Hair Loss Restoration

Hair Loss in Women

Female Pattern Hair loss

Although females may carry the same genes for baldness as their father and brothers, women don't lose hair nearly as frequently or with the same severity, or pattern, as men. The main reason for this curious observation is that females produce only a tiny amount of Androgen, or male hormone. The relationship between Androgens and hair loss was observed as early as Hippocrates who noted that, "Eunuchs do not become bald."

Some believe, that many of the women who experience pattern hair loss, have an unusual "sensitivity" to the low levels of male hormone, normally present in women. Accordingly, female pattern thinning is not usually caused by an excess of Androgen; only rarely do women develop abnormally high levels of male hormone. These women will have a male pattern of hair loss similar to their father and brothers, along with other obvious signs of Androgen excess. There are also several less understood genetically related factors that impact hair loss in women.

Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3

In addition, unlike male pattern hair loss, female pattern thinning is more commonly associated with other exasterbating factors such as thyroid disease, iron deficiency or poor protein intake.The balding pattern observed in women is also different than in men, being more oval and preserving the hairline area. The Ludwig classification of female pattern hair loss is shown above. Class 1 indicates early or mild pattern hair loss; these patients are typically treated medically. Class 2 indicates more advanced thinning and a wider pattern of hair loss, making it difficult to conceal with styling and/or cosmetic products. These patients are treated medically and with hair restoration surgery when appropriate. Class 3 indicates severe thinning, where coverage becomes very sparse, obviously exposing the underlying skin of the pattern. The pattern is also very wide, with generalized thinning throughout most of the scalp. These patients are treated medically and are not usually candidates for a hair restoration procedure.

Telogen Effluvium

Many women also experience a type of hair loss called Telogen Effluvium. This type of hair loss is characterized by abnormal shedding of hair and is rarely seen in men. Telogen Effluvium occurs when large numbers of normally growing hair follicles stop growing and prematurely enter the dormant Telogen phase of the hair growth cycle. This usually occurs in response to a physiologic change (e.g. medications, fad diets, severe weightloss, following childbirth, etc.). The induced change in the hair growth cycle becomes apparant only after the dormant Telogen hairs begin to grow again, usually approximately three months following the physiologic trigger; this is when shedding is first noticed. When trying to identify the cause of Telogen Effluvium, it's important to establish when abnormal shedding was first noted and then look for a physiologic trigger around three months prior to that time period. Some women are hypersensitive to various triggers, causing constant Telogen Effluvium episodes. This condition is referred to as Chronic Telogen Effluvium and may be improved with lifestyle changes and medication.

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