted fact that men are losing their hair as they age and very little can be done to change it. Many men do not seem worry about their hair becoming thinner at all and never try any treatment. However, hair loss for a woman can be a real disaster. Female hair loss is much more common than it may seem as it affects about 25% of the adult female population. This number only includes hereditary form of hair loss called female pattern baldness. Women are often losing hair also for a variety of different other reasons such as due to overprocessing their hair or due to the hormonal changes after giving birth but in these instances their hair loss is usually only temporary and reversible.

Female pattern baldness has the same main cause as the male form, which is the metabolite of the male hormone testosterone – dihydrotestosterone – attacking their hair follicles. Female body also produces testosterone. Once women enter the menopause their female hormone levels decline and more testosterone becomes available to be converted in to the follicle harming dihydrotestosterone. Therefore, most women start balding at a more senior age than men.

Female balding pattern is different to men’s in that it is diffuse and therefore more difficult to recognize at an early stage. Women usually have to lose about 50% of their hair to notice they are balding. Some women can also have the typical male balding pattern in the form of a horseshoe. The main problem with treating female hair loss is the fact that women either cannot use some of the best medications that help men deal with their condition such as finasteride (Propecia) or have to use lower concentrations e.g. minoxidil (Rogaine). Secondly, women are usually not very suitable candidates for hair surgery as due to their diffuse balding pattern it is impossible to identify hair follicles that would be resistant to future thinning and could be successfully transplanted. Hence, timely recognition of the onset of hair los in women is critical to your successful treatment.

Posted in: Female baldness