Female hair loss is somewhat different than male pattern hair loss but nonetheless can be caused by the same genetic conditions as in men. Society does not accept hair loss in women as easily as it does with men therefore hair loss conditions with women can often be very difficult to cope with. Women generally experience a diffuse thinning pattern in the frontal hair zone all the way back into the vertex but usually do not experience the erosion of the frontal hairline, typical in men.
There is hope for those who choose to pursue a solution but it must first be properly diagnosed in order to recommend a successful treatment.
What is Alopecia?
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The simplest answer is genetic predisposition. The majority of women who suffer from hair loss have a condition known as androgenetic alopecia or alopecia. The diagnosis is exactly the same condition which occurs in male pattern baldness but can affect women the same way. Low Level Laser Therapy is very effective in correcting this type of hair loss.
Three factors generally influence the rate and degree of hair loss – advancing age, genetics and dihydrotesterone (DHT). DHT is a form of testosterone that is produced by an enzyme in the body called 5-alpha reductase. As an individual begins to age into their 20’s, 30’s and so on the DHT causes the hair follicles on the scalp (with exception to the hair on the sides and back of the head because the genetic coding in follicles within these areas of the scalp are not susceptible to the DHT) begins to slow and break down the healthy life cycle of the hair shaft. Over time, the follicle will only produce a fine, unpigmented, vellus hair and eventually may stop producing a hair shaft at all.
The androgens (hormones) in the body have a reaction to the genes, which triggers the hair loss. It is theorized that the female hormone estrogen counteracts the androgens explaining why hair loss in women occurs with higher frequency in post menopause. Women also have much lower levels of androgens than men, explaining why hair loss tends to be more prominent in men than women.
Female alopecia generally appears as a diffuse thinning pattern in the frontal hair zone all the way back into the vertex. Women rarely experience the erosion of the frontal hairline, typical in men.