Age-related hair loss is common in women. About 55 percent of women experience some hair loss by the age of 70. The most common cause is female-pattern baldness, an inherited condition. It’s characterized by gradual thinning of your hair, which may be noticeable as a widening part or a ponytail that’s less hefty than it used to be.
Treatment with over-the-counter minoxidil foam (5 percent) may prevent further hair loss and result in improved hair density. Apply the product at bedtime to wet hair and wash it out when you wake. Then style your hair as usual. You’ll need to commit to a six- to 12-month trial period because it takes three months to begin seeing any effect, and a few more months to determine whether it’s really working for you. If it is helping, you’ll need to continue using the medicine to keep your fuller hair. Insurance usually doesn’t cover the cost of the product.
Talk with your doctor if the hair loss continues, as it may be an indication of another condition, such as alopecia areata.
You might want to try various hair care methods to find one that makes you feel better about how your hair looks. For example, use styling products that add volume, color your hair, choose a hairstyle that makes a widening part less noticeable, or use wigs or extensions. Always handle your hair gently.
What’s hair loss in women?
Hair loss in women is just that — when a woman experiences unexpected, heavy loss of hair. Generally, humans shed between 50 and 100 single hairs per day. Hair shedding is part of a natural balance — some hairs fall out while others grow in. When the balance is interrupted — when hair falls out and less hair grows in — hair loss happens. Hair loss is different than hair shedding. The medical term for hair loss is “alopecia.”
Hair grows on almost all of your skin surfaces — not the palms of your hands, soles of your feet, lips or eyelids. Light, fine, short hair is called vellus hair. Terminal/androgenic hair is thicker, darker and longer.
What’s the most common form of female hair loss?
Female-pattern hair loss, which usually has a strong genetic component that can be inherited from either the mother or father. Also referred to as androgenetic alopecia, this type of hair loss can start as early as the late teens — and the earlier it starts, the more severe the hair loss tends to be.
Most women with pattern hair loss don’t get a receding hairline or bald spot on top of the scalp as is common in men. Instead, there is visible thinning over the crown. In men and women, hairs are miniaturized because of a shortened growth cycle where the hair stays on the head for a shorter period of time. These wispy hairs, which resemble forearm hairs, do not achieve their usual length.
Different types of hair loss
There are lots of different types of hair loss. It can take the form of “thinning” or involve a total loss of hair. It can be gradual or sudden; it can affect the old and the young.
Hair loss can be genetic, or as a result of extreme stress, a medical condition or treatment.
Hair loss is a well-known side effect of chemotherapy. It’s also common for women to lose more hair than usual up to 3 months after they’ve given birth.
How common is hair loss in women?
Many people think that hair loss only affects men. However, it is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience noticeable hair loss. The most significant cause of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss (FPHL), which affects about one-third of susceptible women, which equals out to some 30 million women in the United States.
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
Another effective nonsurgical treatment for hair loss is LLLT, which works best for Female Pattern Hair Loss, Traction Alopecia, and Telogen Effluvium. LLLT stimulates the hair follicle cells to grow in the scalp and increases cellular activity around the follicle, decreasing inflammation so existing hairs can grow thicker and stronger. While the word “laser” may turn some patients off, the treatment is extremely safe and FDA Cleared for the treatment of female pattern hair loss. The cold-beam laser eliminates the risk of burning the skin.
Some of the easiest treatments for hair growth are topical hair loss products. Perfect for thinning hair without disrupting your everyday routine, Medi Tresse offers Tricomin products that use copper peptides in shampoo, conditioner, and spray to stimulate hair growth. Infinity Hair Building Fibers provide patients with immediate results to mask thinning hair because the fibers cling to existing hairs and create a fuller surface appearance. Formula 82M is a prescription Minoxidil-based topical solution that helps decrease inflammation and is less greasy compared to over-the-counter Minoxidil. Formula 82M can be used with other treatments; Jane used both Formula 82M and Visiscal Professional hair vitamins in conjunction with her LLLT.
Biotin — vitamin H or B7— is involved in fatty acid synthesis in the body. This process is essential to the hair life cycle and you may experience hair loss if you have a deficiency. Speak with your doctor about taking three to five milligrams daily.
A 2018 study revealed that a diet containing raw vegetables and fresh herbs, like the Mediterranean diet, may reduce the risk of androgenic alopecia (female pattern baldness or male pattern baldness) or slow its onset.
Best results were observed when participants consumed high amounts of these foods — such as parsley, basil, salad greens — more than three days a week.