Female Pattern Baldness

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hair matters.

According to noted Arizona State University sociologist Rose Weitz, “Our hair is one of the first things others notice about us and one of the primary ways we declare our identity to them.” She notes there are three basic reasons hair is so important to our psyches.

  1. It’s personal - our hair grows directly out of our bodies.
  2. It’s public - our hair is typically on display for the whole world to see
  3. It’s malleable - our hair is one part of our bodies that we can control and change at a whim.

Yes, hair matters to everyone, but especially to women. In fact, women in America spend more on beauty than they do on education every year. So, when you notice some tell-tale thinning over the central area of your scalp and a widening of the midline part, it’s easy to get emotional about it. The truth is, hair loss in women is not all that uncommon. Up to 50 percent of women will experience female pattern hair loss during their lifetime.

The real question is; what can you do about it? Unfortunately, the answer is; not much. Topical application of minoxidil 2% (brand name Rogaine) is the only treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of female pattern hair loss in women older than 18 years. But topical medications like minoxidil don’t work on all women, or even most women. According to the American Hair Loss Association, clinical studies of mostly white women aged 18-45 years with mild to moderate degrees of hair loss, reported moderate hair regrowth in only 19 percent of women, and another 40 percent reported minimal hair regrowth after eight months of using the product.

Balding tends to take a heavier psychological toll on women than men, says Weitz. Options for dealing with female pattern hair loss may include some creative cosmetologically such as finding a great hairstyle that camouflages the thin spots or using a hair piece or wig. And a number of women have seen excellent results with hair transplantation. But before you decide on any course of treatment, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends visiting your dermatologist to make sure there isn’t an underlying condition that needs to be treated.