Here at Simone Thomas, we see hundreds of men women and children every year experiencing hair loss. Today my blog is about female pattern baldness. If the condition runs in your family and you’ve noticed your hair looks thinner than it did a few years ago, you may have the beginning stages of female pattern baldness. The reality is that we have already lost a large percentage of our hair before we start to notice that we have a problem. The condition is surprisingly common — research shows that up to half of women will experience it by the time they reach 50 years old. Female Pattern Baldness can start as early as puberty or later on in adulthood, around the age 40.
Genetics Dictate Your Hair Growth
Each hair on your head has stem cells that have specific instructions for how long or short to grow hair. That’s why the hair on top of your head grows longer than, say, your eyebrows — they simply have different growth instructions. These stem cells also have a genetically determined number of times that they can make a new hair, growing a certain amount of hairs per month. Then the hair stops growing, falls out, and is typically replaced with a new one. With female pattern baldness, the new hairs that grow in become shorter, miniaturized hairs over time — making hair look thinner overall.
The First Signs Of Female Pattern Baldness Are Different Than Men
Male pattern baldness typically starts with a thinning hairline that recedes like a tide, progressing to an M-shape and then a U-shape. But with female pattern baldness, the hairline is rarely affected. Instead, you may first notice that your parting looks wider than before, which is caused by the hair thinning at the top of the scalp. In some cases, thinning can also strike near the temples. It’s rare that the hair loss ever advances to total baldness in women, unlike in men.
Thinning Hair Has Less Luster
Thinning hair also becomes dry and less shiny. The outer part of the hair follicle gets thinner and doesn’t keep as much moisture, so the hair dries out. It becomes more brittle and more susceptible to damage from the sun, so it’s easier to break. You also loose the hair follicle’s outer cuticle over time, which leaves hair looking dull.
Menopause Accelerates Hair Loss
During menopause, the delicate balance of male and female hormones is thrown off. Estrogens drop and the adrenal gland pumps out more male hormones. The male hormone androgen, particularly one called dihydrotestosterone, shortens the hair growth cycle, leads to the growth of thinner and shorter hair, and delays the formation of new hair to replace the ones that fall out.
What You Eat (Or Don’t Eat) Can Speed Hair Loss
Low hormone levels, iron deficiency, poor nutrition, UV damage, and harsh chemicals — from straightening or bleaching your hair — can all accelerate hair loss, making thinning more noticeable.
If you are experiencing hair loss, please book a hair loss consultation with us here at Simone Thomas. We offer many non surgical solutions to your hair thinning needs, from clip in hair volumizers, to custom designed hair pieces, from real hair wigs and toupees to synthetic wigs. We also stock Nioxin products and can offer scalp microdermabrasions. We will also look at your scalp through our nioscope to see what activity there is with your hair follicles.