Female Pattern Hair Loss
Female pattern hair loss causes diffuse thinning across the top of the scalp and affects up to 40% of women. It is often the result of genetics and caused by the effect of the male hormones, called androgens, on genetically predisposed hair follicles. For this reason, female pattern hair loss is technically referred to as androgenetic alopecia.
Other causes of women’s hair loss include autoimmune diseases that can lead to alopecia areata (patchy bald spots), hair and scalp trauma that can result in traction alopecia (bald patches at the site of the trauma), some medications that can lead to anagen effluvium, and pregnancy and stress which can result in telogen effluvium.
In almost all cases of hair loss, it is recommended to seek medical advice to determine whether genetics or a health-related issue is the cause of the condition. Many hair loss treatments have been developed, manufactured, produced and marketed to address thinning hair in women. One treatment and one phototherapy device are licensed and approved by government medical authorities in the United Kingdom and the Unites States for the treatment of female hair loss.
Female pattern hair loss often causes diffuse thinning across the whole top of the head. It is triggered by the sex hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is created from testosterone by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. In those with a genetic predisposition to hair loss, DHT initiates a process of follicular miniaturisation. As the hair follicle deteriorates, the hair growth phase (anagen) is shortened, and the hair shaft is prevented from growing and maturing into the deeply rooted and pigmented hair. Typically the frontal hairline is preserved but the density of hair is decreased on all areas of the scalp.
Female pattern hair loss is characterised by diffuse thinning across all areas of the scalp. Normal hair fall is approximately 100-125 hairs per day. These hairs are replaced during the growth cycle. True hair loss occurs when lost hairs are not regrown or when the daily hair shed exceeds 125 hairs. The progression of female pattern hair is generally classified on Ludwig scale.
Many products are developed, produced and marketed for the treatment of female hair loss. They include a range of nutritional supplements, shampoos and scalp treatments, laser therapy devices, and prescription medications. Of all the hair loss products on the market, only one treatment and one phototherapy device are licensed and approved by government medical authorities in the United Kingdom and the Unites States for the treatment of male hair loss. They are Minoxidil and the HairMax LaserComb.