Roughly 20% of women suffer from a certain type of hair loss called Alopecia. Women’s hair loss solutions are many so whether its Alopecia, or female pattern baldness, develops gradually and generally gives a patchy look to the scalp. Probably the most common form of alopecia, androgenic alopecia, can be even more devastating to women than some thinning or patchy spots throughout the scalp. It can make feel much different about yourself and cause you to feel more vulnerable.
Think about this: an average scalp loses approximately 100 hairs each day. When the scalp had only 100,000 hairs to begin with, it is easy to see how much more quickly a scalp with alopecia, or female pattern baldness can thin.
Although hair grows at an average rate of one half inch per month, it only grows for 2 to 6 years. It then rests, falls out and new hair grows in its place. What causes the hair loss, or the thinning of hair, is when these new hairs do not grow back.
When we talk about “pattern baldness” in men and in women, we most definitely need to specify male or female. Women’s hair does thin throughout the entire head, as do some men, but the major difference is that female pattern baldness seldom leads to the complete baldness that male pattern baldness can lead to in men.
So what causes women to lose their hair?
The main culprit is a male hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which does come from testosterone, but collects on hair follicles sending them into their resting phase we mentioned earlier. This binding of the DHT onto the hair follicle causes any new hair produced by the follicles to be thinner through each cycle of growth.
If a woman has high androgen levels, she may see the hair on her scalp thin while the facial hair becomes coarser.
It can be said that changes in sex hormones is the main reason for most of a woman’s hair loss, especially those experiencing birth control side effects, pregnancy or menopause.
The most common cause of hair loss in women is usually from a male hormone imbalance known as androgenic alopecia, not from estrogenic alopecia, which is caused by a fall in estrogen levels.
Estrogen actually helps hair grow much faster and stick around longer, which results in a thicker head of hair. This is why a woman may notice fuller hair during pregnancy when estrogen levels are very high, but then falls away after the birth of the child. Typically estrogen-deficiency alopecia begins around menopause, and, because oestrogen levels begin to decrease before periods stop, this form of female hair loss can be the first signal of impending menopause. Although most women experience some amount of thinning after menopause, not all end up with significant alopecia.
Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function, can also contribute to hair thinning, even though it is responsible for weight problems.