When you think of hair loss it’s natural to assume that it’s a condition that predominantly affects men. Some experts however suggest that as many as one in four women will experience hair loss at some time in their lives. So why don’t we see and hear more about it? Perhaps the answer has something to do with one or more of the following:
– Women are better at disguising hair loss.
– Women’s hair loss is generally less extensive in terms of severity.
– Women’s hair loss tends to be spread evenly over the head rather than concentrated in one or two spots.
So why do women lose hair – are the causes very different to those that result in male baldness? There are probably three common reasons for hair loss in women:
1. Female pattern baldness – believe it or not, most women affected by hair loss lose it for the same reasons as men. They suffer from androgenetic alopecia which is a reaction to male hormones in the body, specifically the conversion of testosterone into the hair-unfriendly DHT. In the case of women, pattern baldness may start later and the effects may be less extreme due to the influence of female hormones, but the condition is nonetheless the same as that found in male pattern baldness.
2. Telogen effluvium – this is regarded as the second most common cause of women’s hair loss and this is unsurprising given the nature of the condition. Telogen effluvium is characterized by a general thinning of the hair and is usually brought about as a result of some traumatic event causing sufficient stress to interfere with the normal hair growth cycle. Given that pregnancy is a prime example of the type of event that can shock the hair growth cycle then perhaps the high incidence of telogen effluvium amongst women is only to be expected.
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