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Female Pattern Hair Loss

Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) occurs in women and is defined as female pattern hair loss (FPHL). Female pattern baldness can begin at any age, from adolescence through middle age. The patterns of AGA patterns are significantly different from the AGA patterns in men. The typical appearance of female hair pattern baldness is diffuse thinning of hair over the top of the scalp. The Ludwig Classification illustrates FPHL in increasing degrees of severity from baldness Grade I to Grade III.

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.

Read on to find out what causes AGA and the best treatment for female pattern baldness.

What is Female Pattern Baldness?

Androgenic alopecia occurs when the hair follicles shrink. Over time, the hair shaft becomes thinner and shorter. Signs and patterns of hair loss are different between males and females. 

Female pattern baldness occurs in women and any person assigned female at birth. People who experience female pattern baldness may notice thinning along the centre of the head and at the crown.

Female pattern hair loss

What are the Causes of Female Pattern Baldness?

While androgenic alopecia is the most common cause of permanent hair loss in women, it is by no means the only cause of hair baldness in females.

Non-AGA causes of excessive hair shedding and loss are more frequent in women than men. Women are also likely to have temporary hair loss that may occur separately or with female pattern baldness.

A reliable diagnosis from a qualified physician or trichologist is critical before deciding on the best female pattern hair loss treatment. Here are the most common female pattern baldness causes:

Hereditary Baldness in Females

Whereas a man with AGA usually has close male relatives with AGA, a family history of genetic alopecia in females may be less apparent. Excessive overall hair loss and a slight gap in the centre of the hairline are usually the first signs of early female pattern hair loss.

If the patient’s female baldness is hereditary, it would impact the treatment process.

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Hormonal Changes

Hair thinning and baldness in women are often the result of hormonal imbalances. This is why hair baldness in women needs early diagnosis, as it may be a symptom of an underlying condition.

Some hormonal issues that could trigger female pattern androgenetic alopecia in women include:

Metabolic Syndrome

One of the common causes of hair loss in women is metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is characterised by obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, hyperprolactinemia, and raised aldosterone levels, which also appear to be frequently associated with FPHL.

Untreated Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a very common underlying cause of female pattern baldness. One of the best options to treat female pattern baldness is topical minoxidil. The use of minoxidil can help you regrow hair if hypothyroidism is the cause of your female pattern baldness.

Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

The most common endocrinologic comorbidity that is associated with female pattern baldness is polycystic ovarian syndrome. The first signs of PCOS are hair thinning and female hair loss in the middle of the head.

Psychological effects of hair loss in women

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen Effluvium is an acute syndrome that causes diffuse hair loss all over the head due to excessive stress, which can last up to 6 months. 

A physician can examine your medical history, lifestyle and overall health to help you identify the cause of your condition. The cause could be related to your hormones, environmental stressors or current medications. Eliminating the cause of telogen effluvium may help you to restore hair growth.

What are the Signs of Female Pattern Baldness?

Some of the most common symptoms of female pattern balding include:

Thinning Hair

The first noticeable sign of female scalp hair loss is typically thinning hair caused by increased hair shedding. You may also notice slowed new hair growth. 

Although it may be easy to miss initially, noticeable patches of missing hair may appear as time passes.

Bald Spots

As female pattern baldness develops, thinning spots may become more noticeable. Female pattern baldness can progress quickly in some people. Common areas for bald spots in females include the crown, centre hair part and over the top of the head. 

A receding hairline and frontal baldness in females are uncommon and could be a sign of frontal fibrosing alopecia.

At What Age Does Hair Loss Start for Women?

Early hair loss in females can start from the teenage years, although it’s very rare. Hair loss in women under 40 is not very common. Female pattern hair at the loss crown is more common after 40. Female pattern baldness may then worsen as almost 40% of women over 50 have some form of AGA.

Hair loss in a middle-aged woman may be caused by genetics, hormones, medications, or preexisting medical conditions.

What Can Prevent Female Pattern Baldness?

It can be challenging to prevent further hair loss and stimulate hair regrowth before noticeable balding spots appear.

Hair loss medications such as minoxidil may effectively prevent future hair loss and stimulate female hair regrowth. We’ve outlined some hair care tips below that may also help stimulate hair growth in women:

  • Keep your hair as healthy as possible with regular oil treatments and hair masks.
  • Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers when detangling your hair, especially when wet.
  • Avoid or limit treatments that add stress to your natural hair and can lead to damage, like perming, bleaching, straightening and hair extensions.
  • Eat a diet rich in essential micro-nutrients, iron and protein.
  • Wear a hat when in the sun to protect your hair from sun damage.

Female pattern hair loss treatments dr bonaros glasgow

Female Pattern Baldness Treatment Options

Many treatments for female pattern baldness are available. Female hair loss options include topical and oral medications and hair transplantation. Minoxidil is one of the best medical treatments to help regrow lost hair for females. That being said, the best treatment for female pattern hair loss is different for each patient. That’s why it’s imperative you get the advice of a medical professional before starting a hair loss treatment plan to find the proper treatment for your hair loss condition.

If you’re not responding to other hair loss medications, your doctor may recommend a hair transplant for female androgenetic alopecia.

Minoxidil treatment

Topical Minoxidil Solutions to Treat Hair Loss

Topical minoxidil is the most commonly recommended treatment for FPHL and helps with female hair restoration. It stimulates new growth for female pattern baldness patients and prevents future hair loss. It is one of the most effective female hair loss treatments that contribute directly to healthy, thicker hair. 

Minoxidil, like many other hair loss medications, may be effective in helping you regrow hair, but its downside is that if you stop the treatment, you’ll start to lose hair again.

Finasteride & Spironolactone

Finasteride is a common treatment for male pattern baldness. While it is not approved for females, some studies have examined its effectiveness for balding women who are not of childbearing potential. It is available as a topical and oral medication which can be taken daily.

Spironolactone is an oral medication that may help improve female pattern baldness when taken at high dosages. However, this oral medication can take up to six months to have a noticeable effect on improving hair density.

Minoxidil treatment

Ketoconazole Shampoo for Female Hair Loss

Ketoconazole shampoo is used to thicken hair and reduce hair loss. It can be used with minoxidil. It’s an excellent treatment option for patients with less aggressive female pattern baldness.

Melatonin Cream to Stimulate Hair Growth

Melatonin cream is another option for female pattern baldness. Some studies have shown that melatonin cream can treat hair loss, stimulate new thick hair, and help repair the hair follicle.

Microneedling to Stimulate Hair Follicles

Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure that pricks the skin with tiny, sterilised needles to stimulate blood flow and promote hair regrowth for women in the early stages of female pattern baldness.

Low-Level Light Therapy

Low-light laser therapy can help promote hair growth using the wavelength of specialised red-coloured lights. This method has been shown to have some effectiveness for women struggling with alopecia areata and telogen effluvium.

Hair Transplants for Female Androgenetic Alopecia

Hair transplantation is indicated for patients over 25 years of age with female pattern baldness when the hair loss has been stabilised. Hair transplants are typically recommended for patients who do not succeed with medical therapies. A hair transplant for female pattern baldness is safe, minimally invasive and creates no visible linear scarring. 

In female patients who wear their hair long, shaving lines of hair off the back of the head is a brilliant way to have a discreet hair transplantation for advanced hair loss. The results of a hair transplant, when performed by a medical expert, are healthy hair follicles that are natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing.

fue hair transplant procedure in Glasgow Scotland by Dr Bonaros

Dr Bonaros: Female Alopecia Specialist in Glasgow

Dr. Bonaros is a member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), the world’s leading medical authority on hair restoration.

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 healthy hair and confidence back for good.

Dr Bonaros is committed to providing the best possible guidance and care for patients suffering from female pattern baldness or other hair loss conditions. Book your consultation today and explore treatment options for female pattern hair loss.

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