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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.