Hair loss is becoming a frequent complaint in female patients these days. Approach towards their cause, diagnosis, treatment is very different.
Q) What causes hair loss in women?
Hair loss in women can be caused by various causes.
Hormonal - Certain hormonal disorders like thyroid disease can negatively impact hair growth and is one of the most common reasons.
Nutritional - Certain nutritional deficiencies like iron deficiency anaemia, lack of protein in diet is a risk factor for hair loss. Most of the working women these days suffer from an imbalance in diet due to busy work schedule and are found to be lacking on examination.
Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOS) – There is a rising incidence in women of this common metabolic disorder known as PCOS. The hyper insulin levels do not allow hair growth and cause increased hair fall.
Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) - This is the female counterpart of male pattern baldness but androgens play a very less role. It commonly presents with an increased widening of the central parting or diffuse hair loss.
Q) What is the cause of female pattern hair loss?
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.
Q) What are the treatment modalities in women?
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.
Q)What are the daily changes that will help in preventing the hair loss in women?
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.