Men Aren't the Only Ones Who Lose Their Hair

Toppik on 6 March 2015

Male hair loss is seen as inevitable for a large proportion of men in the community and therefore acceptable. Female hair loss, however, has a certain stigma attached to it because women were just never meant to be bald.

A lot of women who come to see me with hair loss are very confused by what is happening to them. They may have been to see their GP about the problem, but the GP may not see hair loss as a health problem and, in some instances, may have recommended that the woman see a psychiatrist to help her ‘get over it.’

Both men and women lose hair density as they age.

The typical pattern of male baldness is associated with the presence of the male hormone testosterone and its conversion to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Women also develop a characteristic pattern of hair loss, terms ‘female pattern hair loss,’ or ‘alopecia.’ This involves a gradual loss of hair. Whereas in men the hair loss tends to take the form of a receding hairline and a thinning patch at the crown, with women the pattern is more diffuse. Hair is lost throughout the region at the top, making the scalp more and more evident.

Women have a significantly lower level of testosterone in their system than men. This testosterone is converted into DHT in the same way it is in the male body. Even significantly lower levels can result in DHT-induced hair loss. The DHT will then attack those follicles with a predisposition to hair loss. Anything that alters the delicate balance between male and female hormones can result in hair loss.

Individual hairs last for between two and six years, the average being around four to five years. Hair grows at the rate of roughly 1cm a month. Genetic baldness – or female pattern hair loss – occurs when the body can no longer produce new hairs to replace the ones lost or, more commonly, the replacing hairs are weaker and finer than the previous ones.

Listed below are some of the external and internal factors that can have an effect on a woman’s hair. However, we must also recognise the possibility that hair loss may not be due to some factor we can pinpoint, but simply that the individual is sensitive to the normal levels of hormones in her body.

Pregnancy

Female Hair Loss Pregnancy

For roughly 50 per cent of women, pregnancy has an effect on hair growth. Here’s the good news: during pregnancy, many women find that their hair becomes thicker. It may also trigger the fingernails becoming stronger. The exact explanation is not clear, but it does seem to be related to changes in the levels of hormones in the woman’s system. Now for the bad news: many women experience hair loss in the first three months after their baby’s birth. Again, it is believed that changing hormone levels are responsible.

One theory is that during pregnancy more hair follicles continue in their new growth phase – that is, the follicles are more active in producing hair fibre. Following the birth, with the reduction in the hormone levels, many more hairs go into the resting phase – hence increased hair loss.

It is important that women understand what is happening. Sometimes, the loss of hair can be distressing. However, unless there is an underlying problem of disease, things will return to normal over a period of six months or so, as the growth and resting cycle is re-established.

The Pill

Female Hair Loss Pill

Contraceptive pills that are high in male hormone/androgens can induce hair loss in those females who have a predisposition to it. Some women will obviously only find out that they have a predisposition to hair loss once it has commenced. Regrettably, most doctors are unaware or unconcerned about the potential problems, concerning themselves only with what happens to the target organs (e.g. the ovaries).

All drugs that may have an effect on hormones should be investigated thoroughly. Check the listed side-effects of the drugs you are taking and ask your doctor about the side-effects. Some contraceptive medications that are high in female hormones are used in the treatment of hair loss.

Menopause

Female Hair Loss Menopause

As a woman ages, her body begins to produce less of the female hormone oestrogen. This ultimately culminates in menopause, when the production of oestrogen all but shuts down. In some individuals this can shift the delicate balance between male and female hormones and result in hair loss. Treatment is generally more complicated than hormone replacement therapy.

Treatments for Women? 

Fortunately Toppik are proud of their simple hair thickening solution because they know it works. Literally millions of women use Toppik hair thickening products to instantly add texture and body to their hair.