by Julia

Most women think hair loss is a medical problem that affects only men. The truth is, women make up about forty (40) percent of hair loss patients. When thinning begins to happen, many women are utterly baffled about what might be causing it. Most of the time, female pattern baldness – or androgenic alopecia – is to blame. This condition is incredibly common among women, and it is the main culprit behind female hair loss.

What is DHT?

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the hormone that is known to be the leading cause of hair loss in both men and women. Mostly, it is believed that a large amount of DHT can block hair follicles from regular growth patterns and cause them to die. A normal amount of DHT in the body should not cause hair loss, but an excess amount can make a significant difference in hair growth.

How Does DHT Cause Hair Loss?

DHT inhibits and reduces the proper growth of hair in the follicles in a process called miniaturization. Miniaturization affects genetically susceptible hair follicles resulting in lighter, finer hairs. DHT attaches itself to receptor cells of the part of these follicles called dermal papilla (the root), preventing the necessary nourishment for the hair getting through for proper growth. DHT causes the hair follicles to shrink.

Furthermore, DHT tends to create a wax-like substance around the hair roots, and it is this accumulation of DHT in the hair follicles and roots that give rise to male and female pattern hair loss. The growing “anagen” stage of the hair is shortened, and the resting “telogen” stage is extended. Eventually, these hairs stop growing. There is a unique treatment that blocks the synthesis of DHT at the molecular level to cure both male pattern and female pattern hair loss. This is done by using one of the many natural DHT blockers and drugs that are used for medical hair restoration.

Female pattern baldness

Female pattern baldness is also referred to as androgenetic alopecia. It’s related to male pattern baldness but the difference is, women tend to lose their hair in more diverse patterns than men. Hair loss in women is a normal occurrence, especially as you age. Research has also shown that up to two-thirds of women experience hair loss after menopause.

With female pattern baldness, some excess loss of hair occurs, but ongoing thinning is what usually causes a woman to seek medical attention. Normal hair shedding is nearly 100-150 hairs per day. In female pattern balding, when the affected hair is shed, the root grows one in its place that is shorter. Eventually, it becomes invisible.

Hair loss can come from either one of the parent’s side genetically. Furthermore, female pattern baldness may begin as early as puberty. In this situation, if there are signs of hormone imbalance, such as excess facial or body hair, a hormone evaluation should be administered.

How the condition differs from that in men:

  • The progression is slower – possibly due to a level of follicular protection afforded by estrogen.
  • When women have female pattern balding, the pattern of the shedding is entirely different. It affects the vertex more diffusely, while it is still located around the top of the head, as opposed to being confined to defined areas. While thinning can indeed be significant, the chances of it forming noticeable bald regions are much less likely than with men. Instead, hair tends to look less voluminous than it once did.
  • Hair loss is more diffused and does not conform to the traditional patterns of loss in males.
  • Hair loss may worsen following menopause with the development of baldness, especially at the vertex.
  • In men, the condition is due to genetic predisposition and is usually age-related.
  • In women, the condition can present at any time associated with underlying medical conditions. These conditions include: polycystic ovarian syndrome, thyroid disorders, anemia, chronic illness, or the use of certain medications.
  • The critical distinction between male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss is that men may develop complete baldness when the damaged follicles can no longer function. Hair growth stops, and the skin takes on a smooth, shiny appearance. This is rare in women. Female hair loss may become advanced, but true baldness – as men experience it – is highly unlikely.

The bottom line

Female pattern baldness cannot be reversed. Appropriate treatment can stop the hair loss and possibly help regrow some of the hair you’ve already lost.

At Cysterwigs, we understand both the causes and effects of hair loss, and we’re here to help you find a solution to regain your confidence. If you’re in need of extra coverage, Cysterwigs offers a wide variety of wigs that allow you to show off your style and personality while being the same energetic person you were before. We’re here for you so shop away!


You can see all of Julia’s posts here.

By Eseandre

There seems to be three main types of synthetic wig owners.

The first group is made up of those who are almost scared to touch their wigs because they think that the slightest modification will ruin their wigs. The second group is made up of those who think they can do anything they want to their synthetic wigs and the wigs will be just fine. And the third group understands that there are dos and don’ts when it comes to handling a synthetic wig. These wig wearers know that when you show your wigs love and treat them right, that care and pride will shine right through.

So out of these three groups, where you want to be?

You want to be a wig wearer who’s smart and savvy, especially when it comes to caring for your hair. Don’t subject your wigs to the extremes. Help ensure that you can enjoy them for a long time by learning what synthetic wigs can and cannot handle.

Things you can do to your synthetic wig

Overall wig maintenance involves cleaning, storing and maintaining the wig’s shape. Synthetic wigs are no exception. The best part is, all of that it is pretty easy. You can do it all with a few simple tools and products.

Take your wig off at night and hang it on a wig stand. This step is crucial in maintaining the shape of a wig and its curls, and also in preventing tangling. If you can avoid it at all costs, please don’t go to bed with your wig on. If for some reason you just have to sleep in your wig, then do good to wrap it up in silk bonnet.

Detangle your synthetic wigs with care. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle straight wigs and wigs with loose curls. For wigs with tighter curls, use your fingers and gently remove any curls. Under no condition should you use a tight-tooth comb for your synthetic wigs because it pulls at the wig strands and causes them to break. Another thing to keep in mind is to always detangle the hair before washing your synthetic wigs. This will prevent any existing tangles from getting even worse.

Moisturize your synthetic wigs. Luckily, synthetic wigs do not need as much styling product as human hair does. All you need is a little to add lustre to your wig, so if you choose to use a shine serum of spray, remember to use them sparingly. Wigs can get dry after a while, so get a good moisturizing product that’s specifically formulated for synthetic hair. Never use sheens or sprays that are meant for natural hair for your synthetic wigs. Some of those products can have alcohol in them and the alcohol can dry out the wig and cause it to get coarse.

Style your synthetic wig.

You can maintain the style of your synthetic wigs by storing them properly on a wig head, using the right comb for detangling and keeping curls rolled up in curling rods or rollers. Synthetic wigs cannot withstand heat so avoid using hot styling techniques except for wigs that are stated to have a heat protectant surface.

Apply little products on your synthetic wigs. Again, synthetic wig maintenance does not require a lot of product. Using a lot of product will only cause your wigs to lose their shine from product buildup.

Pick the appropriate products for your synthetic wigs. Synthetic wigs are very different from human hair. That means what works for human hair won’t work for synthetic hair most of the time. When picking out a moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner and other styling products for your wigs, make sure you get products formulated for synthetic wigs. Remember…say, “Yes!” to synthetic wig products, and say, “No!” to natural hair products.

Have a good washing routine for your synthetic wigs. It’s a bad idea not to wash your synthetic wigs. How else do you think all of that product build up will come off?!? Think about it. You’re putting a wig on your head and close to your scalp and bio hair. Keep your wigs clean on a regular basis is an absolute must. If you need help remembering how often you should wash them, set a washing schedule for every three to four weeks. Three to four weeks is the sweet spot. Washing your synthetic wigs too often can actually damage your wigs by making them coarse, dry and brittle.

Know how to wash synthetic wigs. When wash time comes around, you’ll need cold water, synthetic hair shampoo, synthetic hair conditioner, a wide-tooth comb and a towel.

Before any wash session, detangle your wigs the right way. Then, get your synthetic hair shampoo and add some to a small tub of cold or lukewarm water until the water is mildly foamy. Make sure there is enough water in the tub to immerse your wigs in it. Place your detangled wig in gently and make sure it’s completely flat in the cold water and shampoo solution. Make sure that the wig is completely immersed. Let it sit in the water for 10 to 15 minutes gently moving it from side to side. Do not try to wash the strands with your fingers, the shampoo solution will dissolve all the dirt on the wig and it will easily float away.

When the time is up, take your wig out and rinse it under running water. Mix together a synthetic conditioner and cold water solution and once again place the wig inside it making sure it is completely immersed in the solution. A fabric conditioner can be a substitute for the synthetic hair conditioner. Allow to soak for 5 to 10 minutes, take out the wig and place in between a folded towel and pat dry. Place the wig on a wig stand and let it air dry.

To sum it all up, here’s a list of what you can and cannot do to your synthetic wigs:

● You can apply a synthetic wig serum/spray to maintain a healthy shine on your wigs.
● You can’t use natural hair products on synthetic wigs.
● You can detangle your synthetic wigs with a wide-tooth comb or with your hand depending on the curl type.
● You can’t use tight-toothed combs to detangle your wigs.
● You can style your synthetic wigs with rollers or curling rods.
● You cannot apply heat to synthetic wigs unless it is a heat-safe wig.
● You can use synthetic hair products on your wig and not human hair products.
● You can store your wigs carefully on a wig head.
● You can air dry your wigs.
● You cannot use heat to dry your wigs unless it is a heat-safe wig.
● You can wash your wigs with cold or lukewarm water. Don’t wash them with hot water.
● You can use a towel to pat your synthetic wig dry. Do not squeeze it.

Keep these things in mind and your wigs will be just fine.


You can see all of Eseandre’s posts here.

by Jesse

DID YOU KNOW? PCOS is a disorder of hormone (dis)regulation. Insulin and male hormones are often seen in much higher levels in women with PCOS than without the disease. The medicinal one-two-punch for this is typically a cocktail of Metformin and Spironolactone. Metformin helps to keep insulin low by limited blood sugar creation in the liver and sensitizing your body to sugars in the blood. Spironolactone, on the other hand, limits the creation of male hormones (androgens) so fewer of them are circulating in your system.

Do you have PCOS? This means you may have hair growth in funny places, painful acne, oily skin (seborrhea), androgenetic alopecia, obesity and, less frequently, acanthosis nigricans (an area of thickened skin, typically behind the neck, that is darkened in appearance and fuzzy soft to the touch).

Spironolactone is the androgen blocking powerhouse pill that can lessen these masculinizing issues for women with PCOS and excessive blood androgen levels.

DID YOU KNOW? Benign cysts that form in the ovaries – often referred to as the PCOS “sting of pearls”- are capable of affecting the production of hormones, such as the androgens Spironolactone is designed to suppress.

Cystic Acne
As if unwanted facial hair wasn’t hard enough to deal with, Mother Nature often throws PCOS patients the potentially disfiguring complication called cystic acne. This isn’t the same as annoying adolescent pimples or outbreaks. Proactiv won’t do anything to get rid of it. This is something much more irritating (literally).

Cystic acne is much more likely to leave scars because the infection often occurs many layers below the skin surface. This is also why topical cleansers and treatments do so little to ease the condition. Treatment has to start below the skin, not on top of it.

Heather from CysterWigs has experienced this symptom her entire adult life. It requires diligence to keeping your skin clean, exfoliated, and well moisturized. In her case, it also required the use of Spironolactone to decrease the hormones responsible for her break outs. She considers this pill her not-so-secret weapon for keeping the dreaded “beard of acne” away!

Androgenic Alopecia
We need to be very specific and state up front that Spironolactone is not a miracle cure for hair loss. It will not make hair grow back if that follicle is already dead. However, this pill can slow or even stop excessive hair shedding in women with high androgen levels. We will discuss testosterone and its role in female hair loss in a later, more detailed installation of this blog series.

Hirsutism

DID YOU KNOW? Hirsutism is defined as the excessive growth of body hair in women. It is classified as mild, moderate and severe and is measured by a chart very similar to this one.

The symptoms of hirsutism include excessive growth of hair on the face of a woman or unwanted growth all around the body, especially in the chest and in the back. The hair is usually dark and thick as opposed to the “peach fuzz” one might expect.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is known to be a frequent cause of hirsutism. According to American Family Physician, PCOS is responsible for three out of four cases of hirsutism.

Spironolactone treatment
What exactly is this pill we’re talking about? It’s another classic example of a medical oops turning into a medical win.

Since its discovery in the 1950s, Spironolactone has demonstrated that it has a curious side effect: it lowers testosterone levels in the people who take it.

DID YOU KNOW? Spironolactone is one of the most common medications prescribed for trans women when they first begin their transitioning process. Spironolactone is either prescribed in combination with estrogen therapy or as a way to suppress androgens before adding more hormones to the mix.

Spironolactone (Aldactone) is actually a diuretic (water pill), normally prescribed to people who have high blood pressure or those who experience swelling due to excess fluids in some areas of their bodies (edema). Most women who this medication to suppress androgen production will get positive results, although it may take up to 6 months to see an improvement in symptoms.

How does Spironolactone work?
Androgens, such as testosterone, are responsible for the growth of hair on the face, chest and stomach that occurs in some women who have PCOS. Spironolactone, when taken, does a great job in decreasing androgen levels in the body, which in turn neutralizes the effect of androgen on the skin, while also improving acne.

Possible side effects may include:

  • Increased urine frequency (remember this is a diuretic)
  • Weight loss (mostly water weight)
  • Nausea (this generally goes away after a while)
  • Clear skin and easing of other androgen-related issues

Important things to note:

  • In case of liver or kidney problems, inform your doctor before you start taking Spironolactone.
  • Do not take it if you are pregnant or you could get pregnant
  • Spironolactone is best taken along with oral contraceptive pills
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Avoid taking potassium supplements while using Spironolactone! This medication can cause of build-up of potassium in the liver, which can damage the liver over time

Stay tuned for next week’s installment: Birth Control Pills and PCOS

Legal Disclaimer


This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments.  The information is not medical advice and should not be used to replace the advice of a trained physician. If you have any suspicion that the information in this article may apply to you, be sure to contact your doctor for more details!

References


You can see all of Jesse’s posts here.