Female Pattern Baldness

Female Hair Disorders

Female HAIR DISORDERS

FEMALE  PATTERN  BALDNESS

ANDROGENETIC   ALOPECIA

Hair Loss Information

An average scalp has 100,000 to 150,000 hairs. The normal shed of the hairs are 50 to 100 per day. Hair’s normal growth speed is ½ to 1 cm per month. If a person has a good head of hairs at the age of 40 , without receding hair lines , that will likely have a good head of hairs all his life. If a person is to become shiny bald, expect for the fringe area , the process usually starts at the age of 13-20 . In rare cases, excess loss of scalp hair can start at the age of 15.

ANDROGENETIC ALOPECIA

It is the most common type of hair loss seen in women. It is also called Female Pattern Baldness –FPB . This is seen as hair thinning predominantly over the top and sides of the head. It affects approximately one third of all susceptible women, but is most commonly seen after menopause, although it may begin as early as puberty.

Two type of hair loss are

  1. Anagen Effluvim  - Generally due to the oral medications , chemotherapy  agents .
  2. Telogen Effuvium. – in this there are no of factors that increases the no of hairs entering in the resting phase.

TYPES  OF  HAIR  LOSS  IN  FEMALES

Hair can be temporary or long lasting in females. Temporary hair loss can be easy to fix when its cause is identified and its difficult when the cause is not clear. Hair loss which could be temporary and it become long lasting due to the incorrect diagnosis and not finding the cause properly.

The hairs will remain on your head where it belongs if hormone imbalance, diseases or some other conditions is not occurring. Hair loss may also be a symptom of a short term conditions like stress , pregnancy certain medications. In these situations hair may grow back when the event has passed. This causes the change in the hair growth, shedding phases and their durations. When this happens the synchronous growth and shedding occur. Once the cause is dealt with, many times hairs will go back to their random pattern of growth and shedding and hair loss problem stops. In some women hair loss becomes a lifelong.

CAUSE  OF  HAIR  LOSS
Dihydrotestosterone –DHT, it is a derivative of the male hormone testosterone is the main culprit of the hair follicles of the head that wants the root of hairs to kill. Androgenetic alopecia is caused by the predominance of the male sex hormone named testosterone, which women also have in trace amount under normal conditions. While testosterone is at the core of the balding process, DHT is thought to be the main culprit. Testosterone converts to DHT with the aid of enzyme Type II 5 –alpha reductase, which  is held in a hair follicle’s oil gland. DHT binds to receptor in the scalp follicles. DHT shrinks the hair follicle and making it possible for healthy hair to survive.

THE MAIN CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS IN FEMALES
Androgenetic Alopecia
The most of the women with this alopecia have diffuse thinning on all areas of the scalp. On the other hand men rarely have diffuse thinning but instead have more distinct patterns of baldness. Some women may have combination of two patterns.Androgens, male hormones are present in females in small amounts so when there is the deposition of DHT to the hair follicle the hair fall starts in females. Hereditary factor plays a important role in FPB.

Telogen Effluvium
The external and internal factors like malnutrition , severe infection , major surgery , extreme stress , child birth are the some causes due to which the 90 % of the hairs in the anagen (Growing) phase or Catagen (Resting) phase can shift all at once into the shedding (Telogen) phase. After 6 weeks  to three months after the stressful event is usually when the phenomenon called telogen effluvium can begin. In some females telogen effluvium is a mysterious chronic disorder and can persist for month or even years without any true understanding of any triggering factors.

Anagen Effluvium
This type of hair loss is commonly associated with chemotherapy. The chemotherapy targets the body’s rapidly divided cells so the body’s other rapidly divided cells such as hair follicles in the growing (anagen) phase  are also affected. Soon after chemotherapy begins approx. 90 % or more of the hairs may fall out while still in the anagen phase.

Traction  Alopecia
This is the condition due to the tight hair style which causes the localized trauma and the hairs are under pull most of the time. If the condition is detected early then the regrowth is possible while in later stage it is difficult but treatable.

Oral Contraceptives
Million of the females are prescribed the pills each year in this country, but a very few are aware that oral contraceptives are a common trigger of hair loss for many who use them. The pill suppresses ovulation by the combined actions of the hormones estrogen and progestin or in some cases progestin alone. Females who have predisposed to hormones related hair loss or who are hypersensitive to the hormonal changes taking place in their body can experience hair loss to varying degrees.

DIAGNOSIS OF HAIR LOSS IN FEMALES
Hair loss in men is straightforward but not in the case of females. In male about 90 % of all cases are caused by hereditary / genetic factor of Male Pattern Baldness. However in females, hair loss can be triggered by a multiple factors and circumstances.

Hormones Levels ( DHEAs , Testosterone , Androstenedione , Prolactin , FSH , LH)
Serum Iron , Serum Ferritin , Total iron binding Capacity (TIBC)
Thyroid Profile, VDRL , CBC
Hair Pull Test
Densitometry – it is a handheld magnification device which is used to check for the miniaturization of the hair shaft.

MYTHS RELATED TO HAIR LOSS

  • Hats and wigs may cause hair loss.
  • Frequent hair wash with shampoo leads to hair loss.
  • 100 strokes of the hair brush daily will create healthier hairs.
  • Permanent hair loss is caused by perms, colors and other cosmetic treatments.
  • Women are expected to develop significant hair loss if they are healthy.
  • Shaving the one’s head will cause the hairs to grow back thicker.
  • Dandruff causes permanent hair loss.
  • Stress causes permanent hair loss.
  • Hair loss does not occur in the late teens or early twenties.
  • Hair loss affects only intellectuals.
  • And Most important there is a no cure for Androgenic Alopecia and other scalp conditions for hair loss. 
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