Hair grows in follicles found in the outer layer of the skin, where a protein named keratin is produced continuously, which grows out as hair. As new hair cells are produced, the older ones are pushed out resulting in the formation of the hair. The normal length of hair growth in an year is estimated to be about six inches. Every human head contains about 1, 00,000 to 1, 50,000 hairs out of which approximately 100 hairs are lost every day.
Hair loss found in women is known as female pattern hair loss or baldness.
The causes for the hair loss found in women are not known. The following factors have a profound influence in the hair loss found in women.
2) Changes in androgen level. It is found that after menopause the hair in the head becomes thinner while the hair in the face becomes coarser.
3) Family history of baldness.
- ■ Hair thinning starts on top of the crown and widens through the center part.
- ■ Front hair line does not change except for a normal recession.
Hair loss does not progress to total hair loss as commonly seen in men.
The following are the procedure for diagnosing female hair loss.
- ■ Potential causes are eliminated one after another.
- ■ The pattern of hair loss can help to identify whether it is female hair loss or not.
- ■ Medical history can also give some clues regarding the hair loss experienced by the patient.
Your doctor may also examine the following conditions
- ■ Abnormal growth of hair found between the belly button and the waistline.
- ■ Enlargement of the clitoris and changes in the menstrual period.
- ■ New acnes, if any.
Your doctor may ask you to undergo some diagnostic tests like biopsy and blood tests to confirm the existence of skin problems, if any, which are contributing to the hair loss. He may also examine the hair under a microscope to understand the structure of the hair shaft.
In the case of female pattern baldness, the hair loss is moderate and hence no specific treatments are necessary if the patient is comfortable with the problem. However, as the hair loss is permanent it is better that the hair loss may be diagnosed in its early stage itself and undergo proper treatment so that the hair loss will not increase uncontrollably and cause irreparable damages.
A special medication named minoxidil is commonly used by surgeons. This medication is applied to the scalp. 2% concentration is suitable for women. This medicine helps to grow hair in one in four women. In some women, this medication helps to prevent the hair loss. This mediation has to be continued for a long period. Hair loss re appears as you stop taking this medicine. If this medicine is not giving any satisfactory results, your doctor may suggest some other medicines, which can be tried out.
In hair transplant tiny plugs of hair are removed from healthy areas where they grow well and are implanted in the areas where there is no or little hair. Minor scars may occur in the areas from where the hair was removed. In most cases, they are covered when the hair grows or are healed within a very short span of time. Transplanting g of hair can be expensive as you will have to undergo surgical procedure and the number of hair that has to be transplanted will be high. However, it has been found to be a very effective and successful method to solve the problem of female baldness because in most cases, they don’t show any appreciable differences and they look very natural.