Although baldness is often seen as a ‘male problem’, women actually make up 40 per cent of those suffering from hair loss and the numbers are growing. There are a myriad of modern causes and underlying factors behind these rising figures; prolonged and increasing stress, hormonal imbalances, diet, particularly faddy or extreme dieting, or damage caused by dyeing, extensions, curling or straightening hair.
The surgical solution to hair loss
The Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) procedure follows the same procedure for women as men. Individual follicles are extracted from the donor area and then transplanted, one after another, into the recipient area to provide natural-looking results, yet the statistics show that less that 15 per cent of surgical hair transplants are performed on women.
It is thought that the procedure is less successful for women because they characteristically have diffuse thinning all over the scalp rather than marked hair loss in certain areas only.
Non-surgical solutions to hair loss in women
One new treatment for hair loss in women that is garnering more focus is PRP or platelet-rich plasma therapy, which claims to stimulate hair follicles that have become dormant. The practitioner will take a small amount of the patient’s blood which is then spun in a centrifuge to separate out the plasma. This plasma may then be mixed with various nutrients before the cocktail is injected into the target area.
Results are mixed and anecdotal but many women believe that it is worth undergoing this treatment as a complement to other hair loss treatment.
Recognising the rise in women seeking hair loss solutions, the chief product companies have now introduced products that target women solely. At the end of last year, after ten years of research, Rogaine has introduced a minoxidil solution for women that comes in the form of a mousse instead of a liquid and needs to be applied just once daily. Last year also, Pantene introduced a Hair Regrowth Treatment for Women with 2 per cent minoxidil.
Hormones and hair loss
The delicate balance of hormones can definitely play a role in female hair loss. An excess of male hormones called androgens are thought to be responsible for hair loss in women and this process is particularly marked during the menopause with over half of menopausal women citing hair loss as one of their major symptoms – hormone replacement therapy pills or creams can restore your levels of oestrogen. For non-menopausal women, prescription drugs and oral contraception may be recommended by your doctor.
But always seek advice of an experienced doctor or dermatologist – finasteride has shown success in treating female hair loss but it is very harmful to the male foetus so dermatologists and doctors will usually only prescribe it if the patient is on two forms of effective birth control.
Not just for men
Scalp micropigmentation or SMP is commonly seen as a treatment that is only suitable for men, but it can achieve effective cosmetic results for women also. For more information on whether SMP can benefit you, speak to the experts at His Hair Clinic.