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Dealing with Female Pattern Baldness
by April Maguire
If you think you can avoid going bald simply because you're a woman, think again. In fact, it's estimated that roughly half of all women over the age of 65 suffer from some degree of hair thinning or loss, and for some women, it can be significant.
As with men, the majority of female hair loss is due to androgenetic alopecia. When it happens to men, the ensuing pattern of baldness is pretty standard, usually resulting in a receding hairline in the front and an expanding bald patch on the crown of the head. For women, however, there is no such telltale pattern, as thin or bald patches can occur virtually anywhere on the head.
At this point, you're probably wondering what causes this kind of baldness. And, perhaps even more important, what can you do to stop it? When it comes to those questions, there's some good news and some bad news.
What Causes Androgenetic Alopecia?
Let's start with the bad news. Androgenetic alopecia is a genetically inherited disorder, meaning you received the genes for it either from your mother or your father. So take a look at your parents and grandparents, and if there's a history of baldness in the family, then odds are it's going to strike you as well.
Typically, women start to notice female-pattern baldness in their 40s or 50s, although it has been known to happen much earlier. Oftentimes, other types of hair loss are confused with female pattern baldness. For example, taking certain kinds of medication or getting pregnant can throw your hormones off balance and cause you to lose your hair, but most of the time the hair will grow back once the hormones normalize. If, however, you notice your lost hair isn't showing any signs of returning, then you're probably dealing with the dreaded female-pattern baldness.
What Can You Do About It?
Sadly, there is no universal cure for androgenetic alopecia. There are, however, certain medications, such as Rogaine, that are formulated for women and can offer some relief. Alternatively, many women who are going through hair loss decide to invest in wigs, hats, and other hair coverings. These options offer simple ways to disguise the problem and increase self-confidence while in public. And of course, there is always the option of follicle transplantation, wherein new hairs are grafted onto bald patches.
No matter how you deal with it, however, hair loss can be stressful for women. So really, the best piece of advice is to try to stay upbeat and positive, don't lose your sense of humor, and remember that you're not defined by the amount of hair on your head.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!