Even though over thirty percent (30%) of women experience hair thinning and hair loss in their lifetimes and, in some cases, the problem can have severe psychological ramifications, the topic gets very little media coverage compared to male hair loss. The lack of attention and limited information available has created in many women the misconception that they are alone with the problem of hair loss and that nothing can be done to help. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Hair loss in women can have multiple causes including a genetic predisposition, stopping birth control pills, certain thyroid or other medical conditions, extreme changes in diet, stress, as well as the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and menopause. The average woman loses 60-100 hairs a day. If a woman notices that she is losing more hairs than this, she should first see a doctor to determine if an underlying medical condition exists. Often if the underlying condition is corrected, normal hair growth resumes.
However, in cases where the problem is genetic, many of the same strategies that are applied to genetic male hair loss can be equally effective in women. In both men and women, the effect of hormones on the hair follicle cause genetic hair loss, but in a female these hormones are generated by the adrenal glands above the kidneys as well as the ovaries. Another difference is that the hair follicles that are susceptible to these hormones tend to be spread in a diffuse pattern throughout the woman’s head so that an overall thinning and loss of hair occurs rather than in the specific areas of the scalp and crown seen in male pattern baldness. Still, despite these differences, the same non-surgical treatments for hair loss used in men, such as Rogaine (Minoxidil) often work very effectively for women, so this is usually the first avenue of treatment explored by a physician. However, when additional intervention is needed, Follicular Unit Transplantation can very effectively be performed on women, and when carried out with the aesthetic expertise of Dr. Rawnsley, the dramatic, yet absolutely natural, results can be transformative.