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Hair Loss In Women: A Guide To Female Hair Loss Treatment

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If you are one of the many women experiencing thinning hair or hair loss, you are not alone. 

Female hair loss is extremely common, particularly after pregnancy and menopause. In fact, it can affect as many as one in three women. Losing your hair especially when you are young or vulnerable can detrimentally affect your self-confidence. Fortunately, several non-invasive and effective hair loss treatments are available to reduce hair loss and even reverse it. 

There are many causes of female hair loss, so establishing the correct diagnosis at an early stage is very important for treatment. As with male hair loss, androgenic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss in women.

The Treatment Rooms offers many solutions for female hair loss. Whether you require non-surgical treatments or FUE hair transplant surgery to restore your hair, our consultants can help you achieve the appearance you desire to boost your confidence and self-image.

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    What is female hair loss?

    Hair loss is a fairly common condition that affects up to 56% of women over the age of 70 and fewer than 10% of women before menopause. The process may cause the hair to thin or completely diminish on certain areas of the scalp. It may also occur gradually or suddenly and be temporary or permanent, depending on the type of hair loss.

    Hair loss is not generally something to worry about, but some people may find it upsetting. Many treatments are available to improve hair loss, depending on its cause.

    Causes of hair loss in women

    Daily hair loss is normal. Most people tend to lose around 50–100 hair strands each day. Since there are around 100,000 follicles on the scalp, losing up to 100 hairs does not make a significant difference to someone’s appearance. It usually goes unnoticed, especially as the new hair grows simultaneously. However, hair loss occurs when there is no longer new hair growing through to replace the hair that falls out.

    Causes of hair loss in women may include:

    • Family history: Hereditary hair loss means that someone has inherited genes that cause hair follicles to shrink as they age, eventually resulting in the follicle no longer growing hair
    • Age: Most people notice hair loss as they get older because hair growth slows down and some follicles may stop growing hair, causing scalp hair to thin 
    • Hormonal imbalance: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) commonly causes a hormonal imbalance that leads to cysts on the ovaries and other symptoms, including hair loss
    • Stress: When the body is under stress, such as after childbirth, illness, or having an operation or during stressful times such as the death of a loved one, people may experience temporary hair loss due to stress
    • Hair care: Over time, colouring, perming, or relaxing hair may cause damage and lead to hair loss 
    • Hairstyles: Regularly wearing hair pulled back tightly may lead to a hair loss condition known as traction alopecia
    • Medical conditions: Some medical conditions may result in hair loss, such as alopecia areata, scarring alopecia, an underactive or overactive thyroid, and a recurrent hair-pulling disorder called trichotillomania
    • Scalp conditions: Scalp psoriasis and scalp infections, such as ringworm, could lead to hair loss
    • Medications: Some medications may have a potential side effect of hair loss, such as those doctors prescribe to treat high blood pressure, depression, arthritis, heart conditions, and gout
    • Cancer treatments: Chemotherapy and radiotherapy may cause hair loss within a few weeks of starting treatment
    • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): Without treatment, STIs such as syphilis may result in patchy hair loss on the scalp and eyebrows
    • Nutrient deficiencies: Having too little protein, iron, zinc, or biotin in the diet may cause noticeable hair loss

    Most people experience thinning hair with age. However, if they are losing considerably more hair each day than usual, they may have a medical condition that can be a result of one of the causes listed above.

    Take a look at our FUE hair transplant page to better understand how female hair transplants work.

    Signs of hair loss in women

    Hair loss patterns tend to differ between men and women. For example, male pattern baldness is normally localised to specific areas, such as the temples and the crown. But females typically have widespread thinning on the crown area or a widening of their parting, which means they are less likely to experience the typical hair loss pattern that males will endure.

    Clinicians often use the Savin scale to assess the degree of female pattern hair loss. The Savin scale presents eight stages of hair loss in women ranging from no hair loss to severe hair loss. It also shows a subcategory to illustrate frontal area hair loss.

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    Types of female hair loss

    Women may experience several types of hair loss, but female pattern hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is the most common. Female pattern hair loss has characteristics such as thinning hair on the central area of the scalp.

    Types of female hair loss include:

     

    Female pattern hair loss

    Female pattern hair loss can begin any time after puberty and usually before the age of 40. This type of hair loss runs in families, so a person will inherit the genes that play a role in female pattern hair loss from either their mother, father, or both.

    A combination of genetic and hormonal factors may cause female pattern hair loss. Testosterone converts to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in skin cells. Both testosterone and DHT belong to a group of hormones called androgens that contribute to growth and reproduction in both men and women.

    Researchers suggest that with male pattern baldness, the androgen-related activity causes hair follicles to shrink to a point where hair no longer grows out to the skin’s surface. However, they are currently unclear on the cause of female pattern hair loss.

    Studies indicate that female pattern hair loss may relate to many factors, including:

    • Genetic influences
    • Androgen levels and sensitivity
    • Potential inflammation in the scalp

    Female pattern hair loss is also present in around 20–30% of individuals with PCOS.

    Alopecia areata

    Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks part of the body. With alopecia areata, the immune system attacks hair follicles.

    Alopecia areata affects an estimated 15 in 10,000 people in the U.K. It can occur at any age, but around 50% of alopecia areata cases start to happen in childhood, and 80% occur by the age of 40.

    The typical pattern of hair loss for alopecia areata is the appearance of one or more bald patches on the scalp. The patches are usually round and the size of a large coin, and may develop on any area of the scalp.

    People may not notice they have alopecia areata, particularly if they have long hair covering the bald areas. Unfortunately, there is no cure for alopecia areata, but hair may start to grow back at any time especially when using treatment.

    Telogen effluvium

    Telogen effluvium is a form of temporary excessive hair loss. Most people shed up to 100 hairs per day, but someone with telogen effluvium may lose an average of 300 hairs or, rarely, more than 1,000 hairs. 

    Normally, hair follows a cycle of growth for 2–6 years, entering a resting state for a few months, and then falling out. However, telogen effluvium causes many hair follicles in the growing phase of the cycle to abruptly switch to the resting phase, resulting in hair shedding and loss of hair volume.

    There is no apparent cause of the condition. However, common triggers may include:

    • Changes in diet
    • Weight loss
    • Iron deficiency
    • Stress
    • Fever
    • Infection
    • Hormonal changes due to childbirth or menopause
    • Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
    • Certain medications
    • Injury
    • Surgery

    After resolving the cause of telogen effluvium, hair usually returns to a normal thickness within a few months.

    Traction alopecia

    Traction alopecia is hair loss occurring from repeatedly pulling hair. The strain on the hair follicles from tugging on hair results in damage to the follicles which prevents them from producing new hair.

    Traction alopecia often results from:

    • Tight braids and dreadlocks
    • Tight buns and ponytails
    • Wearing wigs
    • Attaching weaves or hair extensions
    • Using curling rollers
    • Waving
    • Bleaching
    • Colouring
    • Hair relaxing

    People with traction alopecia may notice little bumps on the scalp, broken hairs, and areas of shiny skin with scarring. It typically affects the hairs at the front and sides of the scalp, depending on the hairstyle causing the condition.

    Traction alopecia is reversible with treatment. However, if people continue to style their hair the same way, it may become permanent.

    Female hair loss treatment

    Hair loss from a medical condition or hair pulling does not usually need treatment and usually improves once the person recovers. However, if you are experiencing severe hair loss we recommend speaking to your doctor or a professional hair loss surgeon to diagnose your condition and explore the best possible treatment options. 

    At The Treatment Rooms London, we offer a range of non-surgical and surgical treatments to improve female hair loss. Many of our treatment options are quick, simple, and non-invasive. 

    Our focus is on creating treatment plans which take into account your long-term goals for your hair. This is most important when considering permanent female hair loss. Our doctors work closely with you to advise on treatments that will help reduce the effects of thinning. We often advise you to reach out to your GP to explore causes and treatments such as Minoxidil for your hair loss before considering surgery.

    Non-surgical hair loss treatment for women

    We offer a range of non-surgical hair loss options as a first-line treatment for female pattern hair loss at The Treatment Rooms. Non-surgical treatments include:

    Minoxidil (Regaine)

    Minoxidil is a hair loss treatment for women available as a solution and foam. Women can use the solution on their hair and scalp twice a day or the foam once a day.

    Products containing Minoxidil may slow hair loss and promote regrowth by:

    • Reversing follicle shrinkage
    • Increasing blood flow surrounding hair follicles
    • Stimulating hair follicles from a resting to a growth state
    • Extending the hair follicle’s growth phase

    Women should not use Minoxidil during pregnancy and should consult their doctor before using it while breastfeeding.

    Finasteride (Propecia)

    Finasteride is effective at treating male pattern hair loss, but unfortunately, women should not use Finasteride. It works by blocking testosterone from being converted into DHT, the androgen that is infamously linked to halting hair growth. Unfortunately, Finasteride can have an adverse effect on male fetuses, therefore it should not be used by women especially if they are pregnant. We recommend seeking other forms of hair loss treatments that will be more suited to them.

    PRP treatment

    Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment for female hair loss uses the patient’s blood to regenerate and promote hair regrowth.

    Platelets are components in blood that assist with blood clotting. They contain growth factors that stimulate cell multiplication, wound healing, and tissue regeneration.

    Our specialist doctors take a small amount of blood from you during PRP treatment. They then process and separate the platelet-rich plasma and inject it into areas of the scalp to rejuvenate skin and encourage hair growth.

    PRP treatment is a safe and straightforward procedure that requires no recovery time. You can return to your daily activities immediately after the procedure. 

    Non-surgical treatments do not always work for everyone. If unsuccessful, our helpful surgeons can meet with you to determine your suitability for an FUE hair transplant.

    Hair transplants for women

    Female hair transplants are quickly becoming a growing solution to female pattern hair loss. However, because men experience more visible and ‘predictable’ hair loss patterns, hair transplants for women can be a bit trickier. 

    Hair restoration surgery can be used to improve areas of thinning. Using our latest FUE surgical techniques we can replenish hairlines, hair partitions, or focal areas where the thinning is most established. The procedure is associated with minimal downtime and with our minimal-shave technique we provide you with additional discretion.

    Surgeons perform hair transplants using a local anesthetic with sedation, which means the person is conscious and may feel pressure, but they will not feel any pain.

    There are currently two types of hair transplants available for women: follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit excision (FUE). However, The Treatment Rooms only provide FUE hair transplants, due to their effectiveness and recovery time.

     Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

    A FUT transplant involves the following:

    • A surgeon removes a thin strip of skin containing hair from the back of the head
    • They divide the strip into pieces, known as grafts, containing 1–4 hairs
    • A surgeon makes small incisions in the scalp and places the grafts
    • They stitch the area where they removed the hairs

    Surgeons do not need to shave their head using this method. They only trim the hair on the area where they remove the skin. However, this method is a lot more invasive than that of its counterpart, which also means the recovery time is a lot longer and more difficult to manage.

    Follicular Unit Excision (FUE)

    An FUE hair transplant involves the following:

    • A surgeon extracts individual healthy follicles from the back and sides of the scalp.
    • They reinsert the extracted hair follicles using sub-millimetre techniques that puncture the scalp to transplant the hair follicle
    • A surgeon uses specialist techniques to achieve realistic hair depth, angulation, direction, and density

    After an FUE transplant, there may be dot-like scars at first in the area where the surgeon extracted the hair follicles. The hair transplant scars are not usually visible once new hairs start growing. 

    FUE hair transplants are considered the modern, more effective option when compared to an FUT as the healing process takes less time, and the incisions made to the patient’s scalp are less visible. Furthermore, FUE transplants may last from 20 years to a lifetime.

    To find out more about FUE hair transplants, please visit our page.

    How our surgeons can help with female hair loss

    At The Treatment Rooms, our focus is on creating effective treatment plans that help you achieve your long-term hair goals. Our hair loss surgeons work closely with you to determine the best course of treatment following hair loss.

    Booking a consultation with one of our surgeons enables us to evaluate your hair and tailor our treatments to meet your needs. We also provide a meticulous aftercare and recovery plan that is guaranteed to provide the best possible results.

    FUE Hair Transplant Frequently Asked Questions

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