Female pattern hair loss or Androgenetic
Female pattern hair loss or androgenetic alopecia in women is one of the most common cases of hair loss seen in women. As the name suggests, it is an inherited disorder where a diffuse thinning of hair in the crown region is seen.
This happens when the normal cycle of hair growth is disturbed. Normally hair develops from a follicle and goes through three phases of growth.
Anagen (the active growth phase) that lasts two to seven years.
Catagen (transition phase) 2 weeks. During this phase, the hair shaft moves upward toward the skin’s surface, and the dermal papilla (the structure that nourishes the cells that give rise to hair) begins to separate from the follicle.
Telogen (resting phase) – 3 months and that results in the shedding of the hair shaft.
In both cases of hair loss , there is genetically predetermined disruption of this cycle so it takes longer for hair to start growing back after it is shed during the course of the normal growth cycle. This is accompanied by a phenomenon called follicular miniaturisation where the hair follicle also changes, shrinking and thinning to produce a shorter thinner hair shaft . All the coarse terminal hair eventually get replaced by thinner shorter hair giving a typical “peach fuzz” appearance.
The causes of female pattern loss include ageing and changes in androgen/ male hormone( Dihydrotestosterone/DHT) levels which is why it is common in those who have hormonal imbalances such as PCOS and post menopause .
Women who have a genetic predisposition can undergo hair loss at an earlier age if subjected to stress, malnutrition or using bill control pills and anti depressants.
How do you know if you have Female Pattern Baldness?
You will notice your hair becoming thinner and shorter starting from the crown area.
If you look closely at the Part width, you will notice that it is becoming wider.
In more severe cases, the part width hair will resemble a Christmas tree -like pattern
Your dermatologist will examine your scalp and classify the type and degree of hair loss.
Medical management include minoxidil is an approved technique but side effects including rebound hair loss and generalized hypertrichosis have reduced patient compliance over the years.
Other methods of hair fall management include incorporating peptide containing serums and using a shampoo that is best suited for your scalp will help minimize hair loss as well as stimulating new hair growth.
Not all women are good candidates for Hair transplant in cases of androgenetic alopecia. This will be evaluated by your surgeon during your consultation and you will be advised about the treatment modality best suited for you.