What Causes Female Pattern Baldness?
Baldness is often a condition associated with men, with most of us accepting it as usual if we see a guy losing his hair as he ages. However, female pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, is not as well-known and, therefore, it can come as a huge shock when it occurs to some women.
What is it?
While everyone experiences some hair loss, with shedding up to 100 strands a day being fairly typical, some people inherit a condition that sees their hair thinning at a faster rate.
According to Medical News Today: “Genetics appears to be a significant factor in developing female pattern baldness, which means it runs in families. Women can inherit the gene for pattern baldness from either parent.”
Therefore, it does not just run from mother to daughter, but can occur if it is present on the father’s side.
This can start at any age, but it becomes more common as you get older, particularly after menopause. Therefore, it is thought that hormones play a big role in hair loss, with Health Line reporting figures from Harvard Medical School that showed two-thirds of females experience some loss of volume after this big change.
In fact, it revealed fewer than 50 per cent of women will have their full head of hair after they reach the age of 65.
What does it look like?
Men’s baldness tends to begin with a receding hairline, but the first sign of androgenetic alopecia in females is a loss of volume; feeling as though hair is not as thick as it used to be.
This is because hair growth simply slows down so new hair takes longer to form. In addition to this, hair follicles tend to shrink so any new strands are thinner and weaker than previously.
How to prevent it?
If you know female pattern baldness runs in the family – either on your mum’s side or your dad’s – you might want to take preventative measures to slow down hair loss.
While you might not be able to put off the inevitable, you can certainly strengthen and volumise your hair by looking after it well.
For instance, Medical News Today recommends avoiding hair treatments that will end up causing damage to your locks. These include dyeing your hair, straightening it regularly, perming it, or adding extensions. Frequent blow-drying can also cause strands to become dry and brittle, and easily breakable.
You should also stop brushing wet hair, as this is when it is particularly fragile. Either use your comb or fingers to tease out any knots, or wait for it to dry before brushing it.
While we all know about the importance of looking after skin when it is sunny, not many people are aware that hair can become damaged by the sun too. Therefore, you should protect your locks in hot weather by wearing a hat.
Eating a nutritious diet full of essential vitamins and iron will also strengthen your hair, and hopefully give you a few more years’ of luscious locks.
All is not lost for those who have started to experience female pattern baldness though, and they can seek help from hair loss clinics in London for alopecia treatment straight away.