Hair Loss Facts
There are 20 million women in america with excessive hair loss.
Ten million of them are under the age of 40. While its common to see and hear about men’s hair loss, women’s hair loss is seldom mentioned. It’s almost as if society doesn’t want to admit there’s such a condition.Chuck Alfieri will explain some of the solutions that are available.
The overwhelming majority of women suffer from what is known as androgenic hair loss. This is caused by hormones.
WHY WOMEN LOSE HAIR
Women can lose hair for a variety of reasons. In pregnancy, changes in hormone levels can produce hair loss. Stress and anxiety can also cause hair follicles to cease production. In some cases, a vitamin deficiency can lead to hair loss. Certain medications can cause hair to fall out, too. But in all the aforementioned cases, the hair loss is only temporary for most people. Once the condition causing the hair loss ceases, either naturally or through intervention, the hair follicles will “wake up” and begin producing hair once again.
There are two conditions in which hair loss is irreversible. The first is from the condition known as alopecia universalis. Very few people are afflicted with alopecia universalis, but those who are facing the devastating effects of all hair production ceasing on their body – they actually produce no hair at all, from their scalps to their toes. The condition is believed to be caused by a virus and there is no “cure” for it.
The overwhelming majority of women suffer from what is known as androgenic hair loss. This is caused by hormones. It was previously mentioned that pregnant women can experience hair loss due to changes in hormonal levels. With androgenic hair loss, the principle is the same but the cause is quite different.
Both men and women have hormones of the opposite sex. Men have levels of estrogen in their body, just as women have levels of testosterone. In women, the cause of what is known as female pattern baldness is the testosterone hormone. Women with hair loss do not have abnormal levels of testosterone in their body. These women are just unable to “break down” testosterone
There is much testosterone found in a person’s scalp. If the hormone does not break down properly as ages and is ready to be disposed of as waste, a by-product know as dihidrotesterone (DHT) exists. When too much DHT accumulates in the scalp, hair follicles are affected.They begin to atrophy, The hair being produced becomes smaller, weaker in structure, and lighter in color. Finally, the hair follicle enters a permanent dormant state and no hair is produced at all. In most cases, there is no way to induce the hair follicle to produce normal, healthy hair again. The hair follicle is essentially dead.
WHAT CAN BE DONE
In case of hair loss that are due to stress, medication or pregnancy, hair growth will return to normal as soon as the condition causing the hair loss ceases to exist. When hair loss is caused by scalp disorders or vitamin deficiencies, these conditions can be corrected with proper therapies, many of which can be obtained without a precription.
However, for the vast majority of women suffering from female pattern baldness (FPB), the answers and correspoding solutions are not as easy to come by.
There are many topical lotions sold by beauty salons across the country, specifically for women with thinning hair. For many women, this is the first attempt at correcting their excessive hair loss. However, for women with androgenic hair loss (female pattern baldness), lotions and creams simply will not work.
Minoxidil has now been approved for use by women in formulations containing 2% of the drug. Now sold as an over-the-counter product, minoxidil has been approved by the FDA as a hair loss cessation/hair growing drug. However, minoxidil has only been shown to grow hair in the crown, not in the frontal hairline. The hair that minoxidil can grow, even in the crown, is usually hair that is not considered “cosmetically acceptable”, meaning hair that will not grow long and healthy enough to cover the scalp.