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What is female pattern baldness?


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2010-10-08 02:55:13
2010-10-08 02:55:13
Female Pattern Baldness

Male pattern hair loss usually begins with a receding hairline and then the hair at the top of the head and at the back starts to go. But in female pattern baldness, the hair loss starts with general thinning all over the scalp with the most hair loss at the crown of the head. Although the hairline remains almost intact, the hair behind the hairline starts to thin and results in a bald spot.

Genetics is the main cause of female pattern baldness and it can come from either side of the family. As with male baldness, the chief culprit remains dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a chemical that binds to the hair follicles and causes them to die. But the degree of baldness differs in women as compared to men because of the protection provided by the female hormone estrogen.

There are also other factors responsible for female pattern baldness, namely:

  • Physical Stress: During a severe illness and surgeries, the body focuses its energy towards making the body strong and thus shuts down the production of hair as that is not a life-threatening situation. Normally, after the physical stress is dealt with, hair growth re-starts but could take 9 months to a year for any noticeable difference.
  • Emotional Anxiety: Severe emotional stress, such as caused by a death in the family or mental instability can also lead to female pattern baldness.
  • Hormonal Changes: This is another cause for hair loss in women. Hormonal changes that happen during Poly Cystic Ovarian Disorder (PCOD) can cause hair loss. Similarly, pregnancy and using birth control pills also cause hormonal changes, which can lead to hair loss. But most of these can easily be corrected by proper medication.
  • Diet: Females are more prone to dieting than men. Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are also more rampant in women. These eating habits lead to nutritional deficiencies, which can then lead to hair loss.
  • Medication: Excessive doses of vitamin A, anti-thyroid medicines, and hypertension medicines are also known to cause hair loss in women.

  • Other Health Conditions: Thyroid problems, lupus, and diabetes can accelerate hair loss. Obviously, these need to be diagnosed by a physician.

  • Alopecia Areata: This is an autoimmune condition characterized by circular patches of baldness. Basically, the body is attacking the hair follicles.

  • Too much hair styling: If you manipulate your hair too much, color and treat too much, blow dry and heat with curling irons and hot rollers too much, you will see increased hair loss.

Related Questions

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The male pattern baldness (MPB) form of androgenetic alopecia (there is also a female pattern baldness) accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men.

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Rogaine for women may be able to help. See a dermatologist.

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The most famous cure for male pattern baldness is a myth. This form of baldness is caused when the hair follicle gradually becomes smaller, which results in shorter and finer hair until there is eventually is no hair left. There is no cure for male pattern baldness.

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There have been many claims that male pattern baldness is reversal.

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In most cases, yes. The FDA has approved Minoxidil to reverse male pattern baldness and regrow hair.


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