Female pattern hair loss, or as we often call it as “androgenetic alopecia”, is a hair loss condition that severely affects women worldwide. There is not much difference male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness, except for the fact that women lose their hair in a different pattern than men.
Hair loss is common in women, especially as they age. According to a study, up to two thirds of the women suffer from hair loss after the menopause. Female pattern hair loss can said to be hereditary and gets more common after menopause. So, if you have started experiencing any type of hair loss, first get it checked from a dermatologist or a doctor. The sooner you treat this condition, the faster you will be able to stop this and possibly regrow your hair.
What is Female Pattern Hair Loss?
Female Pattern Hair Loss or FPHL can be simply described as the diffused thinning of hair on the scalp with an increased hair shredding or a reduction in hair growth; sometimes it can be both the conditions. As a matter of fact, 40% of women starts losing their hair by the time they reach the age of 50 and less than of 45% women reach their 80’s with a full head of hair.
In FPHL, it is normal to lose 50-100 strands of hair daily. There is another condition known as chronic telogen effluvium which shows symptoms of increased hair shredding and is often confused with female pattern hair loss. It is of crucial importance to know the difference between the two, because the treatment for both differs from one another.
What are the important causes for Female Pattern Hair Loss?
FPHL can said to be having strong genetic predisposition. There are many genes that contribute to female pattern hair loss, indicating that the mode of inheritance is polygenic. These genes could be inherited from either of the parent or sometimes from both of them.
It is still not clear if androgens (male sex hormones) do have any role contributing to female pattern hair loss. Although, it’s proved that androgens play a major role in male pattern baldness. It’s found that the majority of the women suffering from FPHL have normal level of androgens in their hormones and blood. Because of this uncertain relationship, this FPHL is preferred to be called as “female androgenetic alopecia”.
How Female Pattern Hair Loss looks like?
As women are less likely to go bald, they may not completely lose all their hair, but a lot of thinning and a decreased hair growth pattern can be easily seen.
FPHL can further divided into three main types:
- Type 1: Starts with small amount of hair loss at the sides
- Type 2: This type of hair loss involves widening at the sides with an increased thinning of hair around it
- Type 3: The top of the scalp becomes a see through area with huge hair loss and a thinning throughout the entire scalp