Reasons Why You Have Thinning Hair
The first thing to understand about female hair loss is that unlike men who go fully bald (leaving a horse shoe shape of hair left), females will thin but not go bald, unless it is through Alopecia Universalis or Alopecia Totalis (auto immune conditions).
There are a number of reasons why thinning occurs. We will firstly look at what those reasons are and then we’ll go through the options that can be used to most effectively tackle the problem.
Female pattern hair loss – FPH androgenetic alopecia (androgeneric alopecia)
This is one of the most common causes of thinning hair in females. The normal progression of this condition is that it starts in the crown area and then spreads towards the frontal hair line. Normally the frontal hair line is not affected.
The cause of this condition is of a genetic nature which may be inherited from either side of the family. The genetic issue sets up the hair follicle to be sensitive to androgens (hormones). This sensitivity will then cause the hair cycles to shift, as a result your growth phase is shortened and the resting phase is lengthened. More hair follicles will be in a resting phase so your overall hair density will change. When the hair goes back to a growth phase it will grow shorter and thinner thus affecting your overall hair density.
For early stage female pattern hair loss we recommend the LaserCap® option. This device can be used in the privacy of your own home. Its function is to stimulate the existing hair follicle cells to work harder, bringing your hair cycle back to a more normal level. By doing this, we can stop more hair loss and reverse the thinning problem.
For aggressive female pattern hair loss we may recommend the LaserCap® in conjunction with a range of prescription medications. These medications are proven to grow hair and to prevent further loss. Our medical doctor in your local clinic will be happy to discuss this option with you further.
Telogen Effluvium or TE is also a very common reason for females to lose hair. TE is caused by a shock to the body which corrupts the hair cycle, causing more hair follicles to enter a dormant period than usual. Approximately 10% of our hair follicles are normally in a resting phase. When TE is present this number may be as high as 60%. TE is noticed around 4-8 weeks after the body has been affected by a stressful period or shock.
Possible causes of TE include child birth, going onto a birth control pill, coming off a birth control pill, general anaesthetic, sickness, emotional stress or moving house, in fact the number of causes are unlimited. You can wrap it all up under the one word STRESS (physical or emotional).
The good news is that in most cases it will fix itself. If however there is no change in your condition after 6 months it would be best to book in for a free consultation to determine what can be done. The most common form of treatment for this condition is the LaserCap®. This is a perfect condition for the LaserCap®. In most cases we do not need to intervene with any form of medications when TE is the cause of the hair loss.
Traction Alopecia is a very common form of hair loss that we diagnose with female patients. The condition is caused by constant pulling on the hair. This may be through hair extensions, hair braiding, hair wefts and pony tails. As with hair removal, each time a hair is pulled out it will grow back weaker. Over time it will be destroyed. The treatment with this condition is to first stop the pulling on the hair. After we have ascertained the severity of the damage caused we may advise to let the hair recover by itself for 6 months then reassess or we may opt for LaserCap®, medications, hair transplants or hair systems depending on the severity of the problem. For hair systems please see www.worldhairsystems.com.au
Alopecia Areata, Alopecia Totalis and Alopecia Universalis
The above conditions are all within the same family. They are thought to be caused by an auto immune disorder. It seems that your own auto immune system attacks the hair follicles that are in their growth phase (anagen) and holds them in a dormant period (telogen). This will normally look like a small bald spot either oval or round. Alopecia Totalis is where all hair on the head is in a dormant phase and Alopecia Universalis is where all hair, all over the body is in a dormant phase. The condition is usually linked to a family history of the condition. The good news with this form of hair loss is that the hair follicle is alive and may react well to treatment.
Rare forms of hair loss.
Other forms of hair loss that we may diagnose include: Scaring Alopecia, Pseudopelade, Ring Worm and Lupus.