For some women, the signs of female pattern hair loss can be very subtle. At first, you may only notice a few stray hairs on our pillow in the morning or scattered around the sink. It could be months or even years before women even realize and begin seeking treatment. For other women, traumatic or stressful events can jump-start rapid hair loss within the blink of an eye.
Hair loss is a surprisingly common experience for most women. Almost one-third of all women will experience some form of thinning, breakage, or loss at least some point during their lives.
Depending on what’s causing your hair loss, the signs and treatment options can be different. Today, we’re going to cover the basics of female pattern hair loss and your treatment options.
The technical term for hair loss is “androgenic alopecia.” It turns out when it comes down to the microscopic science behind hair loss and hair growth, men and women aren’t that different. We can both be diagnosed with androgenic alopecia; it just shows up differently on the surface.
Men tend to begin to lose hair near the temples, and the hairline, forming an “M” shape. However, women never really develop a receding hairline with androgenic alopecia. Instead, women tend to lose hair along the area where they often part their hair. As the thinning progresses, women can also notice hair loss diffusing from the top of the head. It’s also pretty rare that a woman will go completely bald.
Researchers find there tends to be a correlation between age and hair loss for women. Among two-thirds of all postmenopausal women, struggling with hair thinning or patches.
The 3 Types of Hair Loss
Most hair restoration specialists will refer to the Ludwig Classification, which breaks down female pattern hair loss into three basic categories.
Type 1: Women with Type I only experience a minimal amount of thinning. She can typically disguise thinning sections with specific hairstyles.
Type 2: If you have Type 2 hair loss, then you may notice a decline in volume. For example, your ponytail holders may be looser, and your hair is less fluffy. There also tends to be a widening of the mid-line part.
Type 3: There are few patterns our hair thinning can take. Sometimes hair thins around the temples and the hairline. It can also thin in solid patches throughout the hair. Diffuse thinning is a special type of thinning that occurs to women with Type 3 hair loss. It typically is described as thinning throughout the scalp.
Are there Treatment Options?
It’s no secret that hair loss and balding affects women differently than men. There tends to be a significant emphasis placed on a woman’s femininity. Many women admit that the process of losing their hair can closely resemble feeling like they’ve lost a piece of themselves, too. We tend to feel less confident, which can cause a ripple effect and affect other significant aspects of our lives.
Fortunately, female pattern hair loss does not have to be a life sentence. Many women are finding success by starting a hair restoration journey. There are several different treatment options, all with varying degrees of science-backed research and effectiveness. Researchers are still discovering new and impressive facts about how factors like our environment and stress can also impact our hairline. Some treatment options available to help treat female pattern baldness are:
- Laser Caps
Laser caps are an FDA-cleared medical device designed for both men and women suffering from hair loss. These devices offer full scalp coverage and use low level light therapy to stimulate blood flow and encourage new hair growth on the scalp. Treatment is pain-free and non-invasive, making it a desirable hair growth treatment method.
- DHT-Blocking Shampoo
DHT-blocking shampoo is a shampoo that contains ingredients designed to specifically combat hair loss. DHT is a hormone that can be detrimental to your hair health if overproduced on the scalp within the hair follicles. This shampoo has specific enzymes that help block this overproduction.
Time is one of the most important factors in the success of your hair restoration journey. Most researchers believe that the sooner you can start treatment, the better! Do your research and be sure to consult your primary care physician before beginning any new hair restoration procedures.