Female Hair Loss: Frequently Asked Questions
Female hair loss and Women’s Hair Restoration often brings forth questions and we hope to answer some of them here.
Female Pattern Hair Loss (Androgenetic Alopecia)
For many women that suffer from hair loss, the most common type is androgenetic alopecia. It is often referred to as female pattern baldness. This sort of hair loss refers to having predominately thinning hair over the top and sides of the head. It is estimated that over one-third of all susceptible women are affected by it. Hair loss like this often seen after menopause, though, it can begin even be in the early stages of puberty.
Daily a woman will lose 100-125 strand of hair per day. This may sound like a lot but it is actually a normal amount of hair loss and these hairs will be replaced. The hair loss occurs when the hairs are not regrown. It can also be contributed to hair shedding that exceeds the 125 hair strands. Genetically either parent can be the reason for your hair loss, not just the mother’s side as you may head.
There are two types of hair loss that affect women medically known as Anagen Effluvium and Telogen Effluvium. Anagen effluvium often occurs because of medication like chemotherapy that actually poisons the hair follicles. Telogen effluvium occurs when a large number of hair follicles enter into what is known as the resting stage of the hair growth cycle. There are a number of causes of Telogen Effluvium.
Physical stress: illness, surgery, anemia, or rapid weight change.
Emotional stress: the death of a family member, mental illness.
Medications: High doses of Vitamin A, Blood pressure and Gout medications.
Hormonal causes: pregnancy, birth control pills, menopause.
When the above causes of telogen effluvium are reversed or altered normal hair growth should return.
Hormonal Considerations in Female Hair Loss
One of the most common causes of hair loss for women often happens from hormonal changes. Many women may not know or even realize that hair loss can happen after a pregnancy or even after discontinuation of birth control pills. Hair loss may not happen right away, it can take up to three months following any hormonal changes and an additional three months will be required for new hair to grow and be fully achieved.
Do shampoos and topical treatments work for women?
There are a number of shampoos on the market that claim to give you hair that is more thick and full. It is completely up to you to try them and see if they do as they suggest.
Minoxidil is an over the counter topical treatment that is widely used to stop the progression of hair loss for individuals that experience hair loss and thinning hair from androgenic alopecia.
What type of wig should I choose?
When it comes to women’s wigs for alopecia and other causes of thinning hair in women, they come in all styles, colors, and sizes. Today, you even have a choice on what type of hair is used whether you want synthetic or human hair. Many wigs today can be custom made specifically for your scalp and the amount of hair loss you have had. There are a number of factors that go into finding the perfect wig for you and speaking to a wig specialist with professional experience in dealing with female hair loss is a great place to start.
Can a hair stylist help?
The short answer is “yes and no.” A professional hair stylist is skilled in advising you about the best hair style, length, and color for you based on factors such as the shape of your face, your age, and lifestyle. Unfortunately, the vast majority of hair stylists simply have no experience in dealing with effective female hair loss solutions and will often admit, when speaking with other hair professionals, that they don’t know what to do for their clients who are suffering from moderate to severe hair loss.
A professionally trained and experienced women’s hair stylist with demonstrated experience in the field of female hair loss and alopecia, however, will know what to do for their clients who are suffering from any form of female hair loss, from compulsive hair pulling (Trichotillomania), to chemotherapy and medical hair loss, to genetic female pattern hair loss and thinning, and will be able to offer a range of solutions based on degree and type of hair loss, lifestyle, career and personal goals.