About 20 million American women experience hair loss. Androgenic alopecia (also known as female pattern baldness) accounts for the majority of cases. The rest may be a result of a temporary condition or scar related.
Androgenic alopecia is an inherited condition in which certain hairs in the scalp have been pre-programmed to fall out.
It is not uncommon to find some hormonal related hair loss in female patients, particularly due to thyroid dysfunction. It is, therefore, important to conduct a thorough medical history. Laboratory tests may also be required. In such cases, the hair loss may be reversed to some extent once the underlying medical condition is treated.
Surveys indicate that while only about half of men losing their hair are concerned, nearly every woman is concerned and subject to a high psychological impact. It is important for women to know they are not alone when it comes to hair loss. There is good news. There are many ways to handle the issue appropriately.
If one is dealing with androgenic alopecia or other forms of permanent hair loss, hair transplantation offers the only permanent solution with very little risk involved. Other forms of hair replacement surgery (such as flaps and scalp reductions) are usually not indicated in cases of female androgenic alopecia.
Typically, hair loss in women who are subject to female pattern baldness follow a different pattern than men. Although there may be some variation, the majority will experience thinning behind the hairline, which will progress over time, but rarely will end up in total baldness.
Other patterns may be seen, but are less common. Numerous hair transplantation procedures have been performed on women with a receding hairline, many obtaining excellent results. Women are ideal patients for the procedure. Those looking to add density to their thinning scalp will find a great deal of improvement even after only one procedure.
There are few physicians interested in hair loss treatment; fewer are comfortable treating women’s hair loss. Most women with hair loss need medical evaluation and lab work before considering surgical treatment.