Hair loss has become an increasingly common issue for women and there are many different reasons why it can occur. Along with stress, diet, hormones, scalp conditions and autoimmune conditions, it could be caused by female pattern baldness.
Medically known as androgenetic alopecia, female pattern baldness occurs for much the same reason as male pattern baldness, but it presents itself in a very different way in women. So, how can you recognise if you’re suffering from this problem that is thought to affect 50 per cent of women over the age of 65.
How does female pattern baldness present itself?
With male pattern baldness, the tell-tale signs of the condition are a receding hairline and thinning across the vertex of the scalp, with the remaining hair often forming a horseshoe shape at the back of the scalp. However, it’s very rare for female pattern baldness to result in either baldness or a receding hairline. Instead, it tends to cause more of an overall thinning of the hair with a widening of the central parting.
It is worth noting, some hair thinning will occur seen as a woman ages, but this isn’t necessarily down to female pattern hair loss, but a general sign of ageing that happens to everyone. However, if you are concerned, it is worth contacting a doctor to see if there’s another potential cause.
What are the first hair loss signs to look out for?
The widening of the parting is usually one of the first signs of female pattern hair loss. However, you should also look out for how many hairs you are shedding each day.
Generally speaking, all women lose anything from 50 to 100 hairs every day. This is considered absolutely normal. If you appear to be losing considerably more hairs than this, it could be an indicator of female pattern baldness. However, other hair loss conditions will need to be ruled out beforehand.
Check your hair brush to see how many hairs are left behind after brushing. You can also see whether the hair is thinning when you tie it back. If you start to need to use another loop in the hair tie to secure the hair, it could be a sign of thinning.
While the condition does largely start to appear in women over the age of 50, it can start earlier. Some women in their 30s will start to experience the signs so age isn’t always a reliable factor.
Is there a way to prevent female pattern baldness?
Female pattern baldness is thought to be caused by a genetic sensitivity to the hormone dihydrotestosterone and as of yet there is no absolute cure. However, there are treatments available which can slow down the rate of progression. The key is to spot the signs and start appropriate treatment as early as possible.
Topical treatments and medications tend to be the first course of action and can prove to be extremely effective. However, it is important to seek an accurate diagnosis before any treatments are started.
Overall, there are many reasons why you may be experiencing hair loss. Understanding the signs of female pattern baldness can give you a good idea of whether it is likely to be the cause of your hair loss. However, a proper diagnosis is essential if you want to successfully treat the condition.