Cure for Female Pattern Baldness
Female Pattern Baldness can affect females from their teenage years. It also occurs commonly after menopause. The hair loss process is not constant and usually occurs in fits and bursts. Without medication, hair fall tends to progress in its severity.
Female pattern baldness (FPB), or androgenetic alopecia (AGA), is one of the most common forms of hair loss after male pattern hair loss. It does not, in spite of its prevalence, catch the eye as much as male pattern baldness, because it does not quite progress to a state of complete baldness.
However, any which way you look at it, hair loss in women has as much impact on a woman’s psyche as ‘aging’ itself. The inference is obvious - hair plays a vital role in a woman’s life. A head full of lustrous locks for a woman exemplifies beauty, feminine grace, élan and poise.
- About 10 per cent of women present with hair loss before menopause (cessation of menstrual periods). About 40 per cent show hair loss after menopause – between ages 50 and 60.
- Hair loss has major psychosocial implications in women. It is often distressing and is accompanied by low self-esteem, a forlorn sense of being less attractive, along with nervous disquiet, or anxiety, in social circles.
- 80 per cent of women believe that men give preference to women with longer hair.
- Gradual hair loss with loss of density over time
- Hair strands ‘adorn’ your hair brush, or fall on the pillow, in the sink, or floor
- Scattered hair loss
- Hair strands appear thinner than before
- Hair looks less voluminous
- The plait, or ponytail, appears thinner, or the bun smaller than before
- Leaving the hair loose may not cover the gaps on the head
- ‘Christmas tree’ pattern - where the sides of the partition and the top portion of your head may show significant thinning
- Family history of hair loss - there is a distinctive relationship, in women, between their mother, sisters, aunts and grandmothers - when it comes to hair thinning patterns. Unlike men, genetic hair loss in women affects the back of the head and also the sides.
Female pattern baldness (FPB), like male pattern baldness, is triggered by hormonal imbalance in the body. Conditions, such as ovarian cysts (or, PCOS), or menopause, are exclusive triggers for female pattern baldness.
What also activates the disorder is a fall below normal levels in the ‘hair-protective’ female hormone, oestrogen, in the body. This ‘ups’ the level of the male hormone, testosterone, in the body - the result is hair loss in women.
The ‘saving grace’ is, unlike men, DHT-sensitive hair follicles in women are spread diffusely all over the scalp. Hence, they don’t ‘go’ bald like men (in front and top of the head), but lose hair diffusely all over the scalp.
The other basis of female pattern hair loss is genetics - the problem tends to run in families and is passed on from one generation to the other.
Trichologists evaluate the extent of hair loss and its chronology, followed by certain lab and other tests. For menopausal women, with female pattern baldness, there is no need for investigations, because the cause is obvious. Similarly, a family history of baldness (on either side) is generally enough to decode whether the cause is genetic.
As far as ovarian cysts are concerned, trichologists may examine the patient for abnormal hair growth on the body, excess facial hair and acne. Or, enquire if you have irregular periods.
Female pattern baldness is also usually diagnosed based on -
- The appearance and pattern of hair loss
- Other signs of too much male hormone (androgen), such as abnormal new hair growth on the face
- Changes in menstrual periods
- Blood tests may be used to diagnose disorders that cause hair loss
- Ultrasonography (USG).
Treatment is aimed at slowing down the progress of hair loss and facilitating growth of hair. In advanced cases, the individual may require to wear a wig or hairpiece, or undergo hair transplantation.
The duration of medical treatment for Female Pattern Baldness, of course, depends on the stage of hair loss and other factors, such as health of hair or scalp - this may take 2-3 months, or more, to respond to treatment.
Click on to read in detail about treatments available for Female Pattern Baldness.
- ‘Up’ your intake of natural DHT-inhibiting foods, such as soya
- Quit smoking and reduce alcohol intake - smoking and alcohol are known triggers of hair loss
- Avoid red meat, since it is believed to be a DHT-activator; it can worsen hair loss
- Include green tea and roasted sesame seeds in your diet; they are natural DHT-inhibitors and help to control hair loss
- ‘Up’ your protein intake. Proteins - milk and milk products, pulses, legumes, and soy - are good for healthy hair
- Biotin, a vitamin, is known to facilitate hair growth. Rice bran, peanuts, soybean, cauliflower, and mushrooms are rich in biotin. Include them in your diet.