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Hair Fall in Female

Hair Fall in Female

Unlike yesteryears, it is not uncommon for women to lose hair anymore. We do receive a lot of female patients who complain about premature hair loss and hair thinning. It is also called us Female Pattern Baldness or Androgenetic Alopecia. Females suffering from this condition may lose more than 50 to 100 hairs per day.

Unlike male pattern baldness, females experience hair loss and baldness in a different manner. Women are less likely to go completely bald but they experience a lot of hair thinning all over their head and especially on the side and part line.

There are three types of patterns of hair loss in women. These are as follows:

  • Type I: Thinning of hair that one can hide or camouflage using various methods of hair styling

  • Type II: There is a loss in volume and there is a widening of the midline part.

  • Type III: There is a lot of thinning of hair and the top of the scalp gives a see through appearance.


Causes of hair loss in women

It is highly likely to suffer from female pattern baldness if any of your relatives in the family suffers from either female or male pattern baldness.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is an endocrine condition that takes place in women which is accompanied by irregular menstrual cycles, obesity, insulin resistance and rise in male hormones (androgens). One of the side effects of PCOS is follicle sensitivity which leads to excessive hair loss. Higher insulin levels reduce the growth phase of hair follicle.

Most women start experiencing hair fall once they hit puberty but it becomes widely noticeable post menopause.

Nutritional Deficiency
Nutritional deficiencies have serious consequences. Lack of iron and protein in diet can cause hair loss in women.

Alopecia Areata
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder which destroys the hair follicles and leads to hair loss in the scalp or any hair bearing skin. It is often accompanied by other autoimmune conditions such as thyroid, lupus, vitiligo and arthritis.

Medications and Treatments
Hair Loss can be the side effect of certain medications that are taken for ailments like cancer, arthritis, depression or heart conditions. Chemotherapy for cancer treatment is also known to cause loss of hair.

Hairstyles and Hair Treatments
Many women opt for different kinds of hairstyles and hair treatments like hair straightening, keratin procedures etc. Often, these hairstyles and treatments lead to hair fall and permanent hair damage if one is sensitive to these treatments.

Emotional stress caused due to variety of factors is also a common cause of hair fall in women

Treatments for Hair Loss in Women

Minoxidil is a popular treatment to address hair loss in both men and women. This US FDA approved medication’s 2% formulation can be used twice daily. If you intend to use its 5% formulation then it can be used once daily.

Cyproterone acetate
Cyproterone acetate and other anti androgens can be used to address rise in androgen levels and thereby inhibit hair fall. It sometimes may cause breast tenderness and weight gain primarily due to water retention. If the patient has both acne and hair thinning then this is a better therapeutic option. 

PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)
The patient's blood is drawn first and then platelets rich with growth factors are drawn and mixed with proteins and then injected into the areas of the scalp with scanty hair.

We use world-renowned ARTHREX technology, a marvel of German engineering, which increases the count of growth factors while minimizing any chances of contamination. It is also known as platelet rich fibrin (PRF). The fibrin - fibrinogen matrix releases growth factors even 7 to 10 days after treatment. PRF has been pioneered in India by Dr Divya Sharma and she has successfully done PRF treatment in hundreds of patients. 

Mesotherapy involves injecting a concoction of growth factors, peptides and vitamins into the scalp which strengthen hair follicles and inhibit hair fall. It may help in stopping sudden hair fall in clumps. 

A healthy diet supplemented by iron and protein supplements also help tremendously. Dr Divya Sharma. Advocates use of phytonutrients like pumpkin seeds, grape seed extract and curcumin (turmeric) extracts for hair loss

Lifestyle Change
It is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle which includes a balanced diet, some form of exercise and a stress free mind. Hair loss in women is challenging to treat but consulting a Dermatologist in Bangalore to arrest the hair loss and prevent hair thinning.

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Most of the women can have a positive family history in male relatives or mother. Only 20% of the patients actually are found to have elevated levels of male hormone in them. This can be explained by cutaneous hyperandrogenism where the sensitivity of the hair follicle is accentuated due to unknown facts but the level on blood is normal. PCOS patients more commonly have this condition as well.

We should avoid triggers like stress , western diet which is rich in processed foods, sedentary lifestyle, tight hairstyles , harsh shampoos. Also I would like to discourage patients from doing parlour procedures like Keratin treatments, straightening etc as they cause permanent hair damage. We encourage patients to be gentle in their daily hair grooming practices.

FDA has approved twice daily application of 2% Minoxidil for improving the hair growth. Once daily application of 5% Minoxidil can also be used for FPHL.

There is some role of Cyproterone acetate and other anti androgens in preventing the progression. PRP and Mesotherapy can be utilized to give results. Supplementation with iron and protein is really helpful. An active lifestyle and healthy routine is equally helpful. We have seen encouraging results with Arthrex PRP , the gold standard PRP in Whitefield , Bangalore.

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