Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) occurs in women and is defined as female pattern hair loss (FPHL). Female pattern hair loss can begin at any age from teenage through middle age. The patterns of FPHL are significantly different from the AGA patterns in men. The typical appearance of female pattern baldness is diffuse thinning of hair over the top of the scalp. The Ludwig Classification illustrates FPHL in increasing degrees of severity from Grade I and Grade III.
Female Pattern Hair Loss
There may not be an obvious hereditary association.
While AGA is the most common cause of permanent hair loss in women ( almost 40% of women over age 40 have some degree of AGA), it is by no means the only cause.
The most common endocrinologic comorbidity that is associated with FPHL is polycystic ovarian syndrome. Metabolic syndrome, characterized by obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, hyperprolactinemia, and raised aldosterone levels, also appears to be frequently associated with FPHL.
Non-AGA causes of hair loss are more frequent in women than in men. Women are also likely to have temporary hair loss that may occur separately or together with female pattern baldness.
Two common causes of temporary hair loss in women are the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and untreated hypothyroidism.
Hair is a symbol of femininity from the earliest age. It is also strongly associated with a woman’s attractiveness and sexuality. Women affected by female pattern baldness may experience psychological distress and impaired social functioning.
A reliable diagnosis from a qualified physician or trichologist is critical before commencing any hair restoration treatment plan.
Several treatment options are available for female pattern hair loss.
These can be classified into two categories, non-surgical and surgical options.
Non-surgical options include:
– Topical therapy with minoxidil. Minoxidil is the most recommended treatment for FPHL. You can read more about it here.
– Ketoconazole shampoo 2%
– Melatonin cream
– Low-Level Light Therapy.
Hair transplantation is the surgical treatment option for female pattern hair loss.
Hair transplantation is indicated for patients over 25 years of age with FPHL who do not succeed with medical therapies when the hair loss has been stabilized. It is safe, minimally invasive and creates no visible scarring.In female patients that wear their hair long, shaving lines of hair off the back of the head is a brilliant way to have a discreet hair transplant procedure. The results are natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing.
If you are concerned with hair loss and live in Glasgow, Edinburgh or anywhere in Scotland, we’d love to talk about how we can help you get your hair and your confidence back for good.
As a member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), the world’s leading medical authority on hair loss and hair restoration, Dr Bonaros is committed to providing the best possible guidance and care for patients suffering from hair loss. Book your consultation today and explore your treatments options.