Women can experience hair loss, too!
Hair loss affects women as well as men. But many women suffer in silence.
aldness is a condition most commonly associated with men, but many women also experience hair loss, and the effects of that hair loss can affect body image. Female pattern hair loss, or FPHL, is the most common form of progressive hair loss in women. The condition also may be called androgenetic alopecia. The American Hair Loss Association indicates that up to 40 percent of American hair loss sufferers are women. Male hair loss is more common and unlikely to garner much attention. But FPHL can be difficult for women. Women who lose their hair may suffer from low self-esteem and be less inclined to engage socially. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it’s normal for men and women to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day, even for those people who are not going bald. But
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losing large amounts of hair each day is cause for concern. FPHL is characterized by miniaturization of the hair follicles, which become shorter and produce thinner and more brittle hairs. Eventually, hair follicles may stop developing altogether. The AAD notes that FPHL has a distinct appearance in which the hair thins mainly on the top and crown of the scalp. A gradual widening of the center part of hair may be noticeable as well. Hair loss may be the result of genetics and other environmental factors that throw off the growing cycle, advises WebMD. Medication, illness, infection, hormones, or chemicals have the potential to prevent hair from being formed properly. Hair loss is sometimes temporary, and hair will ultimately grow normally after a precipitating event, such as pregnancy, ends. Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, a
derivative of the male hormone testosterone, can play a role in female hair loss, says the American Hair Loss Association. The hormonal process of testosterone converting into DHT can harm hair follicles. The process occurs in women as well as men because females have small amounts of testosterone in their normal biology. Male androgen hormones may become more pronounced in women’s bodies as they age and their own female hormones of estrogen and progesterone start to diminish. Women losing their hair should see a dermatologist to determine the cause of their hair loss. Avoiding tight hair styles, hair trauma and stressors may help as well. However, when hair loss is not preventable, a medication called minoxidil may help. This topical treatment helps slow down or stop hair loss in roughly one in four women, according to Harvard Health Publications. It also may produce some new hair growth. The process can take a year, so styling one’s hair a different way or clip-in extensions may help hide hair loss in the interim. Hair loss affects women as well as men, and women should not hesitate to discuss their hair loss with their physicians.
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