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Women’s Hair Loss – alopecia

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Hair loss in women is on the rise and is now a common phenomenon. According to research, it is estimated that around 15% of the female population will experience hair loss at some point in their lives. The onset of thinning and thinning hair is likely to be observed as early as 20 years of age; the problem increases after the age of 40, when at least 40% of women will be affected by the phenomenon of hair loss. After the age of 50, more than half of women will notice strong signs of hair loss.

Normally, most people lose about 50-100 hairs a day. During the phenomenon of hair loss there is increased shedding.

If you feel that your hair has thinned out compared to before it is advisable to consult an experienced dermatologist.  Causes such as diet disorders and stress, low iron levels, thyroid disorders and hormonal imbalances can lead to hair loss. Healthy and luscious hair requires proper nutrition and good functioning of the endocrine system.

Under normal conditions, each hair grows about 1.2 cm per month and completes its cycle every 6 years. When it reaches its expected length, it remains stable for some time and then falls off. Soon the new hair starts to grow out.

Causes of hair loss in women

The causes of the appearance of thinning of the scalp in women are divided into physiological and pathological.

Some of the most common causes of hair loss are the following:

  • Season and diet
  • Hormonal disorders, such as pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, polycystic ovaries
  • pathological causes, such as endocrine disorders, drugs, chemicals
  • genetic factors – hereditary predisposition
  • psychological factors, e.g. stress
  • autoimmune diseases
  • iron deficiencies – anaemia – thyroid diseases
  • weight loss

Extensive hair loss may be temporary, as the hair follicle is not damaged and the hair can grow back. Hair loss after childbirth or cancer treatment is likely to be restored.

In any case, early and targeted investigation of the causes will help in the immediate treatment of the problem.

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Types of hair loss – hair thinning

Diffuse alopecia: total loss of hair from the whole head.

Androgenetic alopecia: hair becomes more sensitive, thinning on the frontal surface, just behind the hairline, but remains thick at the back. It is associated with male hormones, without excess testosterone being observed. The hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) causes hair follicles to produce thinner hair until they stop. Androgenetic alopecia can be caused at any age, is progressive and hereditary. It is reminiscent of male pattern baldness and affects women’s self-esteem and self-confidence.

Alopecia areata: an autoimmune disease that can lead to total baldness. The hair however comes back although the problem is likely to recur.

How is hair loss diagnosed?

The diagnosis of hair loss is carried out by a qualified dermatologist who examines, analyses and assesses the exact condition of the scalp and hair.  The diagnosis is accompanied by taking the patient’s medical history.

Treatment of hair loss with medication

There are three medications approved against hair loss by the US FDA, Food and Drug Administration, minoxidil, finasteride and dutasteride. These three drugs are used to treat hair loss in the form of androgenetic alopecia.

Finasteride is more indicated for men, as it blocks the action of testosterone in the hair follicles, while minoxidil in women has the same effect. Dutasteride is indicated only for women and its mechanism of action is similar to that of finasteride. You should always consult your dermatologist before taking medication for any side effects.

Treating Hair Loss with Hair Transplantation

The only and definitive solution to treat thinning and hair loss is hair transplantation. The dermatologist, after examining the patient who is a candidate for hair transplantation, decides if he or she meets the necessary requirements to undergo hair transplantation. Hair transplantation is an ideal option for severe cases of hair loss. The FUE method is easily performed and provides excellent results.

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