Up to one-third of women around the world suffer from hair thinning, hair loss or bald spots at some point in their lives. Hair loss in women is widely known as female Androgenic Alopecia or Androgenetic Alopecia. The specific causes of female pattern loss (FPHL) are unknown. However, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, genetics, environment, hormonal changes, psychological and emotional conditions, or other external factors can play a significant role.
This blog post will cover the hair growth cycle, causes of hair loss, and methods to manage and treat it.
What is the Hair Follicle Cycle?
Hair follicle cycles describe the cyclic hair growth and regression phases of the hair follicle. On average, healthy hair grow at a rate of 0.35 mm/day, which equates to about 0.5 in/mo. or 6 in/yr. It means that 50 to 100 hair falls in a day is normal.
The three phases of the hair follicle cycle explain how humans are constantly running through the cycle:
- Anagen Phase: The hair follicle actively develops and generates hair fibres during the anagen phase.
- Catagen Phase: This is a temporary period when the hair follicle shrinks, and the hair stops growing.
- Telogen Phase: The hair follicle rests during the telogen phase, while the hair fibre is lost. The hair follicle then returns to the anagen phase.
What are the Types of Hair Loss?
The most common types of hair loss include:
- Androgenic Alopecia (Male and Female Pattern Baldness): An increase in androgens leads to a shorter anagen phase and delayed hair growth.
- Alopecia Areata: Patchy or total loss of hair because of autoimmune disorder.
- Telogen Effluvium: Hormonal or psychological factors lead to significant hair thinning.
- Anagen Effluvium: Exposure to harmful substances, chemotherapy, etc., cause hair loss all over the scalps and body.
- Traction Alopecia: Constant pulling or tension on the hair lead to hair loss and a receding hairline.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Various underlying factors can cause hair fall in women:
- Genetic Predisposition: According to research, one can directly link losing hair to genetic factors. Genetic predisposition can affect the sensitivity of hair follicles to androgens, particularly dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
- Age: The ageing process can disrupt the hair growth cycle. This results in gradual thinning of the hair, increased by hormonal changes associated with ageing. A population study discovered a correlation between age and female pattern baldness. Hair shedding impacts 12% from women aged 20-29, compared to 57% in women aged 80 or older.
- Hormonal Imbalance: Hormonal changes may contribute to hair loss, including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or menopause. Menopausal hormonal alterations, such as increased androgen and decreased estrogen levels, contribute to FPHL.
- Environmental and Lifestyle Factors: A research also tells us that testosterone levels, poor diet, psychological stress, hypertension, or type 2 diabetes contribute to hair loss in women. Other factors such as smoking, multiple marriages, lack of sun protection, higher income, and less physical activity hair loss.
7 Ways to Prevent and Treat Hair Loss
A blend of routine-based healthy lifestyles and medications is necessary to control hair loss in women. Some feasible and practical solutions include:
Protein, vitamins, and minerals are essential to maintain the health of your hair. At least 40 to 60 grams of protein per day is crucial for your hair. Water-soluble vitamins Biotin or B7, vitamins A, D, E, zinc, fatty acids, and collagen can ensure enough nutrition for your hair follicles and boost your hair growth.
Scalp massages can relax your nerves, increase blood flow, release tension, and stimulate hair growth. Regular scalp massages can nourish your hair follicles and potentially increase hair growth.
Mesotherapy is a French hair loss treatment for women. This procedure, like acupuncture, uses a microneedle to stimulate the middle layer of the skin. Patients will receive amino acids, minerals, enzymes, and vitamins into the middle layer of the skin. The elements of this therapy increase the blood flow and activity of body mechanisms, keeping your hair healthy.
A treatment such as oral Minoxidil (Rogaine) opens ATP-sensitive potassium channels and relaxes vascular smooth muscles. It increases blood flow in hair follicles. Minoxidil can be an effective treatment for male and female pattern baldness. However, some side effects include scalp irritation, itching, dryness, redness at the application site, and unusual hair regrowth.
If you are struggling with noticeable hair loss, oral administration of oral Finasteride will be effective. However, women of reproductive age should not use this medication as it may cause congenital disabilities of the fetus. Finasteride may also cause sexual dysfunction, decreased libido, depression, breast tenderness, or enlargement.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)
Platelet-rich plasma increases the growth of dermal papilla cells and boosts hair growth, thus reducing hair fall. It is crucial to highlight that PRP therapy is not a standardized treatment. The best regimen for using it for hair loss in women has yet to be determined.
Hair transplant involves a transfer of the patient’s existing hair from the donor zone to the recipient zone rather. Unlike men, women with female pattern hair loss may have diffused hair thinning rather than specific balding patterns. Therefore, it might make finding good donor hair and the transplantation process more difficult.
Hair Transplant as a Permanent Solution?
Hair transplant remains the most effective and permanent solution for hair loss in women. If you are considering a hair transplant, you can get an affordable one in Turkey with an experienced and skilled surgeon.
The impact of hair loss in women can be substantial. Female Androgenic Alopecia can often get overshadowed by their male counterparts. But as we now know, a significant number of women worldwide struggle with hair falls and hair thinning.
Women constantly battle the increased influence of environmental and societal factors, leading to increased hair loss. Understanding these factors is crucial for women grappling with hair loss, allowing them to seek appropriate treatments.
Lifestyle adjustments like maintaining a balanced diet and scalp massages can help fighting against hair loss. However medical treatments like hair transplantation prove to be more permanent solutions.
In conclusion, hair loss in women can be emotionally challenging, but the benefits of modern hair transplant procedures offer a promising solution. Seeking professional guidance for hair transplant options is crucial, as it can provide women with effective treatments tailored to their individual needs.
While hair loss can be distressing, hair transplant procedures are a proven way to manage this condition effectively. With the right care, women can regain their natural hair and the confidence that comes with it. These procedures provide a supportive solution for women dealing with hair loss. By embracing hair transplant options, women can confidently take control of their well-being while enjoying the aesthetic benefits of a fuller head of hair.