Although androgenetic alopecia is often referred to as male pattern baldness, it is not limited to men. 70% of thinning in women can be explained by androgenetic alopecia.
If you are a woman experiencing thinning, you are not alone. About half of women will experience some degree of thinning by the age of 50. However, you are less likely to get bald spots like men experience. Women are more likely to have diffuse thinning all over the head. When a pattern does appear, it may spare the hairline but affect the front behind this, the crown, and temporal areas of the scalp. Thinning can begin as early as your 20s in women as well as men, or you may experience the same pattern of hair loss as men do.
Non-genetic causes of hair loss and thinning occur more frequently in women, so if you are a woman experiencing hair loss, you should be evaluated for other potential causes of hair loss before you consider hair restoration surgery. Changes in hormones, including estrogen, thyroid, and free testosterone can cause thinning. Insulin resistance is another potential factor. Heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, or mercury (found in some fish), can lead to hair thinning.
Some other potential causes of hair loss can be traction alopecia, in which traction due to tight pony tails, braids, or other types of styling leads to thinning above the ears and forehead area of the hairline. Chemical alopecia is due to damage caused by styling chemicals, such as permanents, and some hair dyes.
If you would like to consult with Dr. Keene for a diagnosis as to what is causing your hair loss, she offers a female diagnostic consult for a nominal fee of $165, plus laboratory work if needed.
FDA approved medical treatment for women is limited to Rogaine, (generic name Minoxidil). Propecia is not recommended for women because it can cause birth defects in the developing male fetus, as well as the fact that it has not been studied in women as it has been in men. However, if you are postmenopausal, it is a potential treatment. Other treatments may be available and effective, and Dr. Keene is continuing to research this.
Please call 800-840-9761 or 520-600-0553 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Keene for her to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan (if possible) or consultation for surgery.
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