Female Baldness: Not just a guy problem

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One of the best kept secrets of cosmetics is this: men are not the only ones who suffer from hair loss. Androgenic alopecia, commonly called pattern baldness, can also affect women. In fact, it’s common.

Like men, women can suffer from androgenic alopecia, the scientific name for pattern baldness. Most women don’t notice any significant hair loss until after menopause (although it can begin as early as puberty). During menopause, the body undergoes permanent changes in hormone production. The result is an increase in androgen, the hormone that causes hair loss.

Pattern baldness in women progresses in a different pattern than in men. Whereas men typically experience a receding hair line and a thinning of hair at the crown of the head, female hair loss occurs without a distinctive pattern. Instead, hair tends to become thinner all over the head and hairlines very rarely recede. Also, female pattern baldness rarely progresses to the point of total baldness, though this is somewhat common in men.

A common belief among women is that excessively coloring or perming your hair can contribute to permanent hair loss. This is a myth.

Treatment for Female Baldness

While men may tend to lose more hair due to pattern baldness than women, they face fewer social repercussions if they choose not to take steps to treat their hair loss. Bald men are common in our society; bald women are not. While men face few, if any, negative consequences for becoming bald (apart from being the butt of a few “cue ball” jokes), the same can’t be said for women. Many balding women feel ashamed to be seen in public.

A double standard clearly exists, and because of this, many women who experience hair loss feel desperate to take steps to counteract it. Some women turn to the drug minoxidil (sold as Rogaine), but it is only marginally effective in the majority of women. For many women, hair transplants are the preferred treatment option. Several sessions may be required, but the results are often permanent and most women who have undergone the procedure are pleased with the results.

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