Can a Woman have male pattern baldness?
Male pattern baldness in woman
For a woman, her hair is not only an element of vanity and pride but also of her identity. The loss of it can become disturbing and debilitating to her self-image and self-esteem. While men often are a sport about it, balding is downright scary for women. Many of my patients in curiosity ask can a woman have male pattern baldness? Yes, women can also have male pattern baldness. I will give information about pattern baldness in detailed.
What causes male pattern baldness in women?
Pattern baldness is also called Androgenetic Alopecia. It can affect both male and female pattern baldness. It is a mainly hereditary pattern of hair loss and it most commonly is seen after menopause. Studies reveal that about 40% of the women show signs of hair loss and start experiencing female pattern baldness by the age of 50, and less than 45% women reach the astute age of 80 with a head full of hair. But symptoms are seen in their 30s and 40s itself.
Female pattern baldness has a strong genetic predisposition, that is polygenic in nature. So if you have a history of baldness in your family, you’re susceptible to experiencing it yourself. It is responsible for both males and females.
Androgens are a group of hormones linked to male traits, but present in both males and females, and are thought to be responsible for hair loss. These hormones include testosterone, and its derivative called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Ironically, DHT is essential for most hair growth, but it is damaging to head hair growth.
Since female pattern hair loss starts presenting only in midlife, ageing and menopause are thought to play a role. The role of estrogen, too, is uncertain. Because though the symptoms increase after menopause when estrogen levels become low, suggesting that estrogen may indeed be stimulatory for hair growth, studies indicate otherwise.
Hormones sway the cycles of hair growth and loss, thus female pattern hair loss may also be observed in conditions exhibiting hormonal imbalance like ovarian cysts, menopause, use of high androgen index birth control pills, androgen-secreting tumours, thyroid disorders, use of certain medications etc.
Male or female pattern baldness symptoms
The decrease in the number of hair is observed in both, men and women; but the pattern differs. Hair loss in men is at the front and sides of the scalp, progressing to the back (receding hairline), and also affects the crown.
Let’s check the points in women, and how the pattern of hair loss is seen
- It is more diffuse and less noticeable than in men.
- In females generally, hair thins mainly on the top and crown of the scalp.
- It usually starts with widening through the centre hair part.
- The front hairline remains unaffected except for normal recession, as observed in everyone with ageing.
- The hair loss progresses gradually and rarely does it progress to total or complete baldness, as it may in men.
Stages of female pattern baldness
Several scales measure hair loss, but the two most common standards are the Ludwig Scale and Savin Scale. The scales are almost identical, except that while the Ludwig Scale measures only the overall thinning, Savin Scale measures overall thinning as well as the density in the hair.
- Hair thins out all over the scalp, parting gets wider.
- The thinning part is now obvious, and you may have lost half of your hair.
- One can easily see through to your scalp with almost 70% of your hair thinned out.
Treatment for female pattern baldness
The treatments for female pattern hair loss may take up to a year to start working and need to be continued long-term to maintain those results and prevent you from losing hair again.
Minoxidil and Finasteride are the only drugs approved by the FDA for treating female pattern baldness. Available as 2% or 5% topical solution, it needs to be applied to your scalp every day. It stops or slows down hair loss in the majority of the cases, and also induces significant hair regrowth in half of them. But the treatment is expensive, and hair loss may recur once minoxidil is discontinued.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
PRP injections into the scalp can improve both, hair density and hair thickness by delivering a high concentration of growth factors, stimulating hair regrowth.
Laser combs and helmets
These are FDA-approved to treat hair loss by using light energy to stimulate hair regrowth.
Hair transplant is a more permanent solution to solve your hair loss troubles. It consists of the removal of tiny plugs of hair from areas where the hair is continuing to grow and placing them in the balding areas.
You can call us on +91-7888 091 119, we will be happy to guide you clearly. Do share with your family members if you feel this article is good for you.
” Correction of physical appearance and making it aesthetically perfect is not a mere status issue, its about making your soul comfortable in your body “
-Dr. Dhananjay Chavan