Hair loss and female pattern baldness: Expert's opinion for treatment
In recent times it has been noted more and more females are experiencing hair loss and female pattern baldness. This could be as high as 40% and there are various factors like lifestyle, illness, hormonal imbalance and stress. Hair loss in women often has a greater impact than hair loss does on men, because it's less socially acceptable.
Female pattern baldness, also called androgenic alopecia, is hair loss that affects women. Women with female pattern baldness usually experience general hair thinning, which affects the volume of their hair. In women, the first signs of female pattern baldness is noticed when thinning of the hair and widening of the partition of the hair is visible and hair does not feel as thick as usual. Although the scalp may be visible, the hairline usually does not recede.
Almost every woman eventually develops some degree of female pattern hair loss. It can start any time after the onset of puberty, but women tend to first notice it around menopause when hair loss typically increases. The risk rises with age, and it's higher for women with a history of hair loss on either side of the family.
As the name suggests, androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens, which are essential for normal male sexual development and have other important functions in both sexes, including sex drive and regulation of hair growth. The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes.
In either sex, hair loss from androgenetic alopecia occurs because of a genetically determined shortening of anagen, a hair's growing phase, and a lengthening of the time between the shedding of a hair and the start of a new anagen phase. That means it takes longer for hair to start growing back after it is shed in the course of the normal growth cycle. The hair follicle itself also changes, shrinking and producing a shorter, thinner hair shaft — a process called "follicular miniaturization." As a result, thicker, pigmented, longer-lived "terminal" hairs are replaced by shorter, thinner, non-pigmented hairs called "vellus."
It's normal for women to lose 50 to 100 hairs each day, but those with female pattern baldness can lose much more.
Some of the key reasons wherein we see an increase in female hair loss and female pattern baldness is because of the present lifestyle, bad eating habits, lack of proper nutrition, lack of proper sleep and stress.
Hair loss treatment is not a one size fits all approach. The doctor should customize a treatment plan based on specific aspects of a patient's hair loss including the age of onset, rate of progression, degree of hair loss, response to previous therapies as well as information derived from a physical examination.
- Some of the Hair Loss Treatments which prove beneficial for Female Pattern Baldness are:
A) Oral Medicines and Applications- Medical prescriptions are given to reduce hair fall, induce hair growth which are suitable for preserving existing hair and resuscitate roots of dead hair follicles.
B) Laser Therapy- Laser therapy is FDA-approved to treat hair loss
Laser therapy is the non-surgical, scientific approach in the treatment of hair loss and hair thinning. The scientific principle is that laser light stimulates cell metabolism and helps to repair the damaged cells
C) Meso Therapy- Nurtures the scalp as a whole with different vitamins and minerals to restore the natural process that heal the damaged hair follicle.
- Infusion of the medicine with derma roller in the scalp
- The procedure requires 8 sittings at an interval of one week each
- Stops hair loss by arresting hair fall
- Thickens and strengthens thinning hair
D) PRP- is a treatment that involves withdrawing a patient's own blood, processing it so that only the enriched cells (platelet-rich plasma) remain, and injecting it into the scalp. PRP contains essential proteins that stimulate natural hair growth.
PRP is an advanced hair loss treatment
- Release of Growth Factors from the platelets - nourishes hair that has thinned and prevents further hair loss
- Stimulates Dormant roots to grow new Hair
- Existing hair follicles produce thicker and healthier strands of hair
- Enhances results of hair transplant by nourishing the transplanted & existing hair and healing the donor & recipient areas
- No Side Effects
- 3 sessions are recommended with a gap of 2 months each
E) Hair Transplant- Removing hair follicles one-by-one from the back side of the head and replant them with complete precision to restore your hairline and hair density. This is done under local anaesthesia.
When the treatment is started on time or at an early stage it enables the person to control hair loss and equally after the results are visible it restores the persons self-esteem and confidence.
Dr Viral Desai is a celebrity cosmetic surgeon at DHI India and CPLSS.