About 30% percent of women will experience hair loss or alopecia at some time in their lives. However, even though it is less common in women than in men, hair loss in women often has a more significant impact.
The cultural impact of hair loss in women’s case is because it is globally more acceptable for men to be bald rather than women. Though men and women alike feel less desirable due to hair loss, a woman’s emotional well-being and quality of life can be severely affected.
How is hair loss in men different from that in women?
The primary type of hair loss in women is men, androgenetic alopecia, or pattern hair loss. Often in men, the hair loss starts above the temples, and the receding hairline eventually forms a shape like the letter “M,” which has become characteristic. Another common sign is hair at the top of the head also thins, often progressing to baldness.
However, in women, androgenetic alopecia starts with gradual thinning, specifically at the part line and gradually leading to diffuse hair loss radiating from the head’s top. However, a woman’s hairline rarely recedes entirely and leads to full baldness.
Physicians use the Ludwig Classification to categorize female pattern hair loss. The first type has the least amount of thinning, and hairstyling techniques can easily camouflage the hair loss. While Type II features a reduced volume and observable widening of the mid-line part, and Type III shows even more diffuse thinning on the top of the scalp.
What causes hair loss in women?
A clinician would refer a woman suffering from hair loss to a dermatologist. An additional referral would be to a therapist or support group to address emotional difficulties since hair loss in women can be frustrating and draining.
A dermatologist would have to determine the cause of the hair loss and prescribe an appropriate treatment. There are many different causes of hair loss in women, and several potential factors can play a significant role in developing women’s hair loss.
The most common reasons are hormone-related, which may be due to an overactive thyroid, birth control pills, menopause, or pregnancy. It might also be due to poor nutrition or deficiencies such as alcoholism, zinc, or iron deficiency. Also, fever and systemic illness such as inflammatory bowel disease, Hepatic Disease, Syphilis, and Lymphoproliferative disorders can cause hair loss. Stress may also be another factor.
Losing hair is mainly due to the sensitivity of hair follicles to the hormones in your scalp. The hormone is typically DHT or Dihydro-Testosterone, which explains why most women’s hair loss treatments include DHT blockers and anti-androgens such as Revivogen and Propecia.
Usually, the dermatologist would order a blood test to check for any hormonal imbalances and identify the leading cause of the hair loss problem. These include tests for Serum Iron, Serum Ferritin, TIBC (Total Iron Binding Capacity), Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), VDRL, and Complete Blood Count (CBC) DHT, DHEAS, Testosterone, Androstenedione, Prolactin, Follicle Stimulating, and Luteinizing Hormone.
Types of Women’s Hair Loss Treatments
There are many hair loss treatments for women with thinning hair. The main ones are DHT blockers (Antiandrogens), Growth Stimulants like minoxidil, supplements, and hair transplantation.
Minoxidil, which has the trade name Rogaine, is a primary drug used to stimulate hair growth. It takes about 6 to 12 months to see the hair care medications’ evident results. There is a topical version of the drug primarily used for hair regrowth treatments, while the pill is for high blood pressure therapy or symptomatic hypertension. Applying Minoxidil on your scalp causes a harmless vasodilating effect. This effect allows more nutrients and oxygen to flow through your blood to your hair follicles working as a growth agent.
Androgens hormones such as testosterone, however, can accelerate hair loss in women. Drugs such as Propecia can reduce dihydrotestosterone’s hormone production (DHT) by up to 70% as an antiandrogen. This process is how it leads to promoting hair growth when taken daily. Side effects are rare but include depression and sexual dysfunction.
Some women, such as those who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), would benefit from the anti-androgen drug spironolactone. This addition to the treatment regime is effective against androgenic alopecia. These women may produce excess androgens. Possible adverse effects may include loss of libido, depression, weight gain, and fatigue.
The doctor may recommend supplements after the results of the blood tests. Since iron deficiency could cause hair loss in some women, iron supplements represent a solution. Factors that affect the internal iron levels include being vegetarian, having a history of anemia, or having heavy menstrual bleeding. The doctor may also investigate what the cause of the deficiency could be.
Women’s shops like Sephora also sell vegan supplements such as Hair Sweet Hair Growth Vegan Gummies and Liquid Multi-Vitamin Supplement containing hair growth-promoting ingredients biotin, vitamin B, zinc, and folic acid.
Topical tretinoin used in combination therapy with minoxidil for androgenic alopecia is very efficient. A study proved that almost 70% of those who participated in the research had hair regrowth. However, guidance from a doctor is always required, as with other medications.
Hair transplantation originated in the 1950s as a solution for androgenic alopecia. The procedure involves removing a strip of scalp from the head’s back and using it to fill in a bald patch.
In recent years, the majority of hair-transplant surgeons use a novel technique known as follicular unit transplantation. During this technique, surgeons remove a thin strip of the scalp then divide it into hundreds of tiny grafts. Each of these small grafts contains just a few hairs. Afterward, the grafts are placed into a slit in the scalp. A needle makes this slit in the area of missing hair. Interestingly, hair grows this way naturally in small clusters of one to four follicles or follicular units. Therefore, these modern grafts look much better and have better outcomes than hair transplant options in the past.
Can women use Morr F?
Yes, women can use Morr F topical solution but it is unsafe to use during pregnancy. We highly recommend to consult your local qualified physician or healthcare provider.