Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) or Androgenetic alopecia can affect around 40% of women by age 50. This is caused by a reduction in hair volume, combined with hair shedding. However, similar conditions can be caused by stress or hormonal issues, so it is important to discuss this with your doctor prior to initiating treatment. Overall, FPHL is very different than male pattern baldness, which is usually noticeable via a receding hairline or bald patch atop the head – but females do not generally follow a particular pattern and the shedding is more evenly distributed. For some, it may be their part getting wider, for others it may be the hair near their temples that are seen first – but generally the thinning is more widespread than for males.
What causes female pattern hair loss?
Genes for FPHL could be inherited from either parent, but unlike male pattern baldness, androgens do not have a clear role for females – hence why it is often referred to as ‘female androgenetic alopecia’. FPHL is more common after menopause suggesting oestrogens may have some relation also.
At this point, hair no longer grows – it lies dormant in the hair follicle for a few months, in a phase known as “telogen”. However, in this case, instead of a new hair growing into its place, the hair is shed permanently and not recovered.
This process of female pattern hair loss can occur at any point, but generally occurs after a woman is in her 40’s or 50’s. It can also occur in phases, for instance it may happen for a few months and then reoccur and a later date. In addition to cosmetic issues, it can cause psychological issues too – and interfere with daily activity via feelings of depression or unattractiveness.
There are many other factors which cause hair loss, such as stress and nutrition. For instance low iron levels (anemia) can cause hair to thin, while vitamins can boost hair growth. Temporary hair thinning can also occur in females due to childbirth, illness, menopause, or sudden changes in diet, so it is important to know if PRP is the right solution for you.
PRP Treatment Before & After Pictures
34 year old female, PRP to scalp for hair loss – after 3 treatments
What treatments are available?
While there is no set cure for female pattern hair loss, various treatments are available such as Minoxidil, other common medications for FPHL, such as finasteride, flutamide, or dutasteride, as well as options for laser treatment or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
Dr. Green provides PRP treatments in her NYC based office. This method uses your blood and its platelets to help stimulate regrowth of your hair.
Overall, there are many causes of female pattern hair loss and it is important to discuss options and get an accurate diagnosis from a board certified dermatologist beforehand. Many conditions with hair loss look similar but require different treatment methods.
*Disclaimer: Results may vary with each patient