Female Hair Loss

Written by Michael Federico
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Female hair loss is a problem that has been ignored by many in the medical community for years. Women who approach doctors about hair loss are often told that either nothing is wrong or that nothing can be done. Usually, both of these claims are incorrect. There are many women (some studies show over 20 percent of women past their 40s) that suffer from some form of hair loss.

There are two major types of hair loss in women. The first, alopecia areata, occurs when the immune system begins to attack hair follicles. Sometimes, this is linked to a thyroid problem, but there are other causes, as well. Treatment usually consists of a person receiving an injection of cortisone-like medication into the scalp. The second type, androgenic alopecia, is the pattern baldness that is usually associated with men. When it occurs in women, it is generally more mild, but that does not mean it doesn't cause problems for those who suffer from it.

Treating Female Hair Loss

Pattern baldness in women usually affects the temples and the crown. Unlike with men, the front hair-line is typically preserved. Pattern baldness is most often linked to hormones. More specifically, it is most often linked to testosterone. Testosterone is converted to DHT, which plays a major part in hair loss.

Estrogen, unlike testosterone, is good for hair. This is why women generally enjoy longer, thicker hair than most men. However, as women age, estrogen levels can drop and testosterone levels can rise. One result of this is that growth cycles will shorten, and hair will begin to thin out. There are a number of products designed to block the production of DHT. Many of these products were created for men, but have been altered to work specifically for women. There are natural products, synthetic products, and some treatments that are hybrids of both.

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