Hair Loss in Women

Hair Loss in Women

You once had a full head of thick, lush, attractive hair. For many women, thinning hair can be demoralizing, and even cause intense anxiety. As your hair thins your confidence seems to wane, sometimes to the point of overwhelming self-consciousness. You are not alone, and wanting a full head of hair does not mean you are vain or obsessed with your appearance—it is completely natural to want to look as healthy and attractive as possible. Fortunately, amazing options now exist to treat hair loss in women, procedures that were unthinkable only a few decades ago


Thinning hair and balding is a common and visible occurrence in men. However, it is much more common in women than most people are aware of. By age 60 approximately 50% of women experience femal pattern hair loss. Millions more women struggle with mild to moderate hair thinning due to hormonal changes of pregnancy and menopause, and other health conditions. 
If you find yourself counting hairs in your brush, checking the shower drain for strands or checking in the mirror for signs of loss, or looking with envy at the lush locks of other women, you may be suffering the demoralizing effects of thinning hair. 
The presentation or manifestation of hair loss is much different for women than it is for men. Hair loss in women is usually a gradual process, with the rate accelerating at menopause. It is also more easily affected by hormonal changes, medical conditions, and external factors. Stress may play a role in women experiencing hair loss, but this type of shedding is usually temporary and reversible.


    In short, hair loss treatment for women options include the following:
  •  Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) hair transplants
  •  Follicular Unit Strip (FUS) harvest
  •  Non-surgical medical treatments such as Rogaine (Minoxidil) Finasteride (Propecia)
  •  ACell/Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
  •  Low-level laser therapy
  •  Treatment for thyroid problems
  •  Treatment for anemia
  •  Treatment for hormone abnormalities
  •  Vitamin deficiencies

Note that Finasteride (Propecia 5%) is unsuitable for women.

The management of female hair loss requires significant expertise in both diagnosis and treatment, and it is a mistake for a physician to assume that hair loss in women can be treated or diagnosed the same way it is in men. Women for whom surgical hair rearrangement is indicated require special surgical skills to achieve the best results. 
Women must be evaluated for causes of hair loss before any surgical treatment is considered. If a medical reason is found, the treatment must be directed at the cause. For example, treating anemia or thyroid problems should occur before considering hair transplant surgery. People whose hair loss is caused by scars from an accident or trauma are also excellent candidates for surgery. The follicular units can be placed into the scar tissue and result in good coverage of the area. Often, this not only provides the cosmetic benefits, but may also ease some of the emotional component of the scarring. 
Unfortunately, oftentimes women are not good candidates for hair transplant surgery compared to men, and here's why: men generally suffer from male pattern baldness, which renders the frontal hairline, temples and crown bald, but which leaves a luxuriant spot on the back of the head from which to harvest hairs. Because women tend to lose their hair all over, there is often no place from which to unobtrusively harvest donor follicles


The Ludwig Classification System describes hair loss patterns in female pattern baldness, which ranges from stages I to III. Below is a simplified version. Where do you fall?