A sponsored post by MAXIM Hair restoration.
Are you getting alarmed by a markedly sparser hairline or tresses that seem to have lost their volume?
Hair loss can have an effect in your self-esteem, especially for women who identify with luxurious hair as a symbol of youth and vibrancy. If you’re one of the 40 percent of women in the United States who suffer hair loss, you can prove that it can be damaging to a woman’s psychological and emotional well-being.
What is Hair Loss?
Female-pattern hair loss isn’t characterized as hair thinning or bald spots on top of the scalp as compared with men. Instead, there is visible thinning over the crown. It is described as the gradual or sudden loss of actively growing hair follicles on the scalp, usually following a shortening of the growth phase during the hair cycle. When the growth period becomes too short, hair falls out quickly, excessive shedding occurs, and the regenerated hair comes in thinner and is less significant.
Excessive or abnormal hair loss is called androgenetic alopecia. It is a symptom of a strong underlying genetic condition that can be a gene that predisposes a woman to have female-pattern hair loss, or a complex medley of disorders. In men, hair loss usually begins above the temples, and the receding hairline eventually forms a characteristic “M” shape; hair at the top of the head also thins, often progressing to baldness. In women, androgenetic alopecia begins with gradual thinning at the part line, followed by increasing diffuse hair loss radiating from the top of the head.
So, if you notice that you have a sparser hairline, your ponytail is smaller, or your hair usually comes out in abnormally large clusters of hair in or out of the shower, you may be suffering from female-pattern hair loss.
Let’s find out what increasingly causes hair loss in women and a variety of products and tips that can help combat hair loss.
Main Causes of Hair Fall in Women
- Family history (heredity). The most common cause of hair loss in women is a hereditary condition that comes with aging. This condition is called androgenic alopecia, which has strong links to genetics and can run in families. It usually occurs gradually and in predictable patterns — thinning hair along the crown of the scalp in women that often becomes more defined and wider.
- Hormonal changes and medical conditions. A variety of conditions can cause permanent or temporary hair loss, including hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menopause, childbirth, and thyroid problems. It may not require any treatment. Instead, the loss will likely stop on its own after the body adjusts.
- Medications and supplements. Hair loss can be a side effect of certain drugs, such as those used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems, gout and high blood pressure.
- Radiation therapy to the head. The hair may not grow back the same as it was before.
- Physical and emotional stress. Many people experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock. This type of hair loss is temporary.
- Hairstyles and treatments. Excessive hairstyling or hairstyles that pull your hair tight, such as pigtails or cornrows, can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Hot-oil hair treatments, excessive bleaching, perming, flat ironing, and blow drying can cause hair to break and fall out.
How to Stop Thinning Hair: Hair Loss Treatments for Women
Effective treatments for some types of hair loss are available. You might be able to reverse hair loss, or at least slow it. Treatments for hair loss include medications and surgery.
Medications for Hair Loss
Medications are available to treat pattern (hereditary) baldness. The most common options include:
Minoxidil (Rogaine). Over-the-counter minoxidil comes in liquid, foam and shampoo forms. To be most effective, apply the product to the scalp skin once daily for women and twice daily for men. Many people prefer the foam applied when the hair is wet.
Products with minoxidil help many people regrow their hair or slow the rate of hair loss or both. It’ll take at least six months of treatment to prevent further hair loss and to start hair regrowth. It may take a few more months to tell whether the treatment is working for you. If it is helping, you’ll need to continue using the medicine indefinitely to retain the benefits.
Finasteride (Propecia). This is a prescription drug for men but is also available for women. You take it daily as a pill. Many men taking finasteride experience a slowing of hair loss, and some may show new hair growth. It may take a few months to tell whether it’s working for you. You’ll need to keep taking it to retain any benefits.
Other medications. Other oral options include spironolactone (Carospir, Aldactone) which works to treat hair loss by addressing hormones; and oral dutasteride (Avodart).
Vitamins. Zinc, Biotin, Zyrtec, Saw Palmetto and other OTC ingredients have anecdotally helped strengthen the health of one’s hair follicles.
Compounded Solutions. Customized compounded potions are becoming increasingly popular with patients. These involve both non-prescription and prescription-based compounds that combined some of the aforementioned ingredients as recommended by your hair loss professional or clinician. Compounded potions require a physician or clinician’s prescriptions and are compounded by a registered compounded pharmacy.
Procedures such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections that derive and re-inject rich platelets from your own plasma can help strengthen hair follicles and stem hair loss. However, multiple injections are required over a period of time and results are not guaranteed.
Exosomes, which are a relatively new phenomenon, are vesicles produced in cells that basically transport or facilitate the conveyance of stem cells towards the damaged tissue which could be a hair follicle. These are best applied via microneedling by a clinician or physician and can stem hair loss and possibly facilitate hair growth. However, the product is still at the experimental stage and not FDA approved. Anecdotal evidence appears to be quite promising including amongst women as is the case with other forms of stem cell therapy.
Hair Transplant Surgery
Hair transplantation is a minor surgical procedure in which a hair transplant doctor or clinician removes hair from a part of the scalp that has plenty of hair (donor site) and transfers it to areas of the scalp where it is thinning and balding (recipient site). Each patch of hair has one to several hair follicles (micrografts and minigrafts).
In a procedure known as Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT), a larger strip of skin containing multiple hair groupings is extracted and dissected into grafts. The doctor surgically removes a narrow strip of scalp and has the Technicians divide it into hundreds of tiny grafts, each containing just a few hair follicles. Each graft is planted in a slit in the scalp created by a blade or needle in the thinning and balding areas. Hair grows naturally this way, in small clusters of one to four follicles, called follicular units. As a result, the graft looks better than the larger “plugs” associated with hair transplants of the past. This procedure does leave a linear scar at the back of the head in the donor area which may not be visible since it is concealed by residual hair. The key advantages of this procedure include the ability to do a larger session up to 3,000 grafts or more; the survival rate of the grafts is higher; minimal possibility of transection; and the density of the grafts is thicker. However, the procedure may be a bit uncomfortable and it requires a few days to stay at home and recover before returning to normal working activities.
Today, most hair-transplant physicians/clinicians use a technique called Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) which is a no stitch, no linear scar procedure. During this procedure, the doctor/clinician extracts individual follicular units and implants the grafts into the thinning and balding areas one at a time. During this process, Hair Transplant Technicians can help trim, sliver and split the grafts if necessary. This technique has faster recovery, is less painful but poses a risk of higher transection and takes longer than FUT since it is more labor-intensive.
Yes, losing hair can be bothering, but there’s nothing to worry about! There are lots of affordable and proven treatments out there to help you prevent and reduce various types of hair loss situations. Discover your options to reverse thinning hair and promote hair growth, so you can be on your way to lackluster hair that’s vibrant and healthy.