What is Androgenetic Alopecia? (Female)
Androgenetic alopecia is commonly known as female pattern baldness. It is the most common form of hair loss in women and is where the hair thins on the scalp either by increased hair shedding or a reduction in hair volume, or both. Androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern baldness can result not just in the physical appearance of thinning hair but also emotional effects such as anxiety, depression, frustration and low self-esteem. Thankfully, there are treatment options available to help slow down and even reverse female pattern baldness.
What causes Androgenetic alopecia? (Female)
Androgenetic alopecia is caused by levels of androgens (male hormones), that are present in small amounts in women. Androgenetic alopecia causes the follicles to become sensitive to the androgens that already exist within your body. Within the follicles are androgen receptors and the androgens tell the androgen receptors to produce less hair. The follicles contain the enzyme 5 alpha-reductase and when the hormone (normally testosterone) binds to the androgen receptor, it triggers 5-alpha reductase subsequently converting the testosterone into DHT. It is the DHT which damages the hair production.
Growing cycles are thereby shortened and the hair becomes thinner and finer. The result is diffuse thinning on all areas of the scalp. Hormone changes in women, such as pregnancy, the use of high androgen index birth control pills, ovarian cysts, an overactive thyroid, a genetic hormonal response to an autoimmune condition and menopause can trigger female pattern baldness, this common form of hair loss in women.
What are the symptoms of Androgenetic alopecia? (Female)
Unlike men, women usually begin to lose their hair by going diffusely thin on the vertex (the top of the scalp). Sometimes, temporal recession is also seen (loss of hair at the corners of the frontal hair line). Women rarely tend to go completely bald.
There are a few hair conditions that can result in generalised thinning of hair on the top of the scalp. It is therefore extremely important that the correct diagnosis is made before embarking on treatment for hair loss in women.
How do you treat Androgenetic alopecia? (Female)
Products which inhibit DHT or work against the androgen process, are considered the best treatments for hair loss. Though since the cause of the hair loss could be a multitude of things, our doctors may recommend growth stimulants before subscribing the DHT Inhibitors or Anti Androgens. In many cases, both methods are applied.