Women Hair Loss and Female Androgenetic Alopecia
Female Androgenetic Alopecia (FAA) is the most common cause of hair loss in women. The percentage of women with hair loss is clearly lower than that of men, with only 10% of women up to the age of 50 suffering from hair loss. These low rates are maintained until the menopause, which, unfortunately, 50% of women will experience severe hair loss after stopping the production of female hormones (estrogens) that protect hair follicles.
What happens in Female Androgenetic Alopecia is the gradual shrinkage of hair follicles. Shrink hair follicles produce thinner, colorless hairs, hair growth rate is dramatically reduced, hair remains less and less on the scalp so the skin of the head gradually begins to appear.

normal hair and shrinked hair women

On the left, a trichoscopic image of healthy hair follicles. Notice the difference on the right, when hair follicle thinning occurs.

Primary actions against Hair loss

Women pay more attention to their hair and observe changes even on a daily basis. Styling problems may reveal the first signs of Hair Loss. The positive thing is that the slow onset of FAA allows women to change their hairstyle, up to a point of course, in order to hide or cover their dilution. fringe, ponytail, extensions, or buns can hide hair loss.

Women's hairstyles with healthy hair

Women can choose among different hairstyles to cover hair loss.

Regardless of whether they can hide it, hair loss is a painful psychological ordeal for women. Thinning hair can make a woman feel older and less attractive, and the psychological impact on women with FAA is significantly negative.

The appearance of hair loss in women.

  • The typical Female Androgenetic Alopecia pattern leaves the hairline intact and shows a hair loss from there and back, mainly at the top of the scalp.
  • The most noticeable sign is that the fringe becomes wider,
  • Some women with Female Androgenetic Alopecia have a generalized and uniform hair loss throughout the scalp, even in the back.

Generalized hair loss is not always inherited, and women should undergo full medical examinations with a wide variety of laboratory tests.

Female Androgenetic Alopecia: heredity & hormones

grandmother mother and daughter hairline

In most cases, women with FAA have a mother or other close relative with a similar problem.

As we have said, the most common form of Hair Loss in women is FAA and it occurs exclusively in women who are genetically predisposed. In women with FAA, more than 75% have a relative woman (mother, sister, aunts and grandmother) with a similar problem.
Compared to men, the mechanism of hair loss in women is not so understandable. In some women, Female Androgenetic Alopecia is associated with an increase in male sex hormones (Androsterone, Testosterone and DHT), but in general, in most cases, normal hormonal levels are maintained. Doctors use the Ludwig classification to describe hair loss in women.

  • Type I is associated with a mild local hair loss and slight enlargement in the fringe.
  • Type II is associated with increased hair loss and moderate to significant enlargement in the fringe.
  • Type III is associated with extensive alopecia.
Savin's table for women's hair loss

Ludwig’s classification of Female Androgenetic Alopecia.

Other causes of hair loss in women

Beyond FAA, female dilution can result from many medical conditions such as:

  • Iron deficiency
  • Anemia
  • Diseases of the thyroid
  • Ovarian diseases
  • Weight loss caused by eating disorders
  • Use of medication (contraceptives, β-blockers, vitamin A, thyroid medicines, tranquilizers, warfarin and prednisone)
  • Autoimmune diseases.

If you are a woman with hair loss, you should first assess the condition by visiting a dermatologist to ensure that there is no skin condition causing hair loss and doing some tests:

  • ANA (anti-nuclear antibody): Check for Lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases
  • Iron: Control of serum iron levels, iron stores and ferritin
  • Oestradiol, FSH, LH, Free Testosterone: Sex hormones.
  • Thyroid control: TSH, T3, T4

It is important to note that after the correction of a medical condition, hair loss may be delayed or even stopped.

Female postpartum hair loss

Stressed pregnant woman and hair loss

During pregnancy, due to hormones, hair is thicker and dense. After childbirth you may notice massive hair loss. Fortunately, this is temporary.

In pregnancy, the hormones change dramatically in all women. When you are pregnant, estrogen production increases, which prolongs the growth phase (Anagen phase) of the hair life cycle. During pregnancy, many women are happy to see that their hair is dense and long.
After the birth of the baby, however, estrogen levels fall and now more hairs pass into the resting phase (Telogen phase). These hairs fall and it may take long enough for them to return to the deployment phase, up to 12 months to regain your hair. In this time, you may think you have hair loss from FAA, but this is not the case. The hair will come back again. In nursing mothers, the resting phase can take more than a year, and it may take longer to bring back growth to previous levels.
Anemia and hypothyroidism can also contribute to postpartum hair loss. For this reason, regular tests with biochemical tests are needed.

Hair Transplantation in Women

FUT and FUE hair transplantation techniques in women

Modern FUT and FUE techniques used in hair transplantation, can benefit now many women to be suitable candidates for hair transplantation.

Hair Transplantation in women is significantly different from that of men: Women almost always only need “thickening”, in women the donor site is smaller, the donor site density is lower and the quality of the grafts in women is modest because each hair follicle unit contains fewer hairs. Therefore, careful strategic planning and great surgical experience are absolutely necessary.
The requirements of female Hair Transplantation are different and overall higher than male Hair Transplantation and regardless of whether the surgeon chooses with strict or lenient eligibility criteria. Proper programming, sincere and extensive patient briefing, clue-reading, and careful technique can give extraordinary results to women with hair loss and significantly improve their quality of life.
At Anastassakis Hair Clinic we have great experience in hair transplantation in women. Our excellent team effort produces excellent results even with the most demanding cases of Hair Transplantation in women.

At Anastassakis Hair Clinic these women will have spectacular aesthetic results!

See some available cosmetic solutions, here.