If you consider thinning hair to be a male problem you couldn't be further from the truth, in fact almost forty per cent of people who experience hair loss thinning are women. Rather than a receding hairline, it is more common for woman's parting to gradually become wider or to lose hair on the crown.
Regardless of your sex, hair loss or alopecia to give it its proper name can be caused by a number of factors, such as having a gene that makes you susceptible to baldness, a hormone imbalance or an illness. Luckily it can also be a temporary condition brought on by stress or pregnancy which affects the growth cycle. As a rule of thumb, most people's head have around 100,000 hairs each grown from a single follicle at a rate of 1cm each month, then rests for up to 6 years before it is shed and replaced by a new hair. If hair is shed quicker than it is replaced, if the new hair is finer or doesn't grow past the scalp then you have a problem.
Alopecia in women
There are several types of alopecia in women, each with different causes and manifestations, here are just a few:
Scarring alopecia is the result of complications from another illness such as lichen planus or discoid lupus which kills the hair follicle making it impossible for hair to grow back naturally.
Alopecia areata can strike at any age but for some reason it's prevalent in young adults under 20, resulting in bald patches. It is thought to be hereditary and can be caused by a poorly functioning immune system. Fortunately, this condition is often temporary and the hair usually returns in around a year.
Androgenetic alopecia rarely affects men but it is extremely common in women, causing the hair to thin all over the scalp. It is caused by male hormones (androgens) that are usually present in women in very small amounts but for some reason have increased. This can either be hereditary or due to contraceptive pills, menopause or even ovarian cysts, resulting in a smaller hair follicle - resulting in thinner hair.
Telogen effluvium alopecia can be caused by a severe shock or trauma such as stress, childbirth or surgery interrupts the hair growth cycle, causing the majority of follicles to go straight to the resting (telogen) stage, rather than growing stage. It is often around six weeks after a stress event that the hair suddenly starts to fall out, sometimes in handfuls - this is known as telogen effluvium and can last for several months or even years.
Anagen effluvium occurs as a result of cellular changes caused by treatments such as chemotherapy, which attacks the hair follicles in their growing phase causing immediate shedding. The hair shaft is often constricted and results in fractured hair growth.
If you're worried about hair loss or thinning, it is advisable to visit a hair transplant specialist to find out the possible cause and treatments available. Some cases can be improved by using non-invasive treatments. However, there are a number of surgical techniques that can be used to restore hair to its former glory, in just one day as an out-patient.
Check out hair transplant and restoration specialist Dr.Panno's website for more information about the techniques currently available for baldness in women, men and scar revisions. He is also available for no-obligation consultations.
Here are some further links with useful information about baldness in women: