Female Hair Loss

Roughly 20 million American women are subjected to Alopecia Areata aka hair loss. Many women mistakenly suspect they are the only ones who experience hair thinning and loss. There is a common misconception that hair loss is something that only happens to men.

While women undergo a different hair loss pattern than men, the beginning of hair loss in both men and women can take place anytime after the teenage years. Due to the effects of hormones, for some women, hair loss can become more evident:

  • After the birth of a child
  • After a total hysterectomy
  • Around menopause

While female hair loss can arise in several ways, the most common types of hair loss in women are:

  • Diffuse hair loss

(hair loss is evident all over the scalp, resulting in decreased hair density, coverage and volume of hair throughout)

  • A slight recession of the hairline
  • Loss of density and coverage at the frontal half of the scalp–starting just behind the hairline and extending toward the crown.

In most cases, hair loss in females does not typically result in a complete balding of the affected area.

Unfortunately, no medical research has yet to discover the specific reason for onset female pattern hair loss. Luckily, there is one particular treatment option (ARTAS) that has proven to offer the best results and that is what we offer here at Aesthetic Scalp.  Patients here often use a combination of medical evaluation, customized therapy, supplements, and in some cases surgical treatments.

Regenerative medicine technique such as PRP and use of avant garde newer growth hormone techniques and injections can actually facilitate hair growth.

The most common metabolic causes of hair loss in women are hypothyroidism, iron-deficiency anemia related to menses, and a hormonal imbalance.  Dr. Sameea can help tease together the information needed to aid in diagnosis.

Women sometimes have a telogenic effluvium.  The telogen hairs are in the non-growing phase and are subject to high levels of estrogen.  Estrogen will cause hairs to switch from the anagen phase to the telogen phase.  Conditions include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control pills

The female evaluation is complex  but can include the following tests:

  • Full chemistry profile
  • Thyroid function tests
  • ESR (looking for inflammation)
  • Serum iron levels (including ferritin)
  • Male/Female hormone levels

 

FAQs

Does Dr. Shah and Dr. Sameea specialize in female hair loss?

Dr. Sameea works with all female hair loss patients and this can involve a medical workup and use of laboratory testing to help determine the cause of hair loss.  In female patients, multi modality therapy is often best and Dr. Sameea works with proven therapies as well as newer treatments to customize a plan for each patient.

Does low level laser work for hair loss? 
Low level laser has some evidence that it can maintain hair as well as grow hair in select cases.  Devices such as the laser cap have been proven to be helpful for some patients.

Do vitamins help for hair loss?
Vitamins can help patients particularly in patients with poor nutrition.  Often times the hair is a reflection of the overall health of an individual.

Can low iron or anemia cause hair loss?
 Anemia is often overlooked and can be a reversible cause of hair loss.

Will hormone therapy such as progesterone or estrogen improve my hair loss? 
Each patient’s response to hormone therapy will vary and needs the guidance of a physician who is an expert in both hair and in the hormonal aspects of hair loss.