SOLUTIONS TO FEMALE THINNING HAIR AND HAIR LOSS IN WOMEN
Most health practitioners and hairdressers would agree they are seeing increasing numbers of pre and postmenopausal women experiencing hair loss problems. It’s estimated over 90% of these women can be grouped into two categories of female hair loss:
- Female androgenetic alopecia from some form of hormonal change, and
- Diffuse (“all over”) hair loss from a nutritional disturbance, principally low iron levels.
1. Female Androgenetic Alopecia:
With the current prescription medication available, male genetic balding is relatively uncomplicated to treat. Conversely, the causes of female hair loss may be as simple as the wrong choice of contraceptive, or the effects of an endocrine tumor requiring immediate medical intervention.
Half a century ago female genetic thinning was almost exclusively a problem of post-menopausal women.
The exponential rise in the numbers of younger women developing genetic thinning is multi-factorial, but is thought to be in part due to the advent of synthetic hormones used in contraceptive and hormone replacement therapies.
In a woman with the inherited tendency to develop it, genetic hair thinning is always triggered by some event that causes fluctuations in her body’s hormone balance.
Female pattern genetic thinning is characterized by a progressive thinning-out of the top, temple and/or crown areas of the scalp. Unlike men’s genetic hair loss, not all the hair follicles across the top of a woman’s scalp are affected – thus ‘thinning’ of the hair density occurs rather than total baldness.
Assessing and Treating Female Androgenetic Alopecia
The numerous factors having the potential to both initiate and/or impact female genetic thinning make it essential for a careful and detailed history to be taken by the treating practitioner.
Circumstances surrounding the onset of the problem, signs/symptoms of hormonal disturbance, menstrual or reproductive difficulties, and current contraceptive/hormone replacement therapy are the predominant issues to explore.
For some time now the accepted treatment regime for female androgenetic alopecia has centered on some form of oral hormonal therapy, either as prescription anti-male hormone medication (Androcur/Aldactone) or phytohormones.
Hormonal profiling is the specific way to assess whether or not a woman’s hormones are in balance. However, because pre-menopausal hormone levels often vary from day to day, it’s vital that “patterns” of symptoms over time are assessed, and assessed in conjunction with the woman’s “total picture” of diet, stress levels, lifestyle, medical history, and blood test results.
Minoxidil topical solution in combination with the NHR is now considered the specific treatment regime for hair loss of hormonal origin.
2. Diffuse Hair Loss:
Diffuse hair loss is excessive hair loss from all over the entire scalp. Because the growing hair is very sensitive to nutritional, metabolic or environmental disturbances, hair is often one of the first areas of the body to reflect disturbances in physiological functioning.
When hair loss is subtle, slowly thinning out over many months or even years, the underlying cause is likely to be a nutritional or metabolic disturbance.
Hypervitaminosis or mineral overdose resulting from dietary intake is very rare, rather it occurs over time from the excessive consumption of supplements.
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