FEMALE HAIR LOSS
Our mission is to help you sort through the wealth of information surrounding hair loss. This includes dissecting the subtle differences between the more commonly discussed male hair loss factors and what a woman experiencing hair loss should consider.
The Toronto Hair Transplant Centre is internationally known for our pioneering work in hair transplantation.
Hair Loss In Women
Hair loss can be particularly devastating to women. While male hair loss is seen as inevitable for a large proportion of men in the community, female hair loss is far less common, and sometimes less culturally acceptable. This only adds to the stigma for women who experience hair loss. In many cases, the damage to a woman’s self-confidence can affect her whole quality of life.
As a rule, female hair loss is quite different from male hair loss. Females experience a thinning out of mid-scalp and crown hair and usually retain their frontal hairline. Due to the different hair loss pattern and reproductive concerns, hair loss treatments suitable for men are not always safe or effective for women.
Improvements in hair transplantation techniques have allowed us to reassess female patients who, in the past, would have been rejected as unsuitable for the procedure. The new techniques have allowed us to:
1. Thicken thinning areas while avoiding damage to or removal of existing hair follicles
2. Use the dense packing procedure to achieve a relatively high density in treated areas
3. Minimize scarring in both donor and recipient sites
The Toronto Hair Transplant Centre is internationally known for our pioneering work in hair transplantation.
Our huge archive is here to help you see what we can do for you. Use the link below to view some sample cases.
About 10 to 20 percent of the patients seen at the Toronto Hair Transplant Centre who are concerned with hair loss are female. For a woman, more so than for a man, hair is a defining point of personal style. For most women, losing hair is often a traumatic experience. Most of the women can be close to tears when discussing their daily struggle with attempts to cover up their thinning hair. Adding to the problem is the fact that many females feel they have been “brushed off” by family doctors and dermatologists, who make them feel like they are worrying about something insignificant. Of course, what these physicians don’t seem to realize is that the psychological damage caused by hair loss and feeling self-conscious can be just as devastating as any serious disease, and in fact, can take an emotional toll that directly affects a woman’s physical health.
The following is an actual letter sent to us by a female patient. The letter expresses the anguish that we see in so many women who are frustrated with the hair loss they are experiencing.
“I am a 33-year-old female who began noticing gradual loss of hair 10 years ago. As time progressed, it became more noticeable and undeniable. I found myself trying everything possible to diminish it. As my condition worsened, I began to run out of options and began adjusting my activities accordingly (i.e. I would avoid public pools and the beach). In my opinion, this is one of the worst forms of mental torture a woman could experience. After seeing several doctors, they concluded that my hair loss was due to some chronic physical problems I had, but they offered no help. My self-esteem had all but been destroyed, until I met Dr. Robert Jones, of Oakville, Ontario.
I came across his website on Yahoo, and after reviewing it, called him for a telephone consultation. I ended up booking a hair transplant procedure with him shortly after. I was discouraged at first, after returning home, as I had tiny blood dots all over my head. I knew I needed to be patient.
After a week, my stitches came out, but Dr. Jones cautioned me not to expect anything for three months. I would have my husband check out my scalp once in a while to see how things were progressing I would say that this anticipation was the worst part; after living in torment for so long, you can’t help but feel like an anxious child on Christmas Eve. At the first signs of growth, I felt a joy I had not felt in a long time. I was ecstatic!
It has now been about a year since the procedure, and my hair is much fuller than it was. Of course, it is not as full as it was before all this started, but it is a big improvement. It was enough to restore my confidence and feel good about myself. I no longer felt like I had to hide and miss out on the many things I had avoided in the past. The renewal of my self-esteem gave me the courage to return to the life I thought I would never have again. Four months after the procedure, I found a new full-time job and feel great.
If I had not gone to see Dr. Jones, I would still be in a rut, hiding from the world. He is a skilled physician and a kind person who will provide you with as much help as humanly and medically possible. I would advise any woman to not suffer in silence. There is help and people who care. It’s really just a phone call away.”
Thinning and balding are mistakenly thought to be strictly male phenomena. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 40 percent of women have visible hair loss by the time they are age 40, and about 80 percent of females develop some recession of their hairlines as well, as part of the normal maturation process.
The American Hair Loss Association recognizes hair loss in women is a serious life-altering condition that can no longer be ignored.
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Female Pattern Baldness
There was a time when hair loss in females was classified as androgenic alopecia. However, we now know that female hair loss has its own causes and is classified as female pattern baldness. This broader term encompasses many causes, some of which are linked to testosterone and some of which are not. The cause of female pattern baldness is still not completely understood, but we know many other types of enzymes, as well as hormone receptors and blockers, may be at work in women.
One clue that there is a true difference between male and female balding is the pattern in which the hair loss occurs.
Female pattern baldness occurs all around the top of the head, and it’s diffuse, whereas men lose hair on the temples, the crown and the back of their heads. Not coincidentally, the hormone and enzyme receptor sites in women and men are also different in varying areas of the scalp – another reason doctors now believe the loss patterns are caused by different precipitating factors.
Another important difference is that while balding in men is almost always the result of a genetic predisposition coupled with age, in women, it can happen anytime. In addition, for women, underlying medical conditions can also be the cause of hair loss, even when true androgenic alopecia is the diagnosis.
Often these women are also suffering with polycystic ovary syndrome, and sometimes their hair loss is the only obvious sign. As well, autoimmune disorders can cause a diffuse thinning in female hair.
Still others can develop a temporary hair shedding problem known as telogen effluvium – a change in the natural hair growth system that often follows childbirth, crash dieting, surgery or a traumatic emotional event.
Also, thyroid disorders, anemia, even chronic illness or the use of certain medications, can also cause hair loss in women, and these problems often go undiagnosed.
When we first see female patients at the Toronto Hair Transplant Centre, we always want to rule out any possible medical problems that you have assessed with your family doctor before we recommend possible treatments and certainly before considering a transplant as an option.
We have treated and advised many women with hair loss and, in some cases, hair transplantation may not be the best treatment option. A consultation will allow Dr. Huber or Dr. Jones to assess your current status, review your pathology test results and advise you of a hair loss treatment program that considers both your current and future hair loss.
Female Hair Loss - Day Of Surgery
We’ve documented some cases from our revolutionary fourth-generation FUE procedure.
This procedure allows us to perform minimal scar hair transplants without having to shave the patient’s entire head. This is a huge step forward for women and patients with long hair who just can’t shave their entire heads. The hair will grow back at your donor site and you’ll have new hair growing where you’re currently experiencing thinness and balding.
This case shows a woman with severe hair loss in the hairline.
We take grafts from the thick sections on the back of her head and move them to her hairline. The result? A densely packed hairline that should have great growth in 6 months. Her donor sites are undetectable, and as the hair grows in, will be almost completely undetectable. This new procedure opens up options for patients who formerly couldn’t consider a hair transplant.
Are you thinking about a hair transplant?
This new NO-SHAVE procedure is great for patients looking to restore their hairline subtly and without the fanfare of shaving their heads. Keep watching our blog and social media for more examples of this procedure.
Women's Hair Loss And The Pill
Since the birth control pill was approval by the FDA in 1960, it has become one of the most popular forms of birth control used today. Millions of women are prescribed the Pill each year in North America, but very few are aware that oral contraceptives are a common trigger of hair loss.
The way the pill works is by suppressing ovulation and mimicking pregnancy.. Women that are predisposed to hormone related hair loss will be prone to thinning after starting on the Pill. As well, women that are sensitive to hormone changes can actually experience hair loss after stopping the Pill.
Physicians recognizes that for the most part oral contraceptives are a safe and effective form of birth control. They also recognizes that the Pill has been clinically proven to have other health benefits for some women who use them. It is important, however to warn females about the potential risk of hair loss with this form of conreception.
Those women interested in taking the Pill, but wish to minimize the risk of hair loss, should consider the following “low testosterone” Pills. Pills with the least androgenic activity include norgestimate (in Ortho-Cyclen, Ortho Tri-Cyclen), norethindrone (in Ovcon 35), desogestrel (in Mircette), or ethynodiol diacetate (in Demulen, Zovia). If there is a strong predisposition for genetic hair loss in your family, we recommend the use of another non-hormonal form of birth control.
The birth control pills listed below have a significant risk for causing or exacerbating hair loss.
- Progestin implants, such as Norplant, are small rods implanted surgically beneath the skin, usually on the upper arm. The rods release a continuous dose of progestin to prevent ovulation.
- Hormone injections of progestin, such as Depo-Provera, are given into the muscles of the upper arm or buttocks. This injection prevents ovulation.
- The skin patch (Ortho Evra) is placed on your shoulder, buttocks, or other location. It continually releases progestin and estrogen.
- The vaginal ring (NuvaRing) is a flexible ring about 2 inches in diameter inserted into the vagina. It releases progestin and estrogen.
Factors affecting female hair loss include genetics, medication side effects, hormonal changes, nutrient deficiencies or chemicals acting upon your hair as part of hair treatments. Women tend to lose some hair when they start aging such as in their 50s and 60s.
Wondering if there are any styling tips or tricks to use to disguise thinning hair?
Stylists say that one of the secrets to making your thinning hair look fuller is going for short hair cuts. Try bangs and cuts with an edgy style. Be bold and experiment! Take some inspiration from celebrities like Kris Jenner and Katie Couric. Go for bangs and textured cuts.
Try a Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner
Several hair care products exist in the market which can boost hair volume. Go for a name brand Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner for that healthy, shiny and full looking hair!
Don’t forget that hairspray!
A thickening hairspray will help to lift and hold hair, be it any kind of hair type from straight, curly, thin or thick. Hairspray can be indispensable to add volume to your hair, useful while styling your hair as well as for locking down your hairstyle.
Hair Breakage Treatments
Several hair breakage treatments that repair breaking hair are available in the market. There are also treatments for frizz control, moisture-balancing, straightening shampoos and hair care products that treat damaged hair.
Avoid sulphates in your hair care products.
Make sure you select quality name brand products and be sure to ask your stylist what products they use on you when you’re next in for a cut or colour! They know your hair best (besides you).
If you are a female and are experiencing hair loss, battling side effects from other medical treatments, or just want advice on how best to achieve your desired aesthetic look, our team here at the Toronto Hair Transplant Centre can help. Use the button below to schedule a virtual consult with one of our doctors and let their experience and expertise guide you towards real hair loss solutions.