Research shows that hair loss in women is common and linked to low self-esteem. The most common type of hair loss in women is called androgenetic alopecia or female pattern hair loss.
A recent study puts an end to the misconception that hair loss in middle age is something men only need to worry about. Researchers found that more than half of the healthy postmenopausal women they studied had female pattern baldness, and it negatively affected their self-image, according to findings published in the Journal of Menopause.
We all know that hair loss or baldness can occur in middle-aged men. But we don’t talk about it that much for women. This usually has a different effect on women, especially on their self-confidence. Someone like Bruce Willis can shave his head and look good, but this tends to be more serious for women.
What is female pattern baldness?
The most common type of hair loss in women is androgenetic alopecia or female pattern hair loss. The hair follicles shrink, making the hair thinner and thinner, with a decrease in the total number of hairs. The hair growth phase becomes shorter and there are fewer hairs in the active growth phase. In general, in the case of typical female pattern baldness, the frontal hairline remains the same, but there may be a widening in the middle part and a thinning of the hair.
Age, family history, and body mass index (BMI) are associated with hair loss in women To examine the prevalence of hair loss in women, researchers recruited 178 healthy postmenopausal women who were patients at a menopausal clinic in Bangkok, Thailand. The average age of the participants was 58 and, on average, they had gone through the menopausal transition 9 years earlier.
The medical definition of menopause is the absence of a period for a year, and the average age for menopause is 51. The researchers assessed hair density in the middle of the scalp (where hair loss usually begins in women), measured hormone levels, and gathered information about other health problems that It may affect hair loss, hair loss and the families’ history of hair loss participants.
A total of 93 women (52.2%) had female pattern hair loss. Using a standard tool known as the Ludwig Rating to assess the extent of hair loss in these women, researchers found that 73.2% of them had mild hair loss, 22.6% moderate hair loss, and 4.3% severe hair loss. Age, family history of hair loss, and a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more were significantly associated with hair loss.
What are the causes of hair loss in women?
A better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for this common type of hair loss in women could lead to more effective preventive strategies and treatment options. Although the exact causes of hair loss are not known, experts have identified some potential causes.
Genetic factors affect whether or not a woman loses her hair. There are many different genes associated with hair loss and it is a very complex interaction between many genes. You should not assume that you have done anything to cause your hair to fall out, especially if you are otherwise healthy.
Anemia or vitamin deficiency
Both conditions are linked to hair loss. A blood test can check for anemia, and a nutritional assessment can reveal whether hair loss is related to a poor diet.
Extreme stress can be a problem and cause hair loss. This condition is called telogen effluvium and fortunately the hair loss it causes is temporary.
An abnormal thyroid gland can contribute to hair loss.
Certain conditions, including some autoimmune diseases, can be associated with scalp inflammation and cause hair loss.
Hair loss can also be linked to hormonal changes. Androgens, a group of hormones that includes testosterone and androstenedione, do not increase during the transition to menopause, but the ratio of estrogens to androgens changes.
Worried about your hair loss? Talk to your doctor
Your doctor or dermatologist can guide you about medications, supplements, and procedures that can help you combat hair loss.
Not ready to talk to your doctor? There are also hairdressers who specialize in cutting and styling light hair.
Prevalence of female hair loss in postmenopausal women: a cross-sectional study
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