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Female pattern baldness

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The most precious ornament of a woman is her hair. When you are blessed with luscious mane, you don’t have to worry about your look because you can style it anyway you desire. But the problem starts when you start losing your hair and your scalp becomes conspicuous. It’s indeed a matter of concern and this problem is known as- female pattern of baldness or alopecia. We shall explain you this dermatological condition in details in the next content.


What is female pattern of baldness?

Female pattern of baldness is different from normal hair loss. This is basically one kind of genetic problem associated with your hair follicles which begin shrinking with age (30-40 yrs in most cases or earlier). The new hair if at all grows is very fine and thin as a result your scalp is not filled in sufficiently and bald patches appear.

Phases of hair growth and their relation to female pattern of baldness

Your hair develops from follicles and it has a life cycle which consists of 3 phases:

Anagen- Active phase of growth which lasts for 2- 6 years.

Catagen- The transition phase where your begins to move up towards your skin lasts for 2 weeks

Telogen- It’s resting phase that lasts for about 3 months which ends with shedding of hair.

Women suffering from alopecia have a very short anagen phase and a longer catagen phase due to which your hairs do not enter the active phase i.e. it takes lot of time for your hair to grow. Women with severe baldness have predominant telogen phase.


Symptoms of female pattern of baldness

In the first stage you will observe thinning of hair especially from your partition line. This will eventually progress to depletion of volume with your scalp peeping a bit and the hair partition widened. In the last phase your hair will be severely thinned and your scalp will become a way too prominent. The new hairs that grow are very thin and fine. This process is known as follicular miniaturization


Note: Total baldness doesn’t occur unlike men.


What causes female pattern of baldness

Female pattern of baldness is not understood very well as there are lot of contributing factors. First, genetics play a major role where women develop sensitivity to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Your hair follicles have DHT receptors and once these molecules attach to your follicle they start shrinking and eventually die out. You can inherit baldness from either of your parents.   


Other contributing factors are rise in testosterone (especially after menopause, this problem is known as adrogenic alopecia), problems in thyroid gland, deficiency of iron and vitamin B, irregular periods, side effects of medicines and scalp disease


Diagnosis of female pattern of baldness

The diagnosis involves hair evaluation test wherein your doctor will examine the characteristics of your hair, observe the pattern of hair loss and evaluate the degree of baldness. Your medical and drug history would be taken. Your dermatologist will also rule out for inflammation or infection in the scalp.

You need to tell your doctor about general matters like pregnancy, child birth, menstrual irregularities etc. during the diagnosis.

Furthermore, blood tests would be recommended to detect deficiencies and hormonal abnormalities.


Treatment of female pattern of baldness

It’s a bitter truth that there’s no 100% cure for female pattern of baldness through medicines. The only FDA approved drug is Minodixil – is generally prescribed for new hair growth. However, there are several downsides of this drug which you need to discuss with your doctor before applying on your scalp.

Your doctor will aim towards correcting your hormonal problem and vitamin deficiency to control the rate of progression of baldness. This can be achieved through drugs, altering diet and alternate treatment options like homeopathy and Ayurvedic therapy.

Lastly, if your baldness has progressed to the last stage and you cannot cover it up by any means then you might opt for cosmetic hair transplantation.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: September 04, 2014