Hair loss or alopecia can be difficult for women who suffer from it. Experts provide us with the best treatments, remedies, and tips for maintaining healthy, silky hair. They also explain to us the main causes of hair loss in women.
Hair transplantation or hair transplantation: an effective treatment to counter female alopecia
Hair transplantation is a technique that aims to remove hair and re-implant it in a more open area. Hair transplants work for women who have lost their hair. “They’re particularly effective,” says Dr. Wexler.
Surgeons previously transplanted entire strips of the scalp, but individual transplanting of hair follicles from the back of the scalp gives better results. Because the end of the head is more resistant to hair loss, there is usually more hair. “It’s tedious and expensive, but this approach represents the potential for good results for women,” says Dr. Wexler. Follicular transplants are performed by surgeons qualified in hair transplantation; some are dermatologists.
The first treatment option is Minoxidil. It is a liquid to be applied to the scalp, which slows the loss, even accelerates the regrowth of part of the hair and which is sometimes useful in alopecia areata. There are topical or oral, herbal remedies for men and women. They contain natural extracts of fenugreek or saw palmetto seeds, but there is no certainty as to their effectiveness.
“Minoxidil is a vasodilator drug that lowers blood pressure and can also slow hair loss and even promote regrowth,” says Nick Dimakos. Doctor Robert Jones, who has recommended this treatment to several of his patients, maintains that it is effective in most cases. But before you consider taking Minoxidil, you should consult a doctor.
Prescription drugs to combat hair loss
If the diagnosis is alopecia areata, it is usually treated with corticosteroid creams or injections into the scalp, more effective if taken early. Several drugs with hormonal effects (birth control pills) help prevent female alopecia since this hair loss is linked to testosterone, but oral contraceptives block testosterone. But these oral medications have an increased risk of side effects compared to topical treatments. Discuss this with your doctor.
Topical steroids may be recommended for hair loss such as alopecia areata and other cases of autoimmune origin, but these treatments will not work for alopecia of genetic background. In the case of chronic telogen effluvium, alopecia is usually short-term, sometimes accompanied by exacerbations, says Dr. Durosier. “You can see temporary improvement with short treatment with topical steroids,” he says.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment presents a different approach. It stimulates regrowth rather than fighting alopecia. “In this treatment, the patient’s blood and growth factors are used to stimulate hair growth,” says Dr. Donovan. Blood is drawn and centrifuged to isolate the plasma, which is injected into the scalp to stimulate regrowth.
Low-intensity laser treatment
Other non-surgical treatments include low-intensity laser treatment. The laser is used to stimulate blood supply to the scalp and cause regrowth from the hair follicles.
Anti-androgen or hormone blocker pills, or even oral contraceptives, can help slow or also stop alopecia. All of these treatments block testosterone, which can cause hair loss in some women whose hair is sensitive to androgens.
Make up your scalp
Products like Surethik Hair Building Fibers give the impression of well-stocked hair. It allows us to make up the areas affected by alopecia. “It’s real hair to sprinkle on your head, and it attaches to the scalp,” says Nick Dimakos.
Future treatments to better fight and control hair loss
New research is being done on prostaglandins, fat molecules that act as messengers. While some prostaglandins are known to promote hair regrowth, others can inhibit it. This research could lead to new topical treatments that restore hair regrowth.
Extensions and wigs
“Hairpieces look natural now, sometimes more than your hair,” said Dr. Wexler. Hair extensions are lighter than hairpieces. Also, they are a good option if you still have enough hair.
Women can also make up for missing hair with hair fiber thickening powder. This powder is available in some pharmacies, hair salons, and online. Sprinkle the fibers on your scalp, and they should stay in place until the next shampoo.
Scalp tattooing can be a more lasting solution. Disadvantages? Yes, there are risks, such as infection. Besides, the color of the tattoo changes over time.
Hair loss in women: when to worry about it
The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) estimates that about 100 of our 100,000 hairs are lost every day, but it is entirely normal, and most grow back. It’s that our follicles go through continuous cycles of growth, rest, and elimination.
What can become worrying is the appearance of bald spots or the widening of your line. “It is estimated that 30% of women over 40 and 45% of postmenopausal women suffer from alopecia,” said Dr. Vincent Durosier, medical director of the Ducray Dermatological Laboratories in Toulouse, France. Our hair grows about 3 cm per month. But Dr. Durosier clarified that this is not an ongoing process, which means that the 100,000 hair follicles we talked about are not growing at the same rate. So each hair on our head will stay there for three to six years before falling out. Discover the leading causes that can explain hair loss in women below.
Leading causes of hair loss in women: female alopecia and menopause
With age, some women lose more hair than usual. The most common reason after menopause is female alopecia. “Feminine” is a keyword here because this baldness differs from that of men. While men see their forehead thinning, in women, hair loss presents as a thinning of the top of the skull or sides or an overall thinning that reveals the scalp.
According to Dr. Robert Jones of the Hair Transplant Center in Oakville, Ontario, hair loss (or alopecia) in women is primarily due to genetics. He estimates that 80 to 90 percent of balding cases are linked to family history. This situation can be caused by a thyroid disorder, a hormonal imbalance, and side effects following taking medications such as antidepressants.
Stress and poor lifestyle
Nick Dimakos, the founder of SureThik International, argues that stress is also a risk factor. Take a look at your lifestyle: Eating a balanced diet, learning to manage stress, and getting a good night’s sleep may be all it takes to stop hair loss.
Handfuls of hair fall for no reason. “It is believed that it could be an immune problem, but it is a complicated disease, and the exact cause is not known,” said Dr. Denise Wexler, a dermatologist from London, Ontario, and past president of the Association. Canadian Dermatology. In alopecia areata, the body rejects the hair as invaders, although it can grow back without treatment during the year.
A large number of hairs come to rest and die. This pathology is triggered by an event that taxes the body, such as a high fever or extreme weight loss. You may not notice that much of your hair has stopped growing, but there is apparent hair loss in the weeks or months that follow. “It’s common in women who have given birth,” says Dr. Wexler. By the time you notice the loss, healthy hair has already started to grow.
Also known as traction alopecia, hair loss is often the result of tight braids or ponytails.
Hormonal fluctuations can cause hair loss during pregnancy or after childbirth. Instead of thinning areas of the head or widening of the part, you could lose entire strands of hair.
Health problem and medication
Hair loss in women can also be a sign of an autoimmune condition, such as lupus or psoriasis
. Certain medications, skin infections, and even lack of sleep contribute to hair loss. This is why it is important to consult a health professional who will assess unexplained hair loss, especially if you notice systemic symptoms, such as weight change or bowel problems. Your doctor will do a “pull test” to see how much hair falls out easily, examine your scalp, take a biopsy of your hair or scalp, and check your blood sugar.
If you are worried about unusual hair loss, talk to your doctor. Treating an underlying disease or deficiency may be enough to restore your hair to its former glory. If you are already taking medication for a chronic condition, tell your pharmacist or doctor about hair loss. Your doctor can recognize the drug causing excessive hair loss.