Hair Loss in Women

OVERVIEW

Hair loss in women occurs for a variety of reasons. Noticeable hair loss occurs when there is greater than the usual loss of hair that outpaces new hair growth. When men have hair loss, it’s typically associated with balding, but women usually have hair loss without going bald.

Signs and Symptoms of Hair Loss in Women

Signs that a person is experiencing greater than expected hair loss include:

  • A widening area where the hair is normally parted
  • Receding hair at the temples
  • A ponytail that feels thinner than usual
  • Bald spots

Causes of Hair Loss in Women

Sometimes, hair loss in women is caused by outside factors, like medication that a woman takes, surgery, or cancer treatment. Using hair tools that use high heat, like curling or straightening irons, or simply wearing too tight hairstyles can also cause hair loss. However, Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL) or female alopecia is typically hereditary or caused by aging and hormonal changes, like those in menopause. Conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and lupus can also cause hair loss.

Available Treatments

If controllable lifestyle factors cause hair loss in women, hair will sometimes grow after the habit changes. For instance, try wearing loose hairstyles or styling hair with less heat. Hair loss is related to a stressful event or a hormonal change. Hair may grow back without treatment. In other cases, medications and treatments that might help include:

  • Nutritional supplements
    Sometimes hair loss in women might be caused by a vitamin or mineral deficiency. In the case of a deficiency, a multivitamin and biotin may be suggested or prescribed by a doctor.

  • Medication
    Rogaine (generic name minoxidil): has been approved for treating FPHL. 2% and 5% solutions can be purchased over the counter. The downside is that the product must be used indefinitely and is not a permanent cure.

  • Lasers
    The HairMax Lasercomb is a low-light laser that the FDA has approved for use in people with FPHL. The Theradome LH80 PRO is another laser than has been approved and is a low-light helmet treatment.

  • Hair transplant surgery
    In severe hair loss cases in women, a hair transplant could be considered. This involves moving pieces of the scalp with hair follicles from the back of the head to the areas with baldness or heavy hair loss.

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