Women often experience hair loss at some stage during their lifetime. Typically in certain women, the hair starts to thin and bald spots start to develop over time, and this can be due to various reasons. The actual cause of hair loss can range from traction alopecia to androgenetic alopecia or can even be due to various medical conditions or even medical treatments. Changing hormones, different stresses, and medical problems can all play a role in impacting the likelihood of a woman experiencing thinning hair and developing bald spots.
Causes of hair loss in women
Traction alopecia occurs as a result of frequent pulling and stress on the hair follicles. This happens often in women who wear their hair in braids or buns, or tight ponytails. Over time, this can cause hair loss due to the pressure placed on the hair. Often bumps may appear on the scalp and strands of hair may start to break and be lost on the sides and front of the head.
Wearing hair weaves can also cause this problem, and sometimes the actual hair follicles can become inflamed (called folliculitis) as a result of the pulling motion on the hair.
Androgenetic alopecia can happen in women, although it is not as common in women as it is in men where the prevalence of the condition is much higher. It is a condition related to the hormone dihydrotestosterone.
There are also differences in the pattern of hair loss that is evident in women, with thinning and loss of hair occurring where the hair is parted on the head. This is different from the hair loss patterns that are seen in men where balding begin at the crown and the temples of the head.
Medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid problems can also result in hair loss in women.
It is important that the reason for thinning hair loss and the development of bald spots are recognized because hair follicle loss due to medical conditions may be reversible if the underlying disease is treated when that is the causative factor.
Similarly, loss of hair as a result of chemotherapy may not be permanent, and in these cases, it is a good idea to wait a couple of months to see if hair grows back first before signing up for hair transplant work.
Women also need to check if their hair loss is not associated with medication that they are taking. In some cases, steroid medications and even birth control pills can lead to hair loss.
On the other hand, women who have female pattern baldness and traction alopecia are good candidates for hair transplant methods such as the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) procedure.
Hair transplant options for women
The FUE is a procedure that produces minimal scarring and excellent results, particularly when done by specialists who have many years of experience.
The procedure, when done correctly, does take several hours to perform and it does take some time for the hair to grow in. The method, though, is far superior to older methods of hair transplantation such as the FUT in which a large piece of tissue containing several hair follicles is removed from the donor site. Such a procedure as the FUT would not work well for women and would produce obvious scars.
Hair transplant methods such as the FUE are done by many reputable clinics around the world, including at the Vera Clinic in Turkey, where there are specialists who can give you the details to help you make an informed decision.
Consulting with specialists at a hair transplant clinic can give you a good idea of what option will best suit you. If a hair transplant procedure is not what you want or won’t suit your situation, you can ask about non-surgical interventions that can be helpful in promoting hair growth.
Other treatment options for thinning hair and bald spots in women
There are prescription medications that may work. For example, finasteride and minoxidil are both medications that can help to increase hair growth, but they do take a while to work. Finasteride is often sold under the brand name Propecia, or Proscar and minoxidil are often sold under the brand name Rogaine.
Finasteride has been shown to be most effective in premenopausal women who are showing the female pattern hair loss (FPHL) that is typical of women who have the condition androgenetic alopecia. In the United States, minoxidil is more commonly used as a treatment option for women suffering hair loss due to this form of alopecia. This medication has been approved for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of women who are suffering hair loss issues.
Another option that is sometimes used for treating hair loss in both men and women is to use low-level laser light therapy (LLLT). Recent studies have shown that the use of light in the infrared or red wavelength range can be beneficial in triggering and stimulating hair to re-enter the active growth phase of hair follicles, which is known as the anagen phase.
The light appears to work by stimulating the activity of stem cells at the base of the hair follicles, which are crucial for growth. Researchers also found that the effectiveness of the LLLT method for hair loss did vary according to hair type, length, and skin color.
How to know if you are a good candidate for the FUE?
Only by consulting with a hair loss specialist at a reputable and experienced hair clinic can you find out if the FUE hair transplant procedure would be suitable for you.
There are situations where this is not the best option, and certainly, your medical condition and cause of hair loss are important factors that need to be taken into account when deciding on the most appropriate treatment option.
In the meantime, it is a good idea to keep yourself as healthy as possible and eat a well-balanced and nutritionally rich diet which will benefit the condition of your hair.