Noticeable hair loss can be deeply distressing. Surprisingly, one-third of women in the United States will experience thinning or balding as they age. However, hair loss does not have to be permeant as there are now several options available to regain a full head of hair. Let’s take a look at the best options and treatments available to combat female hair loss.
Female Hair Loss
Many circumstances throughout a woman’s life can cause hair loss, such as giving birth or dealing with high levels of stress. Fortunately, these issues are not permeant and hair growth usually occurs once the underlying issue has been resolved.
Like men, females also suffer from pattern baldness. The hormone androgen, which regulates hair growth, affects the growth cycle by creating a longer than average resting stage. With pattern baldness, bald spots do not appear overnight. Instead, each hair cycle the hair follicle returns thinner and shorter, meaning balding takes place over time.
Unfortunately, in either sex, pattern baldness is inherited and hair loss cannot be reversed.
Male Pattern Baldness vs. Female Pattern Baldness
Pattern baldness affects men and women differently. With this condition, hair loss in women can technically start as soon as they reach puberty. However, this is rare and most women start noticing a difference after they reach menopause.
For women, the pattern and shape of hair loss is significantly different when compared to a man. The average male will lose their hair in an M shape; thinning at the forehead and moving backward. For women, the hair loss takes place at the crown and usually can be identified when the part starts to look wider than normal.
Non-surgical Hair Loss Options
If hair loss is occurring, take a careful look at your current lifestyle. Excessive hair loss in women is usually associated with external factors stressing the body. Certain medications can also cause excessive hair loss. A malfunctioning thyroid is linked to unbalanced hormones, which can affect the hair growth and health. Childbirth, anemia, and diet all place stress on the body, causing hair to break and fall out.
Before seeking a hair transplant, speak with your general practitioner to see if there are lifestyle changes that will help with your hair loss.
Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
FUT is also referred to as the STRIP Harvesting method because it involves removing a strip of hair from the back of your head and transplanting it the area you want to stimulate growth. The STRIP Harvesting technique removes follicular sections in a large group, which allows the units to remain intact while they are extracted. This process is faster than other methods since the hair is removed in one large unit. If done carefully, the scarring is minimal, and the patient can normally still wear short hair after the area has healed. Local anesthesia is also used to lessen any possible discomfort.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
FUE is a hair transplant procedure that is much less invasive, does not involve cutting, and does not result in linear scars. A trained technician uses a specially developed device to extract individual follicles of hair and reinsert them into the target area, usually one follicle at a time. This particular process is fantastic because it is precise and allows the doctor more control over the results. FUE is also much more comfortable for the patient.