Female pattern baldness is a model of hair loss different from the one experienced by males. It is also known as female pattern alopecia or androgenic/androgenetic alopecia. Female baldness is quite common and at least one third of all women are affected by it, maybe even more. The hair becomes rare on the entire surface of the scalp. However, the most visible area is usually the crown, or the area on top of the head. While men can eventually become completely bald, this rarely happens to women. In most cases, female hair remains almost intact on the sides and in front.
A person normally loses between 50 and 125 hairs every day. This is part of the normal hair growth cycle and they are replaced by an equal number of new hairs. However, losing more than 125 hairs per day is excessive and can lead to baldness.
Every hair emerges from its root located in the follicle and grows at a normal rate of around half an inch every month. Hairs have a natural cycle, they have a period of growth lasting between 2 and 6 years, followed by a period of rest and eventually they fall off. At this point, the cycle starts again and a new hair emerges. About 15% of human hair is in the resting phase at any moment, while the rest grows.
Whenever the number of new hairs is lower than the number of falling hairs, baldness starts. However, unlike the male pattern baldness, it is not known for sure why female baldness happens.
Scientists have identified a number of possible causes of female pattern baldness. One of them is aging, which leads to hair degeneration. Another possible cause is the decrease in the levels of male hormones (androgens). After the end of menopause, many females notice that their hair changes, while the facial one gets rougher, the one on the scalp becomes thinner. Genetic factors can also have an influence, since the risk is higher for women with a history of baldness in the family (male baldness counts as well).
In addition, there can be many direct causes for hair loss, which are not connected to the female pattern baldness. These include aggressive medication like beta blockers or chemotherapy, a lack of vitamins (in particular vitamin B), an insufficient supply of iron, hormonal issues (like too low or too high levels of thyroid hormone or too much testosterone). Hair can also break due to structural defects from birth, such as irregular shafts, or as a result of cosmetic treatments that involve excessive twisting or pulling. Baldness can be caused by a number of diseases including the sexually transmitted infection named syphilis, alopecia areata (or the patch baldness), various skin diseases that cause scars and destroy the hair follicles or some autoimmune conditions. The hair can also start falling temporarily after major shocks such as surgery, pregnancy or severe diseases.
Baldness or hair loss can signal the start of more serious diseases. It can be a symptom for a wide range of conditions, from autoimmune diseases like lupus to diabetes. Blood tests can be requested in order to clarify if hair loss is a sign of a more serious disease.
Female pattern baldness is different from the male pattern one and the hair becomes thin on the entire surface of the scalp. It is most visible on the crown area, or the top of the head. Unlike men, it is extremely rare for a woman to become completely bald.
The main difference between male and female patterns of baldness is that women lose their hair equally on the entire scalp. The condition is less visible and the frontal hairline usually remains intact. It rarely expands to become total baldness like in men, but it can be obvious in the crown.
Women can be more impacted than men by the effects of hair loss and can suffer emotional and psychological distress. There is no real cure for female pattern baldness but some treatment options exist. Females who lose their hair have to understand that the condition might not be reversible. Normally, hair loss is permanent, even if there are situations when treatment succeeds and the hair is restored. However, the rate of hair loss can at least be stopped or slowed down.
Scientists have failed to identify any preventive treatment for female pattern hair loss, which is often a permanent condition. However, the symptoms are usually mild and there is no need for treatment, as long as the woman accepts her new look.
In general, baldness is probably caused by androgens, which can be blocked by certain hormonal treatments. These are prescribed by doctors and are usually administered in oral form. It is a lengthy treatment and the cure should not be stopped without medical advice. In most cases, at least six months of continuous treatment are needed until the first effects can be seen.
Wigs are not a real cure but can effectively hide the condition. They can be used as a temporary solution in combination with other forms of treatment, until the hair starts growing again. Elma 11 Scalp and Hair Revitalizer is another effective option, since it boosts hair regrowth and nourishes the existing one.