Many women experience hair thinning, hair loss, or baldness during their life. Female hair loss is not often discussed because women feel like they should all have long luscious full heads of hair but that is just not the case for everyone. According to Harvard Health, approximately one-third of women experience hair loss.1 This can be distressing for women because some females base a lot of their self-image on their hair.
There are different types of hair loss but the most common type is called androgenetic alopecia. It is also called female or male pattern hair loss. For women, it usually starts with hair thinning at the part line and then increasing hair loss throughout the scalp. It is rare that a woman becomes completely bald. Hair loss can happen at any time during life but the risk of hair loss becomes greater as you age. Genetics also play a large role in hair loss.
There are several things that could cause hair loss such as medical conditions, medications, and stress. If you are concerned about hair loss talk to your primary care provider or dermatologist. There are treatment options that you and your healthcare provider can consider, including:
Minoxidil aka Rogaine: This medication is available over the counter and is applied directly to the scalp. It may help stimulate hair growth but it does not work for everyone. It will take a minimum of 2 months and a maximum of 1 year to see any results.
Spironolactone: This medication requires a prescription and is not recommended for everyone. Spironolactone is an anti-androgen drug and works well for women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome. A woman must take birth control with this medication and not become pregnant while on it because it can cause fetus abnormalities.
Iron Supplements: If iron deficiency is causing your hair loss, then an iron supplement may help aid with stopping hair loss. Do not take iron supplements if you are not iron deficient because this could cause other health issues.
Hair Transplant: This procedure involves taking a strip of scalp from the back of the head and using it to cover a bald patch. This is done by a surgeon that specializes in hair transplantation.
Unfortunately, not all hair loss is treatable. In these cases, you may want to consider a more cosmetic approach to concealing hair loss. There are hair powders, sprays, and concealers that work like makeup for your scalp to help cover up hair loss. Wigs, hair toppers, and hair pieces are also great alternatives to concealing hair loss. The effects are immediate and you can have lots of fun with it.
- Treating female pattern hair loss. Harvard Health. (2020, August 31). Retrieved October 27, 2022