Female pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is a common form of hair loss that affects women. While hair loss is more commonly associated with men, female pattern baldness can be just even more devastating, both physically and emotionally. In this article, we discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatments for female pattern baldness, as well as share tips for coping with this condition.
What Causes Female Pattern Baldness?
Female pattern baldness is caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. In most cases, it is inherited from either or both parents. The condition is triggered by an excess of male hormones, known as androgens, which can cause hair follicles to shrink and eventually stop producing hair.
One of the main hormones responsible for female pattern baldness is dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of the male hormone testosterone. DHT binds to receptors in hair follicles and causes them to shrink, resulting in thinner, shorter, and less visible hair. This process is known as miniaturization.
While genetics and hormones are the primary causes of female pattern baldness, other factors can also contribute to hair loss. These include stress, poor nutrition, medication side effects, and medical conditions such as thyroid problems or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Symptoms & Diagnosis
The symptoms of female pattern baldness can vary from person to person, but typically include thinning hair on the crown of the head, a widening part, and a receding hairline. Hair loss may be gradual or sudden, and can occur at any age, though it is most common in women over the age of 50.
Unlike male pattern baldness, which usually results in a complete bald spot, female pattern baldness is characterized by diffuse thinning, meaning the hair thins out all over the head rather than in a specific pattern. Women with this condition may also notice an increase in hair shedding and a decrease in hair volume.
Diagnosing female pattern baldness involves a physical examination and a review of medical history. A doctor will typically examine the scalp and hair, looking for signs of miniaturization and other symptoms of hair loss.
In some cases, blood tests may be ordered to check for underlying medical conditions that could be contributing to hair loss, such as thyroid problems or PCOS. A scalp biopsy may also be performed to analyze hair follicles and determine the cause of hair loss.
Treatments & Medications
There is no cure for female pattern baldness, but certain medications have been found effective treating hair loss. Unfortunately, these treatments are neither cruelty-free nor vegan. And they can contain harsh chemicals. Always check with your doctor, the manufacturer and do some personal research before using any of the following medication.
One of the most common treatments for female pattern baldness is minoxidil, a topical medication that is applied directly to the scalp. Minoxidil works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles, stimulating hair growth and preventing further hair loss. It is available over-the-counter and in prescription strength.
Another treatment option is finasteride, an oral medication that works by blocking the production of DHT, the hormone responsible for hair loss. Finasteride is only available by prescription and is typically used to treat male pattern baldness, but it can also be effective in women with female pattern baldness.
Other treatment options for female pattern baldness include low-level laser therapy, which uses a special light to stimulate hair growth, and hair transplant surgery, which involves transplanting healthy hair follicles from one part of the scalp to another.
Surgery techniques for female pattern baldness exist. They can seem scary, but they can be effective at hiding baldness if well-executed.
Hair Transplant Surgery
Hair transplant surgery for women is a procedure that involves moving hair follicles from one area of the scalp to another to restore hair growth. The procedure can be effective for women with pattern baldness or hair loss due to injury or scarring. However, it is important to note that hair transplant surgery is not suitable for all women and should be discussed with a qualified medical professional.
Scalp Reduction Surgery
Scalp reduction surgery for women is a procedure that involves removing a portion of the scalp with thinning or balding hair and stretching the remaining scalp to cover the area. This surgery is typically reserved for women with extensive hair loss who are not good candidates for hair transplant surgery. The procedure can be effective in restoring a more natural hairline, but it does involve some scarring and should only be performed by a qualified medical professional.
Vegan Tips for Managing Female Pattern Baldness
If for any reason you do not wish to use the above-listed solutions, there are safe and natural way to minimize hair loss. While these vegan-friendly strategies may help to manage female pattern baldness, they are not a cure. If you are experiencing significant hair loss, speak with your doctor to determine the underlying cause and explore all treatment options.
Eat a Balanced, Nutrient-Rich Diet
Eating a diet rich in plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, can provide your body with the nutrients it needs to promote healthy hair growth. Specifically, make sure you are getting enough protein, iron, and vitamins B12 and D. If you are not getting enough of these essential nutrients from your diet alone, you may consider taking a supplement. Vegan-friendly options include iron supplements, vitamin B12 supplements, and vitamin D supplements.
Use Natural Hair Care Products
Many conventional hair care products contain harsh chemicals that can damage the hair and contribute to hair loss. Look for natural, vegan-friendly hair care products that are gentle on your hair and scalp.
Also, avoid harsh styling practices: tight braids, weaves, or chemical treatments can cause damage to the hair follicles and lead to hair loss. Go for more gentle styling practices that don’t put unnecessary stress on the hair.
The Natural Miracle Conditioner
- Contains mountain spring water, apples, strawberries, rose, oranges, clove, ginger, pineapple, cranberries, blueberries, geranium, raspberries, blackberries, celery, boysenberries, orchid, coconut, papaya, marigold, hazelnut, pine needles, oak bark, chamomile, nutmeg, calendula, jamine, lemons, parsley, thyme, eucalyptus, cherry bark, passion flower and cinnamon
- No dyes, iodine, glycols, glycerins, sulfates, parabens, fragrance, phosphates or pesticides
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- 18 fl oz / 510 mL
All-Natural Shampoo Bar, Virgin Coconut and Argan Oil
- All-natural formula, combining argan, tea tree, olive, coconut, castor and hemp oil
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- 3.5 oz / 99 g
Try Herbal Remedies
Certain herbs, such as saw palmetto and stinging nettle, have been shown to help block the production of DHT, a hormone that contributes to female pattern baldness. You may consider taking a herbal supplement or using a topical product containing these herbs.
The Natural Miracle Conditioner
- Made with saw palmetto, berry powder and saw palmetto extract, standardized to 45% fatty acids
- No gluten, milk, soy, tree nuts, peanuts or wheat
- GMO free
- Vegan, cruelty-free
- 120 caps
Massage Your Scalp
Massaging your scalp can help to improve blood flow to the hair follicles and stimulate hair growth. You can do this with your fingers, a vegan brush or a scalp massager.
Practice Stress Management Techniques
Stress can contribute to hair loss, so finding ways to manage stress levels can be beneficial. This may include practicing relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga, or engaging in activities that you enjoy.
Coping strategies for dealing with female pattern baldness involve addressing the psychological impact of hair loss, such as seeking emotional support from loved ones, practicing self-care and positive self-talk, exploring therapy or counseling options, and finding ways to redefine one’s self-concept beyond external appearance.
Dealing With Female Pattern Baldness
Dealing with female pattern baldness can be difficult, especially for women who are used to having a full head of hair. However, there are several coping strategies that can help make the condition more manageable.
Women should seek support from loved ones, friends, or support groups. Hair loss can be a sensitive topic, and it can be helpful to have a safe space to talk about the emotional impact of the condition.
Hairstyles & Haircuts
Another way to cope with female pattern baldness is to experiment with different hairstyles and haircuts that can help conceal thinning hair. A skilled hairstylist can help create a flattering look that makes the most of your remaining hair.
Health & Wellness
Finally, it’s important to prioritize self-care and take steps to maintain overall health and wellness. As mentioned before, eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and managing stress may all help reduce the risk of hair loss.
Even if well-documented and carefully written, this content should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Consult a qualified health care provider before making any health care decisions about any specific medical condition.