Learn your treatment options.
FEMALE HAIR LOSS
Learn your treatment options.
If your hair is not as thick as you remember, you are not alone. There are many reasons for hair loss in adult women. The two most common, which both present with a thinner head of hair, are hereditary hair loss (female-pattern hair loss) and shedding of the hair (telogen effluvium).
If your hair is not as thick as you remember, you are not alone. There are many reasons for hair loss in adult women. The two most common, which both present with a thinner head of hair, are hereditary hair loss (female-pattern hair loss) and shedding of the hair (telogen effluvium). Though they present similarly, it is important to distinguish between them.
Hereditary hair loss/ Female-pattern hair loss
Female-pattern hair loss is the most common cause of hair loss in women. It affects almost every woman! The tempo of this type of hair loss is very slow and usually progresses slowly over decades. Although hair loss usually begins before age 40, most women will not notice the subtle thinning. By age 50, however, about half of women will notice that their hair is thinner than it was during their youth.
While it is easy to describe and recognize hair loss in men, most people do not know how female androgenetic hair loss progresses in women.
- The early stage is characterized by a widened part or more “scalp show.”
- As it progresses, women notice that they have lost more density in the crown, but they will retain their frontal hair line.
The reason why most people cannot describe female-pattern hair loss is that women are able to more easily hide their hair loss, until it has progressed a fair bit.
Hair shedding – Telogen effluvium
This type of hair loss does not “sneak up” on you the way female-pattern hair loss can. It is characterized by dramatic shedding, with lots of hair in the hair brush, the shower drain, and the bathroom floor.
This hair loss can occur as a result of any of the following:
- Physical stress – these include childbirth, surgery, serious illness, dramatic weight loss, low iron, low thyroid, low vitamin D
- Emotional stress – examples include moving, changing jobs, death of a loved one
- Certain medications
The good news is that telogen effluvium is temporary. Once the stressor is relieved or the medication is stopped, the hair will recover. It will take several months for the hair to go through the shedding process, stop shedding, and then to start regrowing.
Female-pattern hair loss is dictated by genetics. If you suffer from this type of hair loss, treatment options include otc topical minoxidil (example: rogaine) and anti-androgens, such as spironolactone. There is also increasingly promising evidence for PRP treatments and low level light. For those that prefer a more aggressive treatment, hair transplantation is an exciting option.
Telogen effluvium is self-limited, as long as underlying factors are addressed. At Integrated Aesthetics, we also offer PRP for telogen effluvium to hasten the resolution of hair loss from shedding.