Female Hair Fall/Loss
Also known as female pattern hair loss.
This condition has become somewhat more prevalent over recent years in women. and a very common and familiar complaint these days here at ‘The Spencer Clinic’. We take careful note of the longevity of the complaint so as to not confuse it with other types of hair fall problems that can result in a similar pattern of hair loss.
The pattern of hair loss can be variable. It can cause thinning of the frontal area only or/and the whole top area of the head.
Female pattern hair loss can affect women as early as their late teens to as late as their mid-seventies.
The onset of the complaint can be caused by genetics from either/or both parent, even when they do not express the genetic trait, hormonal imbalances or deficiencies, menstrual problems, oral contraception, pregnancy, menopause etc. Similarly to men, hair can either fall out rapidly or gradually depending on the severity of the imbalance.
Naturally, women have high levels of female hormones and low levels of male hormones. For whatever reason, when these levels become imbalanced, the result can often be hair fall. If these imbalances do not recover naturally, and are not confronted and dealt with trichologically and medically, then the resultant hair fall may well persist.
Women aged between 60-70 can suffer with a naturally occurring diffused generalised loss throughout the scalp. This is known as Senescent Alopecia. It is a distinct disorder, similar to Male/Female pattern hair loss but is not caused by the conversion of testosterone. However, it can occur alongside Pattern hair loss.
It is characterised by a shortening of the Anagen growth cycle and prolonged Kerogen phase.
Besides trichological stimulative treatment, a trichologist should also be able to recommend a blood test to analyse specific male and female hormonal levels as well as other hormones connected to hair loss. Minoxidil can also be helpful.
Unlike men, women can, if necessary, be prescribed hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) to help restore the balance. This would necessitate oral prescriptions of oestrogen or/ and progesterone and, in some cases, anti-androgens. Doctors do vary in their approach to HRT so please do be aware of what you are prescribed, and always ask for blood test updates every three months in case the dosage or prescription needs to be changed.
In the mean time, if you are under trichological supervision, progress will be carefully monitored. It is also worth mentioning that some women who are advised by their GP to begin HRT for whatever reason, after a while, can actually begin to lose hair!! So ladies, please be mindful.
This condition is certainly treatable. However, hair follicles, the ducts in the skin from which hair grows, can degenerate and miniaturise from this complaint so please do seek help sooner rather than later, preferably from a registered trichologist, as your GP may not be quite as understanding, sympathetic or able to help effectively.