In general, whilst 95% of men have male pattern hair loss to blame for their balding (an inherited predisposition of sensitivity to certain hormones that cause hair loss atop the scalp) for women lifestyle factors are often the cause. Everything from ceasing to take the hormonal contraceptive pill to giving birth can result, for various reasons, in female hair loss, but it’s important to remember that female pattern hair loss is also a common cause.
The Hormones Have It
Female pattern hair loss, unlike its male counterpart that can cause bald spots and receding hairlines, appears as a diffuse thinning atop the scalp. Because it can often be gradual, many women don’t realise that this type of hair loss has begun, meaning that unlike sudden patchy loss that results from alopecia areata, for example, female pattern hair loss often goes undetected for some time.
Whilst many men begin losing their hair in their twenties and thirties, women will generally see the onset of pattern hair loss around the time of the menopause. Only 13% of women will see any noticeable shedding before the menopause, though this figure rises to 37% after that point.
So, how do hormones result in hair loss? The answer involves the hormone testosterone (which appears in women as well as men), progesterone and oestrogen, which exist in the female body in critical balance. When ovulation ceases to occur, these various hormones are sent into flux, which can be an extreme process for many women.
The primary hormone involved in genetic hair loss, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), is created when the enzyme 5-alpha reductase (found in the skin and scalp) comes into contact with hormone testosterone. When DHT is present it disrupts the process of hair growth by causing follicular shrinkage, resulting in weaker hairs being grown. This process is called androgenic alopecia and is caused by large amounts of androgenic hormones coupled with high levels of oxidative stress.
Hair Loss And Menopause
It would also appear that when progesterone levels fall during menopause, the body responds by increasing the amount of the adrenal cortical steroid, androstenedione, which can also result in the production of other adrenal cortical hormones. Androstenedione conveys some androgenic properties – in this case pattern hair loss – on women.
So, when faced with these challenges to normal, healthy hair growth, what can women do? The DHT blocker medication Propecia is only available to men, but the second MHRA licensed and FDA approved hair loss medication, minoxidil, can be used by women.
Minoxidil works by stimulating regrowth in follicles on the scalp. A topical treatment, it is applied twice a day as a liquid, with an extra-strength minoxidil cream available for stubborn cases of hair loss. Belgravia also combine the minoxidil formulations with a variety of added ingredients such as azelaic acid and caffeine, which appear to block DHT when applied locally.
Because we recognise how distressing female hair loss can be, we provide much more than just medication for our patients. From making ourselves available seven days a week both remotely and in person at our Central London clinics, to providing you with hair growth boosters that ensure all-round hair health, we aim to provide bespoke hair loss treatment tailored to your exact needs.
The Belgravia Centre—————————————————————————————————–
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. We offer clinically proven treatments for hair loss, as part of comprehensive treatment programmes offered by our hair loss specialists. Our in-house pharmacies produce high-strength medications for hair loss that contain medically proven ingredients and are available at no other clinic worldwide. Treatment programmes are available by visiting the centres or for home-use, anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our hair loss success stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of hair regrowth that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 0800 077 6666 for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.