Coping with the Problem of Female Hair Loss
By Charles Hopkins
Published 11/27/2007 | Health
Hair loss is part of our daily lives, whether you realize it or not and
is generally more common as people grow older, but can affect younger
people as well. Hair loss is a gradual process, some research has
indicated that it takes 5 years or more for follicle roots to fully
cease. For many patients, hair loss is a major emotional problem and is
quite normal after major surgery, so it is important for patients to
speak to their surgeon about this possible side effect before
Hair loss is quite a likely occurrence for children being treated
for leukemia. In male- and female-pattern baldness, the culprit is
something called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which is derived from
androgen, a male hormone.
Women's hair tends to thin all over and the pattern of hair loss in
women is different to the typical receding hairline and crown loss that
is common in men. Women develop hair loss as frequently as men do, but
because of hormonal differences between men and women, women typically
lose their hair in a more diffuse way than men. Women rarely experience
loss of all their hair. A reasonably common cause of hair loss in women
is birth control pills.
Women may be given minoxidil or a hormonal or iron supplement to
help prevent hair loss. Women with hair loss due to androegenetic
alopecia tend to have miniaturizing hairs of variable diameter over all
affected areas of the scalp.
Healthy diet, enough time of sleep, regular exercise, and not
worrying too much can prevent hair loss, whereas problems such as
lupus, thyroid condition, and diabetes can cause hair loss. Eating
habits vary from healthy eating habits on one end of the scale, to
serious eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia on the other end.
While hair loss is more harmful to the psyche than anything else, some
of the causes of baldness may represent serious health problems.
Certainly a good healthy diet will tend to reduce hair loss and it
is important to keep your health good, but hair loss can affect the
emotional health of both men and particularly women and it can be a
rather glib statement to tell people not to worry about their looks.
Coping with hair loss depends a lot on your attitude and the support of
your friends and family.
The thyroid gland is in the front of the lower neck and makes
important hormones that keep the body healthy. Hormones called
androgens, commonly testosterone, can cause hair follicles to shrink,
causing thinning of hair or eventual hair loss. In pregnancy, hormone
levels increase in the early stages of pregnancy and cause the hair
growth cycle to slow down.
Doctors refer to common baldness as "androegentic alopecia" which
implies that a combination of hormones and heredity (genetics) is
needed to develop the condition. The hormone imbalance that occurs in
polycystic ovary syndrome can cause hair loss in teenage girls as well
as in adult women.
Female-pattern androegenetic alopecia is a common condition, its
traetment includes minoxidil 2% and antiandrogens (cyproterone acetate)
in case of obvious hyerandrogenism; finasteride, not currently approved
for women, is however being tested in postmenopausal women.