Female Pattern Baldness – Hair Loss
About 1 in 4 women suffer from hereditary hair loss or androgenetic alopecia, also known as female pattern baldness. This is characterized as a thinning of hair over the crown of the head. Unlike male pattern baldness, women tend to preserve the first few rows of the hair line. Currently the only treatment approved for women to help re-grow hair is 2% minoxidil, which is available without a prescription. We often recommend treating with the extra strength (called “extra strength for men”) or 5% formulation as a study in female pattern loss showed that it worked better than the 2%. However, this can have the unwanted side effect of growing excess hair on the face as well. It is important to treat early since hereditary hair loss progresses with time and we want to arrest it while the loss is still relatively mild.
There are other causes of hair loss. The most common of these is called telogen effluvium. Causes include severe stress, illness, medications, iron deficiency, diet and pregnancy. Usually there is an abrupt onset of excessive amounts of hair shedding affecting the entire scalp, not just the crown. Another cause of hair loss is alopecia areata. This condition is caused by an overactive immune system and can cause patches of hair loss in circles or focal areas. If you are experiencing hair loss, please schedule a visit in our office to have a thorough evaluation to determine the cause