Hair Loss In Women
Men developing bald patches might not seem like the end of the world, but imagine the same happening to a woman. The moment a woman starts to see extra hair on their towels or pillows, they hit the panic button, because they are worried that very soon there might be bald patches appearing on their head.
It is important to remember that hair loss in men is actually different from the manner in which hair loss happens for women.
Some of the causes of Hair Loss in Women
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In men, pattern hair loss is caused because of an increase in the level of DHT or Dihydrotestosterone. However, in women, it is caused due to an increase in oestrogen, a condition that can be caused due to menopause, pregnancy, childbirth or even the starting or stopping of contraceptives.
There are a number of medical conditions which can lead to hair loss. From improper functioning of the thyroid gland to skin infections such as lupus or lichen planus, from certain scalp infections to a more severe condition known as alopecia areata, there are several medical conditions that can lead to excessive hair fall. In addition, even medical treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery can lead to hair loss.
Hair loss can also be cause due to certain medications, which are being used to treat conditions such as cancer, depression, heart problems as well as arthritis.
There are also other causes which are known to cause hair loss, such as extensive use of chemicals and heat on the hair, as well as tight hair styles, which is also known as traction alopecia. Even a crash diet could lead to hair loss as can a really high fever.
Types Of Hair Loss in Women
In order to have a proper diagnosis, understanding the type of hair loss is crucial and this could include:
- Androgenetic Alopecia – Also known female pattern baldness, androgenetic alopecia is actually much more widespread than most people would realise. There will be a general thinning all over the head, and eventually the area near the temples will start to recede. The condition is considered to be genetic and is often related to a rise in oestrogen levels in the body.
- Alopecia Areata – This is an autoimmune condition, which leads to small patches of hair falling out. In the more severe versions, women could lead to complete loss of body hair. There are three versions of alopecia areata, namely alopecia monolocularis, alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis.
- Cicatricial or Scarring Alopecia – Actually a serious condition, scarring alopecia is actually quite rare. In this condition, the very follicles are destroyed and the scars left behind ensure that there is no new hair growth. What is most problematic about this condition is that the fact that it is quite difficult to detect.
- Traction Alopecia – Women love to experiment with their hair styles and often try out tight braids or weaves. While these might not do much damage immediately, in the long run, they can cause immense traction, leaving the hair weak. When the hair is weak, it becomes easier for them to break.
- Trichotillomania – A medical condition, people suffering from trichotillomania will constantly want to pull out their own hair, especially when they are under stress or duress. Pulling out hair will lead to bald patches and hair that is generally weakened.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Women's Hair Loss
In most women, the hair loss will start to become obvious with the gradual thinning on the top of the head. The front parts of the head will normally be the last to be affected, and there will be a broadening where the centre parting lies. For some women, there could be bald patches which arise on various parts of the head.There could also be situations wherein the hair starts to fall out in clumps. In order to gain a proper diagnosis, here is all that which might be done:
- A physical exam to take a closer look at the scalp and hair
- Blood tests to check iron levels, total iron-binding capacity, transferrin saturation and thyroid levels
- Biopsy and histology to detect the presence of any infections
- Medications:Topical medications such as Minoxidil and Finasteride have shown positive results for several women, but the results will last only as long as the medications are being taken.
- Over the counter solutions: There are plenty of hair sprays, which can be sprayed on to provide the illusion of thick growth. Similarly, hair volume enhancers can be used in cases where the thinning has only just started.
- Wigs and hair systems: If you are not too keen about surgical procedures, then you can consider getting wigs for yourself. You could also choose to invest in a hair system, which would include extensions or weaves.
- Non-surgical therapies: There are actually methods, which have proven effective and require nothing more than a few injections, such as Mesotherapy and Platelet rich plasma. Then there is also the option of laser therapy, which is the ideal choice when the hair loss has just started.
- Surgical options: Finally, the most permanent treatment for hair loss, especially when the hair loss is severe and extensive, would be a transplant process. You would have the choice mainly between follicular unit extraction (FUE) or follicular unit transplantation (FUT), a decision that a good doctor would assist you in taking.
At AK Clinics, we offer more than just hope for those who are facing severe hair loss, we offer them real solutions. In addition to the expert advice, we will also provide you with state of the art treatment, which will restore the confidence that you had always flaunted with your hair!
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AK Clinics' Hair Loss Treatment Centres in India
- 51-E, Sarabha Nagar, Opp Kipps Market, Ludhiana, Punjab 141001, India
- M-20, Greater Kailash I, Near M Block Market, New Delhi-110048, India
- 1st Floor, 316 The Mayfair, Indiranagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560038, India