Hair Loss Women – Hair Loss Treatment

Introduction – Hair Loss Women, Hair Loss Treatment

When a woman starts losing her hair, it is often unexpected and frightening. Some women experiment with hairstyles as well as products that guarantee hair re-growth. Visit to a dermatologist is essential for getting to the root of hair loss.

Hair loss occurs due to many reasons. Two of the most common reasons in women are stress and hereditary hair loss. An underlying medical condition such as lupus, thyroid disease, or polycystic ovary syndrome also can cause hair loss. Even hair treatments including bleaching, permanent waving and certain hairstyles can result in noticeable hair loss. Each cause of hair loss requires a different approach to re-grow hair.

Diagnosis of Hair Loss:

To diagnose the cause of hair loss, a dermatologist may do the following:

Taking a thorough medical history. Patient should inform the dermatologist about all medications, vitamins, and food supplements being taken. It also is important to inform if you have been dieting. Patient may also be asked about the menstruation history, pregnancies, and menopause.

Use of any hair re-growth products such as shampoos, laser combs, vitamins, and food supplements should also be informed.

Hereditary hair loss can be especially troubling for women because it tends to worsen over time in an unpredictable way.
Examination of the hair and scalp. This typically involves a visual exam of the hair and scalp. The dermatologist may gently tug on your hair to know the condition of the roots. The doctor also may need to look at the hair over the rest of the body, which can be helpful in diagnosing the cause of hair loss.

If an underlying medical condition is suspected, blood work or other testing may be ordered. Sometimes the dermatologist performs a scalp biopsy to determine the exact cause of the hair loss. This procedure can be quickly performed in the dermatologist’s office.

Stress-induced Hair Loss

Women can lose a noticeable amount of hair after a particularly stressful event, such as childbirth, illness, surgery, or passing of a loved one. Prolonged stress can shift too many hairs into what is called the “resting phase.” (Hair goes through 3 phases: growing, resting, and shedding.) When this happens, the hairs remain on the head for about 3 months. Then all of these hairs enter the shedding phase together, causing noticeable hair loss.

Treatment: The stress-induced hair loss usually does not require any treatment. The phases tend to return to normal, and hair re-grows on its own.

Hereditary Hair Loss

Many women can also have hereditary hair loss like men. In men, this condition typically causes a receding hairline or a balding patch. In women, however, there is gradual overall thinning. An early sign of hereditary hair loss in women is noticeable hair loss in the center part. If parting hair down the center reveals a Christmas-tree pattern, the cause is usually hereditary hair loss.

Hereditary hair loss can be especially troubling for women because it tends to worsen over time in an unpredictable way. There may be significantly more hairs in the tub or on the brush for 2 or 3 months, and then the excessive shedding stops. For the next 3 to 12 months, hair loss is near normal. Then suddenly and unexpectedly, the excessive hair loss returns. This unpredictably leads to considerable anxiety.

Treatment: Early treatment can offer the best chance for hair re-growth and prevention of further loss. When hereditary hair loss develops, the growing phase shortens. This causes hair to thin until growth stops completely.

Over-the-counter minoxidil is the most common treatment for hereditary hair loss. Studies show that it stimulates re-growth in about 60% of women with hereditary hair loss. This drug should be applied twice daily every day. It takes about 4 months to notice any growth. Once stopped, hair re-growth tends to stop.

In some cases, dermatologists may prescribe a different medication to treat hereditary hair loss called as spironolactone and flutamide. As these medications carry the risk of birth defects, women should not take these medications if they are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. 

Cortisone medication in topical or injectable form can help the hair re-growth in some women.

A procedure called as hair transplantation may be an option. This procedure involves taking hair from a healthy area and transferring it to an area that has thinning. This procedure has improved dramatically over years and can produce natural-looking results. It can be effective for women in early or mid-stage of hereditary hair loss.

Without early treatment, hereditary hair loss can progress, eventually causing visible thinning across the scalp. In the later stages, treatment may be ineffective.

Underlying Medical Condition

An undiagnosed medical condition can cause noticeable hair loss. Treating the underlying medical condition can stop excessive hair loss.

- Link of interest: Website American Hair Loss Association

This article is not medical advice nor a substitute to professional health advice. Always consult a doctor.

 

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