Female Hair Loss
FEMALE HAIRLINE ADVANCEMENT
It is common for us to see women for female hairline advancement because they’ve always had a high hairline. This is not due to hair loss but is just their genetic pattern (Amanda Holden for example). It is perfectly normal and just a simple genetic variation, however, many women are very distressed by it. It does look a bit like male pattern hair loss (particularly temple loss) and can give a masculine look sometimes and so women do try to hide it with fringes, scarves or more elaborate hair cuts. High female hairlines can be treated very successfully with hair transplants, however.
The causes of female hair loss in women are more complex than in men. Hair loss might be down to diet, hormonal or genetic issues, or the result of illness or disease. Hair loss in women needs to be investigated by a specialist. Although female hair transplants are usually successful, other causes and treatments should also be investigated for the prevention of further hair loss.
Because of this, it’s important that women see a doctor diagnose the condition and, if necessary, investigate the cause. Once a diagnosis has been made, we will know what we are working with. We can then design a programme of treatment accordingly. For female hair loss, we generally recommend that you visit your GP first.
Once other causes of hair loss have been investigated, it is found that many women suffer Female Pattern Baldness. Also known as FPB or Ludwig and Savin patterns of female hair loss. These patterns of female hair loss consist of a well-preserved hair line but with an oval patch of hair thinning on the top.
This has different genetics to Male Pattern Baldness but can also be treated by hair transplants and sometimes medication too. It is not uncommon (approximately 3% of women suffer this and it runs in families, affecting mothers and daughters). But it sadly isn’t realised that treatment is available. Some researchers believe that men can also inherit this type (FPB) of female hair loss too. Many women struggle with complex hairstyling options, scarves, wigs and camouflage products when hair transplants or medication may be the answer.
MALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS IN WOMEN
In addition, women can suffer Male Pattern Hair loss ( Androgenetic, MPB, hair loss). Women can either genetically be more susceptible to normal amounts of testosterone that all women produce or, some illnesses can produce higher male hormone concentrations i.e PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome (symptoms include facial hirsutism but temple hair thinning), as well as after menopause. This can also be treated by hair transplantation although it is useful to see if the condition can be stabilised first with anti-androgens (Dianette or cyproterone acetate plus Finasteride).
Diet can be a cause of female hair loss, particularly for women (and some men) as keeping slim is fashionable. The problem is, low calorie or “faddy” diets often lack important nutrients. In the long term, this is generally unhealthy but in the short term, can cause poor hair growth or even shedding of the hair. Even if supplements are taken, the simple shortage of calories leads to a reduction in hair production. This is characteristic in anorexia nervosa where the hair loss becomes like wispy hair.
Iron is probably the commonest deficiency, as women lose iron during menstruation and if sufficient iron isn’t eaten to replace it, body stores will eventually be used up. Most meat-eaters can probably obtain enough but those who are vegetarian or only occasional meat/fish eaters, do need to be more careful about their food choices/and take supplements.