There are two types of identification tests for female pattern baldness: the Ludwig Scale and the Savin Scale. Both track the progress of diffused thinning, which typically begins on the crown of the head behind the hairline, and becomes gradually more pronounced. For male pattern baldness, the Hamilton–Norwood scale tracks the progress of a receding hairline and/or a thinning crown, through to a horseshoe-shaped ring of hair around the head and on to total baldness.
About one-third of women experience hair loss (alopecia) at some time in their lives; among postmenopausal women, as many as two-thirds suffer hair thinning or bald spots. Hair loss in women often has a greater impact than hair loss does on men w, because it's less socially acceptable for them. Alopecia can severely affect a woman's emotional well-being and quality of life.
According to psychologist Dr. Ana Fonseca, “For women, self-esteem and self-concept are the reflex of social influence, which can act as a source of conflict and misfit, with repercussions on body image and health. The relationship with the hair often includes anxiety about its general condition, if it’s thinning and falling out, or going gray. Hair is valued in connection with beauty and femininity, sexuality and attractiveness, so when losing it, people are affected negatively in their self-esteem and self-image. Hair loss threatens our vanity, how much we value ourselves and is usually seen as unattractive and often associated with being unwell or aging. It is recognized that there are also emotional factors associated with hair loss so it can mean psychological discomfort.”
I found out I have PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome) coupled with insulin resistance, which were the causes of the hair loss. This was over 12 years ago and unfortunately for me not much was known about the condition, which affects so many women. All the GPs and specialists I saw were middle aged men, who were dismissive and often clueless about what was going on. I was told there was really not much to be done, and put on the pill which was supposed to balance things out. At one point I was even told not to worry over something as trivial as hair loss.
When women have female pattern hair loss, the pattern of the shedding is completely different. While it is still located around the top of the head, it affects the vertex more diffusely, as opposed to being confined to defined areas. While thinning can certainly be significant, the chances of it forming noticeable bald areas are much less likely than with men. Instead, hair tends to look less voluminous than it once did, and the severity of the loss is recorded on something called the Ludwig Scale, which can be seen here.
Hair transplants relocate hair from a non-balding (called the donor) area to where it’s more sporadic. In this common surgical procedure, a medical team removes hundreds of tiny skin grafts from the donor strip and places them within just as many incisions placed on the recipient area. You’ll be anesthetized for this, and likely see new hair growth after about three months.
Thank you, Ellen, for this great post; it is nice to know there are others who are experiencing the same (irritating!) things. I’ve had to deal with hair issues since my 20’s after having my thyroid removed, it is NOT fun having chunks of hair come out in the shower! My thyroid (I replace with desiccated pig thyroid – much better for me than synthetic) levels are fine, but I will look into my iron levels.
Finasteride (Propecia) is a medicine taken in tablet form that partially blocks the effects of the male hormones (an 'anti-androgen'). Propecia has been shown to halt further hair loss and promote re-growth of scalp hair in approximately 80 per cent of patients after three to six months. The treatment benefits also stop when you stop taking the medication. Only available on prescription and is available on some NHS primary care trust lists for certain conditions.
Hair Loss Can Have Psychological Effects -- While hair loss is often falsely thought of as merely a cosmetic problem, studies have proven that hair loss can have wide-ranging psychological effects on women, including loss of confidence and self-esteem and in some cases, depression, anxiety, social withdrawal and more. Whether your hair loss is the result of natural hormonal changes and/or other underlying causes, in most cases hair loss is a treatable condition and not something you have to live with or hide. Preventing further hair loss and improving hair growth can restore a feeling of vitality, youth and confidence for women.
(I.e. Hair Thinning Around Hairline and Crown) Hello, I am a 23yr old male. I have noticed my hair has thinned considerably at the crown, temples, and hairline. I have noticed shedding in the shower; a few hairs at a time when I shampoo. I wish to stop or correct this before it gets worse. I have no known allergies. My father is partly bald and his father was almost completely bald. My... READ MORE
Hair loss is a pretty tricky topic and most experts and doctors are never really able to pinpoint the cause. However, if you are looking to reduce your chance of hair loss or slow hair loss that is already progressing, you should consider the factors listed above. Your doctor may help you determine if a hormone imbalance or other medical condition may be the cause of your premature hair loss. If so, they may suggest hormone therapy, diet changes or other medications and treatments to help manage to condition or balance your hormones, which may naturally solve your hair loss problem.
Take some time to read through our guide to female hair loss, which should give you an indication of what might be causing your problem and what you can do. You can contact The Belgravia Centre any time to arrange a free one-on-one consultation with a hair loss specialist. The good news is that most women’s hair loss conditions are treatable and can be prevented or reversed. Jump to more information on hair loss treatments for women. Please note that results may vary and are not guaranteed.
Though not as common as the loss of hair on the head, chemotherapy, hormone imbalance, forms of hair loss, and other factors can also cause loss of hair in the eyebrows. Loss of growth in the outer one third of the eyebrow is often associated with hypothyroidism. Artificial eyebrows are available to replace missing eyebrows or to cover patchy eyebrows. Eyebrow embroidery is another option which involves the use of a blade to add pigment to the eyebrows. This gives a natural 3D look for those who are worried about an artificial look and it lasts for two years. Micropigmentation (permanent makeup tattooing) is also available for those who want the look to be permanent.
Fusco says that there’s something called miniaturization happening at the follicular level when a hair falls out. “Miniaturization refers to the slow shrinking of the hair follicle and the diminution of the hair within, until eventually the follicle no longer exists,” she says. “The remaining tiny hair falls out and nothing grows back.” She says that this is often genetic and caused by a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a byproduct of testosterone. DHT clings to the follicle and then slowly shrinks it. This most commonly happens at the temples, the crown, and the front of the head. (This is also why you don’t see guys losing their hair around the sides and back.)
Chronic Telogen Effluvium, also known as Diffuse Hair Loss, is similar to temporary Telogen Effluvium in its causes, the main difference being that hair loss can be prolonged. The reason for this is that the underlying cause of the hair loss has not been dealt with. In order to treat Chronic TE effectively it is important not only to treat the condition with an optimum course of treatment, but also to look at the medical issues causing the problem.
Trich is under-researched in the UK, with the NHS pretty pushed for resources to try and treat it. I was referred to CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) when I was 10, which just made me more anxious and depressed. Trying to identify Trich-triggers is incredibly difficult; they can be emotional, physical, situational and differ vastly between individuals. For me, currently it's mostly when I come up against confusing stuff in my PhD research; anxiety and stress also induce it.
Lifestyle changes, combined with alternative medicines, are a highly effective treatment option for most women suffering from menopausal hair loss. However, for some women, the symptoms will be so severe that a more drastic treatment is necessary. Before beginning to take prescription medicine or getting surgery, a woman should consult a trusted medical professional to better understand the potential benefits and risks involved.
A substantially blemished face, back and limbs could point to cystic acne. The most severe form of the condition, cystic acne, arises from the same hormonal imbalances that cause hair loss and is associated with dihydrotestosterone production. Seborrheic dermatitis, a condition in which an excessive amount of sebum is produced and builds up on the scalp (looking like an adult cradle cap), is also a symptom of hormonal imbalances, as is an excessively oily or dry scalp. Both can cause hair thinning.
I explained to Emily that The Iowa Writers’ Workshop wasn’t really in the business of handing out medical degrees, but that since my hair was also thinning, and since I was curious, and since I supposed we weren’t the only two women on the planet who wanted some answers, I’d do some research. This is what I came up with for how to handle hair loss during perimenopause.
The association among food plus hair is simple. Hair is completed up of a protein call keratin. Therefore, it’s vital that you comprise enough protein in your diet. A low-protein diet orders your body to keep the accessible protein for extra purpose, like upgrading cells, therefore stingy hair of it. Green tea is valuable as it blocks out Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone which causes hair loss.
Minoxidil is the only medically-proven hair loss treatment suitable for women that has been shown to regrow hair and stop female pattern hair loss. Whilst it is licensed by the MHRA and approved by its US counterpart, the FDA for the treatment of genetic hair loss in both men and women, minoxidil is also known to be effective for other hair loss conditions.
If hair loss is genetic or an autoimmune condition, available treatments night not be effective for regrowth, but there are hair systems that look like your own hair that can help. The hair is attached using surgical glue and the hair can be blow dried, dyed, straightened. You can swim, shower etc with it. While not your own hair, they can be truly wonderful. I met several young women who wore them and you couldn’t tell. Are they difficult to deal with? Yes. But at the very least they help. I interviewed several women who were fine with not covering their bald heads, but who felt compelled to do so for work and society in general. One woman, a teacher, told me she covered up because her student’s parents complained to the administration, concerned that she was ill.