Hair Loss and Thinning Hair in Women
The advertisements for the treatment of balding and hair loss in men can’t be missed. These ads might lead one to believe that hair loss is generally an issue affecting men. However, the fact is that as many as two-thirds of all women experience hair loss at some point.
Many women with hair loss suffer in silence, altering their hairstyle to hide thinning or patches. Fortunately, hair loss in women typically does not result in complete baldness, as is often the case with men.
Female-pattern hair loss, which generally has a strong genetic component that can be inherited from either the mother or father. Also referred to as androgenetic alopecia, this type of hair loss can start as early as the late teens -and the earlier it starts, the more severe the hair loss tends to be. Most women with pattern hair loss don’t get a receding hairline or bald spot on top of the scalp as is common in men. Instead, there is visible thinning over the crown.
The role of estrogen in hair growth—at least in humans—is not clear. Both oral and topical estrogens are prescribed by physicians to treat hair loss in women, although there are no controlled studies to support this use of estrogen.
Alopecia areata is an immune disease, This type of hair loss appears in various degrees of severity from small, round patches of hair loss that regrow without medical treatment to chronic, extensive hair loss that can involve the loss of all hair on the scalp or body. This type of hair loss affects both genders equally and can occur at any age, although it happens most often in children and young adults.
Androgenetic alopecia in men is what is known as male-pattern baldness—hair loss that starts at the front of the scalp and recedes backward over time, and hair in the center of the scalp thins and falls out. In women, this instead results in uniform hair thinning.