A guide to hair loss in women

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There are several factors that lead to hair loss in women. Genetics being the most predominant factor, it can also include stress, medical issues and a variety of harsh hair styling activities. For an appropriate diagnosis, it is important to consult a healthcare professional who can also ensure that the right course of action is applied.

Hair Loss in Women

Androgenic alopecia

Hereditary hair thinning is common in men but there are also a number of women who suffer from female pattern hair loss induced due to genetics. Beginning as early as in their 20s and 30s the condition becomes noticeable in women by the age of 40 years. 50% of them experience intensified female pattern hair loss by the time they are 50 years old (other parallel conditions are telogen effluvium and diffuse hair loss).

Female pattern hair loss is typically overall thinning of hair rather than extreme balding. Some of the women even experience a receding hair line. Pregnancy, poor diet and intake of certain medications may also cause hair thinning but most of the time hair thinning at an amplified stage is attributed to androgenetic alopecia.

The science:

A hormone derivative called Dihydrotestosterone is secreted in the affected hair follicles due to a reaction of the biologically active testosterone with an enzyme. The DHT, in turn, inhibits the metabolism of the genetically pre-disposed hair cells rendering them weak and thin. The follicles shrink and eventually die. This is actually irreversible balding. In women, hair thinning is more advanced on the top of the head but there are rare areas of bald patches.

The process of hair thinning in female pattern hair loss:

The combined effects of hormones, age and heredity lead to contraction of the hair follicles and prevents them from accomplishing the hair growth cycle. Over a period of time hair follicles become gradually smaller and hair becomes finer and shorter. Most commonly, in women, the parting of the hair gets wider and the ponytail gets less dense even as the initial signs of hair loss appear.

Most hair loss conditions in women are treatable. Before you choose any chemical treatment, look around for natural and healthy alterations in food and lifestyle that can restore your hair almost instantly.