Double board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sang W. Kim of the Natural Face™ Clinics, specialize in hair loss for women residing in the Syracuse metropolitan area and Central New York area including Ithaca, and Rochester.
While many people associate hair loss with men, women are also affected by progressive, hereditary hair loss. Up to 40% of women are affected by female pattern hair loss over their lifetime. Unlike the pattern of hair loss seen in men, female pattern hair loss tends to be more diffuse with gradual thinning of the hair at the front and the top of the scalp. Typically women tend to preserve the frontal hairline.
Mechanism of androgenetic hair loss in women
The mechanism for androgenetic hair loss in women is far more complex than in men. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) remains to be the main cause for miniaturization (thinning) and subsequent loss of hair in women. However, unlike in men where testosterone converted to DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, women have another enzyme called aromatase which converts testosterone to estradiol products. Essentially aromatase is competing and taking away testoterone from become DHT which explains why female pattern hair loss seldom involve the frontal hairline where more aromatase is present. The fact that women have less 5-alpha reductase to synthesize DHT and have aromatase to shunt testosterone to estradiol are also the reasons why female pattern hair loss tends to be more diffuse.
Diffuse central hair loss is noted. The markings show the anterior hairline and the lateral borders.
Other causes of hair loss: Systemic medical conditions
Because there are medical conditions which can cause diffuse pattern of hair loss similar to hereditary female pattern hair loss, your surgeon will carefully review your medical history. Examples of systemic medical conditions that may cause hair loss in women include anemia, gynecological conditions or mentrual changes, psychological stress, autoimmune disorders (such as lupus), thyroid conditions, or malnutrition. If systemic medical condition is the cause for hair loss, often times the hair loss will reverse when the medical condition is corrected.
Other causes of hair loss: Medications
There are medications that have been known to cause hair loss. Some of these medications include blood thinners, seizure medications, beta blockers, prednisone, cholesterol medications, thyroid medication, and anti-depressants. Typically patients will describe shedding of their hair over the several months. If medication is the cause for hair loss, when the medication is stopped, patients will experience reversal of the hair loss.
Lastly, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are known to cause diffuse hair loss. Once the therapy is finished, patients will typically experience returning of the hair although it may not be to the baseline level prior to the therapy.
Numerous medications and supplements promise to help grow and prevent further loss of hair. Currently, minoxidil topical agent (Rogaine®) is the only FDA-approved medical treatment for women affected by androgenetic alopecia in the United States.
Double board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sang W. Kim at Natural Face Clinics specialize in aesthetic enhancement of the face, head, and neck, exclusively. Patients come to see us from the Syracuse metropolitan area and Central New York area including Ithaca, and Rochester. At Natural Face Clinics, we specialize in restoring the youthful neck contour, tired appearance of the brows and eyes, and skin laxity. We offer customized treatment, both surgical and non-surgical, including facelift, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), nose surgery (rhinoplasty), brow lift, neck lift, and skin resurfacing. Find out more by scheduling your personal consultation today.