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HEALTH HINTS

The Point on Female Patterned Hair Loss

By: Karen Lee Alabado, MDThe Point on Female Patterned Hair Loss

Women have always valued their hair as part of their total look. Hair has always been the ultimate beauty accessory for women, forming a major part of their body image, with the norm of being longer than that of men’s in most parts of the world. However, men are not the only ones who can go bald – women can too.

Female pattern hair loss, also called androgenetic alopecia, is often familial and can develop any time after the onset of puberty. By 70 years of age, 38% of women have acquired this condition. It affects the crown of the head, sparing the frontal hairline. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, which manifests as acne, irregular and/or painful menstrual cycles, hirsutism or increase in facial hair, may indicate androgen excess, contributing to female pattern hair loss.

Despite the seemingly innocuous occurrence of ‘falling hair’, it is best to get to the root of the problem to determine if there is any underlying medical illness. Treatment of the underlying illness will correct the hair loss although it might take some time. Once your dermatologist has cleared you of other causes of hair loss, there are a number of remedies that can be done:

  1. Topical shampoos, lotions, and creams to induce hair to grow back;
  2. Anti-inflammatory medications such as steroids to calm inflamed hair follicles;
  3. Change in prescription drug if it is the culprit;
  4. The possibility of using woven hair or a wig especially if the hair loss is severe; and  
  5. Hair transplantation to those who are eligible.

There is no need to be concerned about the loss of ‘glory’ to your crown if you know the best way to take good care of yourself.

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