Causes Of Female hair Loss
Hair loss factors in women:
Hair loss in women more than men has period changes. As an example, in a special season, their hair loss becomes intense and this process gets repeated each year or after childbirth and menopause, they lose many wisps of hair. The density of women’s hair becomes less with age or some people have, genetically, thin and sparse hair having sparse hair since childhood. These cases are natural which need no special treatment. However, there are accessible treatments if it causes mental problems. In contrast, there are other factors which lead to a complete hair loss such as disease, internal hormone changes, and the consumption of specific drugs, environmental and genetic factors. These cases entail medicinal treatment which should be taken into account seriously. From the viewpoint of many people, baldness is specific to men while women do not lose hair. But, the fact is something else. There are millions of women who suffer from female baldness and the number increases annually. An important factor in women’s baldness is heredity. One woman out of four experiences this kind of baldness. Some women do not speak with other women about their hair loss because they think that hair loss and baldness are specific to men. This is completely unnatural for women. Therefore, they are mentally disturbed and a feeling of intense anxiety and lack of attractiveness menaces the quality of their lives. In case hair loss is so important to the woman that it might lead to mental problems, then, the family, friends and the family physician of the person should help.
All types of hair loss in women:
The most common type of hair loss in women is diffused baldness. In most cases, the cause of this type of hair loss is genetic. However, special diseases and drugs can cause this type of hair loss. In this type, the hair becomes thin and lose sits density in an extended area of the head. However, the forehead hairline remains.
a)Genetic baldness in women:
Hereditary baldness in women is called androgenetic as well. The gene is transmitted from the parents and appears as recessive autosomal. The hair starts to thin from behind the frontal hairline towards the lower part of the back and the sides of the head. It appears at the ages of 40 to 50 and happens, in some cases, at the age of 20. Fortunately, in most of the cases, the frontal hairline is preserved and a receding hairline is not developed as in men. The evidence shows that those who are susceptible to baldness genetically, the consumption of anti-pregnancy pills increases the possibility of baldness. Hence, in those with a baldness family record, this pill should not be consumed. If a woman is afflicted with this type of hair loss, then, all the factors effective in hair loss should be examined (such as all types of diseases, hormone problems, anemia, stress…). In case there are no internal problems, then, the main diagnosis for hair loss is genetic.
What is the role of testosterone in women’s genetic baldness?
A little male testosterone hormone exists in a woman’s body. In special cells of the body, the testosterone hormone turns into a stronger Dehydrotestosterone (DHT). This work is performed by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. In the hair follicle dermal papilla, there are many receptors for DHT hormone and this hormone, by shortening the cycle of the growth of the hair, causes thick hair in sensitive follicles of the hair to turn into thin and fuzzy hair. In fact, one follicle, before reaching the last stage of growth, prematurely, enters a resting period and its growth stops. Therefore, the hair grown seems to be thinner so that no more hair of that follicle grows.
- b) The diseases and special conditions which cause diffused hair loss in women:
After childbirth, after menopause, disease of polycystic ovary, thyroid disease, autoimmune disease.
After childbirth, hair loss increases due to a decrease in estrogen. In women, the hormone of estrogen has a strong protective effect on the skin and hair.
Sometime after unsuitable nutrition, the body is faced with the shortage of vitamin, anemia, and shortage of protein, calorie, zinc and the necessary fatty acids. The absence of any of these may lead to hair loss. However, their effects are temporary and in case these shortages are cleared up, hair loss becomes natural. Those women who have severe and intense monthly bloodshed will be subject to iron shortage. In case this shortage is diagnosed through laboratory tests, they should be after its treatment since this can be a strong factor in women’s hair loss. Also, the over-accumulation of vitamin A in the body can cause hair loss.
Telogen effluvium or loss with delay emanating from stress and drug:
A relatively great number of drugs may lead to a phenomenon called Telogen Effluvium. However, this loss of hair is temporary and the problem is obviated as the consumption of drug is stopped.
1-Blood-diluting drugs as warfarin and heparin
2- Dilantin anti-convulsion drugs
3- Anti-gout drugs of colchicine and allopurinol
4- Anti-blood pressure especially beta blocker
5- Prednisolone anti-inflammation
6- Drugs bringing cholesterol down
7- Anti-depressant lithium
10- High consumption of vitamin A
11- Drugs which make the body thin and cocaine
2- Male pattern hair loss in female:
In this type of hair loss, a receding hairline and the crown’s sparsenessare seen in women. In these women, the hair in the front part and the middle part of the head (crown) become sthin while the hair at the back and the sides of the head are thicker and denser. If this type of hair loss be a result of unnatural increase in male hormone level, then the consumption of anti-androgen drugs and the local solution of Minoxidil can prevent, to a great extent, from hair loss. These women, because of having good and thick hair at the back of the head, can be good candidates for hair transplant surgery.
3- Focal hair loss:
The most common factors which can cause hair loss in one part of the head:
- a) Alopecia areata: In this type, hair loss occurs in an abrupt round or coin-like shape. This may happen to all parts of the head and even the eyebrows and eyelashes. This type of hair loss may be treated via medical care and hair transplant in this type is not recommended.
- b) Traction Alopecia: This is a form of alopecia, or gradual hair loss, caused by pulling force being applied to the hair. This results from wearing hair in a tight ponytail. If the hair is constantly under traction from the temple and the front of the forehead, then, the follicles in these areas are destroyed. This type can be very well improved through hair transplant surgery.
- c) Trichotillomania: it is a type of mental disorder mostly seen in women. The person wraps the hair round her fingers and pulls them.
- d) Face lift and brow lift procedures:
- e) Tineacapitis: it is a type of fungal infection in the head which causes the creation of red pieces without hair or with broken hair.
Considering the different factors in hair loss, the first and most important step in its treatment is a precise diagnosis. In cases where a disease or hormone disorder or lack of nutrition is the cause of hair loss, then, we should be after a complete treatment of fundamental causes. Following the advances in technology and access to new techniques in surgery, this possibility exists for women to regain their lost hair. The Follicular Unit method is the latest technique in hair transplant. It causes the development of a completely natural hairline and with this method; the best possible results can be seen in patients in such a way that other people would not be able to distinguish it. This surgery is carried out with a local anaesthesia. In this operation, a narrow strip is removed from the back of the head, divided into follicular units and is transplanted in the front part of the head. Those with thick hair at the back of the head are good candidates for this surgery.
Which type of women are the best candidates for hair transplant?
1-Women with a male pattern hair loss: in these people, due to a high level of androgen hormone, the forehead area and the crown of the head undergo hair loss; however, the density of the hair at the back of the hair is high. Following the hormone treatment, for the hair lost, hair transplant can be used.
2- Women with focal hair loss arising from the traction and pulling of the hair or after the surgery of face lift and brow lift.
3- Women with d genetic baldness do not usually have thick hair at the back of the hair; however, these people can undergo hair transplant and can increase the density of hair at the front part of their head and look more attractive; however, their expectations out of the surgery should be realistic and should not expect a concentrated thick hair after the surgery.