Hair Loss in Women
More Common Than You Think: Female Hair Loss in the San Francisco Bay Area
Hair loss may often be portrayed or seen as a man’s problem, but hair loss in women is a reality, and not uncommon. By some estimates, about 40 percent of the people suffering from hair loss in the United States are women. Female hair loss can be caused by a variety of factors, but they all lead to the same thing: panic and frustration as hair continues to disappear.
The team at the L&P Aesthetics Center for Hair Restoration works with every patient to determine the cause of the problem and to create a hair loss treatment path for women to restore not only hair, but also confidence. Hair loss in women may be temporary or permanent, but it doesn’t have to be suffered through alone or without hope.
Many Reasons: The Causes of Female Hair Loss
Before deciding on any particular hair loss treatment, women should first work with a doctor to determine the reason their hair is thinning. At the L&P Aesthetics Center for Hair Restoration, we spend time with our patients to educate them about the process of hair loss and investigate the unique cause in each individual case.
Daily Hair Loss in Women
A healthy woman will typically lose up to 140 hairs per day. Every hair follicle follows a cycle of growth during which, at a certain point, it ejects the hair shaft and enters a temporary resting period. The follicle remains viable throughout this phase and will grow another hair soon.
Hereditary Hair Loss in Women
The most common cause of treatable hair loss in women is androgenic alopecia, also called “female pattern hair loss.” While hereditary hair loss tends to manifest as bald spots and a receding hairline in men, hereditary hair loss in women generally appears as overall thinning hair on the top and sides of the head. Often the actual hairline will remain dense, and thinning hair in women will start one to two centimeters behind the hairline. Hereditary hair loss can present early in life, but often begins around the time of menopause
Non-Hereditary Hair Loss in Women (Non-Androgenic Alopecia)
When large numbers of hair follicles enter the resting phase, resulting in widespread hair thinning, this is known as telogen effluvium. If this occurs, women can lose up to 400 hairs or more in a day. Telogen effluvium can be due to multiple causes, commonly including physical stress (acute illness, chronic illness, emotional stress); hormonal fluctuations, especially around pregnancy; significant diet changes; and side effects from medications. The good news is that this form of hair loss in women is often completely reversible, but getting a diagnosis is an important step in figuring out what to do next in terms of hair loss treatment. Women may find that their specific problem is due to:
- Changes in hormone levels
Pregnancy, menopause, and other life-changing events that cause chemical fluctuations in the body can trigger hair loss in women. This problem often corrects itself as hormones eventually return to prior levels or reach a new equilibrium. In each case, underlying thyroid issues must be ruled out, as abnormal thyroid hormone levels are a common cause of thinning hair.
- Medical conditions
Autoimmune diseases such as lupus and other serious illnesses can cause hair loss in women, and must be investigated if there’s any suspicion of an ongoing process.
Certain skin conditions that impact the scalp, such as ringworm, can lead to hair loss in women. This sort of loss can frequently be stopped and reversed with proper treatment. Clearing up the infection may allow hair to return to its natural, healthy cycle of growth.
Certain medications and health remedies can trigger hair loss in women and men alike. The most well known culprit is cancer-fighting chemotherapy. However, many other medications can have this side effect, and a complete medication list should be reviewed at the time of your consultation.
Injury to the scalp can prevent hair from continuing to grow properly, as can the formation of scar tissue.
- Other factors
Significant fluctuations in weight and diet, as well as emotional stress, can also contribute to hair loss in women. Even certain hairstyles that pull hair tight, such as cornrows or ponytails, can lead to temporary thinning, often referred to as traction alopecia.
Clearly hair loss in women can have a complex origin. It is essential that each patient identify the reason for her thinning hair before even considering hair restoration surgery.
Why Two Surgeons Are Better Than One
Restoring Hope: Hair Loss Treatment for Women
Once a cause is identified, the L&P team will be happy to talk about hair loss treatment options for women looking to restore their appearance. A thorough discussion at the consultation stage will help our doctors determine possible causes. In certain circumstances, hair restoration surgery is not the best treatment option for hair loss in women, and non-surgical intervention, such as a change in diet or further blood tests, could be the key to restoring a woman’s hair.
If classic female pattern hair loss is found, our doctors will spend time discussing all of the medical and surgical hair loss treatment options available for women. These options range from topical therapy to a new, innovative treatment using L&P Stimulate and microneedling to cutting-edge hair restoration surgery using the latest techniques in follicular unit extraction.
Progressive hair loss can be a devastating change for any woman, impacting self confidence and general well being. Our goals are to educate each patient who comes in the door about hair loss, to offer guidance and expertise to help make a diagnosis, and to provide the most advanced and effective hair loss treatments for women to restore a youthful and natural head of hair.