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Overview on hair loss in women PDF Print E-mail

Hair loss is relatively common in women with about 30% experiencing at least some degree of thinning in their lifetime. Because female hair loss tends to be diffuse (less hair all over), rather than showing the characteristic "patterned alopecia" of men, and the fact that the frontal hairline in women is often maintained, there is a misconception that hair loss in women is rare - but it is not.

 The psychological effects of hair loss can be significant, and many women are emotionally affected even when thinning is in its very early stages. This is, in part, due to the assumption that few women lose their hair and that, in contrast to men

 To add to the problem, the widely used medication, Propecia, is not indicated for women, so there is a perception that medical progress in treating female hair loss is not as advanced, or that the medical community does not take the treatment of female hair loss as seriously. Lastly, because hair loss in women can so often be disguised with existing hair, many women choose to hide their hair loss from others. Not sharing their problem tends to isolate them and makes the ability to deal with their hair loss more difficult.

Hair loss in women is generally very gradual, with the rate accelerating during pregnancy and at menopause. It is more often cyclical than in men, with seasonal changes that reverse themselves, and it is more easily affected by hormonal changes, medical conditions, and external factors.

The most common pattern of hair loss in women is diffuse and since a diffuse pattern can be caused by a number of medical conditions other than common genetic hair loss If an underlying medical cause can be found and treated, the hair loss can often be reversed.

 It is particularly important, however, for any women considering a surgical solution, to have a careful physical examination to make sure that the diagnosis is correct and to determine that they have an adequate donor hair supply. For those women in whom surgical hair restoration is indicated, special surgical skills are required to achieve optimal results. It is a mistake for a surgeon to assume that hair loss in women can be treated the same way as in men.

The sub-sections under hair loss in women explain what actually causes female hair loss, how it is classified, and how the diagnosis is made. (Cause, Classification, Diagnosis). Medical and surgical treatments are discussed in detail in other parts of this site (Medical Treatments, Hair Transplantation).
 
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