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Know About Female Pattern Baldness

Author: Cynthia Jones

Female pattern baldness can be termed as a major problem for women. This disease makes women have baldness in a bit similar pattern as men have in male pattern baldness. It can start even in teenage.

What can be the causes of this female baldness?

There are various causal factors of female pattern baldness among women. The production of androgenetic hormones and its effect on hair follicles can be termed as the main reason.

Role of androgen - The male hormone androgen plays key role in female pattern baldness, as they do in male pattern baldness.

Adrenal glands and ovaries are the main sources of androgens in females. Androgens like dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) produced by the adrenal glands can be converted to testosterone by enzymes.

In females it is dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) from the adrenal glands that plays the key precursor of DHT. It needs conversion by both alpha 5 reductase enzymes and hydroxysteroid hydrogenase isomerase enzyme.

Genetic factor – Genes inherited from parents play a very important role in female pattern baldness. You may develop this problem if, suppose, your grandmother was suffering from it.

Alopecia Areata - Another cause of female baldness is Alopecia Areata. It causes a patchy hair loss from the scalp and sometimes eyebrows. And in this case the hair loss can be episodic and recurrent.

Traction alopecia - Traction alopecia also figures among the list of causes. It entails consistent traction pressure on hair follicles. One possible cause of traction alopecia is tight braiding.

Trichotillomania - The compulsive hair plucking called Trichotillomania also contributes to the cause of hair loss.

Telogen effluvium - Telogen effluvium also plays a causal factor in female baldness. It causes accelerated hair loss that may have hormonal, nutritional, drug-associated or stress-associated causes.

Post-pregnancy factor - The problem can also occur as post-pregnancy development. It is sometimes found to happen after the discontinuation of birth-control pills. The condition is often accompanied by other signs of hormonal imbalance including excess facial and body hair.

Female pattern hair loss characteristics

In female pattern baldness, the hair of the affected woman starts thinning over the top and front of the head. It is possible for any woman to face the problem. However, women generally suffer from this problem after their menopause.

On an average, women lose around 100-125 hairs per day. It is a normal condition. The condition is apparently serious when the hair loss frequency is higher.

The pattern of hair loss may vary from person to person. However, the hair loss patterns may include the following –

• Diffuse hair thinning over the entire scalp, often with more conspicuous thinning toward the back of the scalp.
• Diffuse hair thinning over the entire scalp, with more conspicuous thinning toward the front of the scalp without involving the frontal hairline.
• Diffuse hair thinning over the entire scalp, with more conspicuous thinning toward the front of the scalp, while involving and sometimes breaching the frontal hairline.
Women suffering from female pattern baldness tend to have miniaturizing hairs of varying diameters over all affected areas of the scalp. Hair miniaturizing is a feature of androgenetic alopecia. However, the condition may also be related to other causes. For example, in post-menopausal stage a woman’s hair may experience miniaturization and become difficult to style.

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About the Author:

Cynthia Jones is a hair care specialist with seven years experience in handling female pattern baldness. Apart from counseling women on various hair care problems, she is also into writing articles in newspapers, magazines and web sites, discussing common follicular unit transplantation.

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