Unless a celebrity makes a point of raising awareness, hair loss, and particularly female hair loss, is not often discussed in the media.
As a result there is a high degree of confusion over the different types of hair loss women suffer from and the treatment that is available.
Here is a summary of the hair loss conditions most commonly experienced by women and how to deal with them.
Female Pattern Hair Loss
Also known as Androgenetic Alopecia, Female Pattern Hair Loss affects between 40 and 50% of the female population. It is caused by the same hormone that causes Male Pattern Baldness – Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Whereas men will eventually go bald, women tend to experience an all-over thinning. It is quite common, affecting 1 in 10 pre-menopausal women. After the menopause, the condition affects around 50% of women. Some women can see signs while in their 20s or even earlier. Hair loss can be highly distressing for women however stress can also exacerbate the shedding.
Female Pattern Hair Loss Treatment:
In order to restore hair to its optimum growth levels, it is important to get a diagnosis as quickly as possible. There is only one female hair loss treatment that is proven to be effective in combating DHT in women. Minoxidil is a topical agent that can be tailored to suit the individual – it comes in various strengths and formulations and can be used with a range of hair growth boosters to increase its efficacy. Women who have been diagnosed with this condition would also benefit from finding ways to manage the stress and anxiety that hair loss can trigger. Stress-busters vary from exercise, meditation, counseling, seeing friends and family and taking up a hobby.
There are a number of factors that can cause the temporary loss condition Telogen Effluvium. Stress, illness, medications, rapid weight loss and childbirth (post-partum alopecia) can all cause certain hair follicles to temporarily enter the resting phase where they remain for three months. At the end of this period, the hairs are shed resulting in noticeable thinning. In some cases, a woman will have recovered from the event before the hair loss occurs.
Telogen Effluvium Treatment:
If stress is a problem, then it is important to find ways of managing the stress. When it comes to illness, medications and weight loss, once the body is back to a healthy state, the hair growth cycle should return to normal after 6-12 months. The hormonal changes involved with pregnancy lead to extra hair growth during the pregnancy; after childbirth this extra hair is shed resulting in thinning hair. Again, the hair usually returns to normal after 6-12 months. A short hair loss treatment programme based around Minoxidil can help the hair restoration process.
Thyroid disorders, anaemia, diabetes, coeliac disease and polycystic ovarian syndrome have been linked to a condition called Diffuse Thinning which is also known as Chronic Telogen Effluvium. This occurs as a result of internal factors other than genetics and leads to an excessive rate of fallout. Again, stress can make the hair loss more severe.
Chronic Telogen Effluvium Treatment:
It is important to speak to your doctor about any ongoing health condition. You will usually be prescribed a medication to control the disease; these are usually compatible with hair loss treatments. Once the underlying condition is being effectively managed, it is possible to threat the hair loss using a tailored diffuse thinning treatment programme based around Minoxidil. A hair specialist will be able to advise you on treatment.
This condition is caused by an auto-immune disease and results in sudden, patchy hair loss. The shedding can occur overnight. The body’s immune system turns in on itself and starts to attack the hair follicles, mistakenly identifying them as foreign agents. Some people will go on to develop Alopecia Totalis (total loss of scalp hair) and some develop Alopecia Universalis (total loss of scalp and body hair). It is still not fully understood why this happens although some sufferers believe that the trigger was a stressful event. For example, TV presenter Gail Porter says she developed Alopecia Areata after divorcing her husband, and comedian and actor Matt Lucas says his hair fell out at a young age, after a serious accident.
Alopecia Areata Treatment:
Some individuals find that their hair re-grows within a year, on its own, without treatment. Others, unfortunately, do not experience this. However, it is possible to treat mild or early-stage Alopecia Areata. The Belgravia Centre has had success using personalised alopecia areata treatment courses featuring recommended high strength minoxidil products from the range available at our in-clinic pharmacies.
What To Do If You Are Experiencing Hair Loss
The earlier you get a diagnosis, the better. This will help you understand how to manage the condition to reduce further hair loss and restore lost hair. The Belgravia Centre offers a free consultation with a hair loss specialist, either at its London-based clinic or via the website. Appointments are available 7 days a week and take between 30-45 minutes.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from 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 success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.