Female Hair Loss
Androgenic Alopecia – Female Pattern Hair Loss
The occurrence of androgenic alopecia in females is much less than in males but is often more psychologically distressing. It is socially acceptable for men to lose their hair but definitely not women. Women suffering with female pattern hair loss will often notice gradual thinning of hair, increased hair shedding and often develop hair loss in the characteristic Christmas tree distribution over the top of the scalp. Telogen is also more common in women. This is hair loss due to stress and can often be confused with female pattern hair loss.
Women with female pattern hair loss normally avoid losing hair at the front of the hairline in contrast to men. In telogen effluvium there is a characteristic loss of hair around the temples and sides of the head. In female pattern hair loss cause can also be due to the effects of testosterone. Women suffering from conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome often have higher levels of circulating testosterone and hence are prone to androgenic alopecia. However, women do not respond as well to treatments such as minoxidil and finasteride as in men. Medical causes for hair loss are more significant in women and include under active thyroid, low vitamin D levels as well as low iron. The Ludwig system is used for the classification of female pattern hair loss.
Is hair transplant an option for female pattern hair loss?
Hair transplants in women are much harder than in men and should be considered a treatment of last resort. At best they are a camouflage solution as even the largest of hair transplants consist of grafting 3000 hairs into regions of the scalp that previously had around 20000 to 30000 hairs. In addition hair transplant in women is technically much more difficult. There are two techniques used for hair transplant. The strip method is the old fashioned technique whereby a strip of skin is taken from the back of the head and all the hairs removed from this strip are implanted into bare areas. It is possible to get a larger number of grafts but often leaves an unsightly scar at the back of the head. In women this is not too troublesome as the scar is often hidden by longer strands of hair as opposed to men who tend to have the scar exposed due to shorter hair cuts. However, graft rate survival is lower than in the more modern technique of FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction). In FUE individual hair follicles are extracted and implanted into bare regions. Graft survival rates are higher and there is no large scar involved. However, FUE requires that the donor region is shaved in order to access the follicles to be grafted. This area is normally quite large and not something most women are prepared to do as they will have to shave a large area of their scalp. Results of hair transplants in women are overall not as good as in men.
©Individual results may vary.
All hope is not lost for those suffering from female pattern hair loss. Microneedling and platelet rich plasma have shown great promise and we are firm believers in its efficacy. With the majority of sufferers of androgenic alopecia being male, often women are forgotten. At Rejuvence we recognise that hair loss in women can often have greater psychological distress. Biocellular hair restoration is an exciting new development and Rejuvence Clinic is one of the few clinics offering this treatment.
Conventional treatments for female pattern hair loss are not very effective. Response to the minoxidil 5% shampoo and foam are not particularly effective and the results are not apparent until 9 to 12 months after continuous use. In fact there can be an increase in hair loss during the first four weeks of treatment. Once started, stopping treatment with minoxidil is also associated with significant loss of fresh regrowth hairs.
Treatment with finasteride, some forms of the contraceptive pill and spirinolactone (a water tablet) have yielded inconsistent results and, on the whole, very modest improvement in hair regrowth. Indeed finasteride is contraindicated in women of childbearing age and is often not an option at all.
Thousands of vitamin supplements are available but do they really work? Female pattern hair loss does not have as strong a genetic component as male pattern hair loss. Indeed telogen effluvium (hair loss due to stress) is much more common in women than men and can often be confused with female pattern hair loss. Other medical causes of hair loss play a much larger role in hair loss in women than men. An underactive thyroid, low vitamin D levels and low iron levels are well known causes of hair loss and much more common in women. Hence supplements often work much better for female pattern hair loss than male pattern hair loss.
At Rejuvence Clinic we offer Hair Facts. This is a unique hair supplement that is only available at Rejuvence. It is different to other supplements in that it is a cyclical vitamin therapy that pairs supplements together on different days to ensure that all vitamins and supplements are absorbed more efficiently as opposed to other supplements that just bundle lots of ingredients together into a single tablet. The results of Hair Facts are there to be seen and it has proven to be extremely popular. Indeed many female users of Hair Facts worldwide have found that this supplement has meant they are able to not just improve the condition of their hair but that their overall health improves with correction of thyroid, vitamin D and iron levels. For further details please look at our page on Hair Facts. To book a consultation please contact our clinic.
At Rejuvence we offer intravenous vitamin drips tailored to specific needs. Our Hair Boost Drip consists of a combination of vitamins and biotin and can help improve the quality of your existing hair as well as improve hair loss. Having vitamin supplements in the form of a drip ensure that very high concentrations can be achieved in the blood stream compared with just having tablets. High concentrations mean better results. At Rejuvence we ensure that all our drips are safe.
Microneedling and plasma therapy is fast emerging as an effective treatment for androgenic alopecia especially suited to the treatment of female pattern hair loss. Studies published to date have included both males and females suffering with hair loss and demonstrated significant gains of almost 20 to 25% in hair thickness and hair density following an average of three treatment sessions over three months. Plasma treatments are very well tolerated in women and do not involve a lengthy surgical procedure. The treatment can also be targeted to specific bare areas of the scalp leaving thick healthy hairs untouched.
Beware! Not all plasma treatment is the same!
Numerous clinics in the UK and abroad provide plasma treatments for hair loss. In Turkey many clinics offer sessions at unbelievable prices. However, it is important to understand that you get what you pay for. Plasma therapy for hair loss has been found to be effective only when the concentration more than 4 to 5 times normal baseline. More or less than this renders the plasma ineffective. The vast majority of clinics offering plasma therapy in the UK use test tube based systems. It is well documented that these systems can only achieve concentrations of up to 3 times baseline. Often it is much less than this. At Rejuvence we are among the few clinics in the UK that use the Magellan™ system. Magellan™ results in high quality appropriately concentrated plasma that can really deliver excellent results. For genuine plasma treatment contact us and book a consultation.
At Rejuvence we go a step further than the rest! We are one of the first few clinics in the UK that offer fat cell based biocellular hair loss treatments. Treatment of hair loss with nanofat goes a step further than plasma therapy alone. Recent advances in minimally invasive liposuction have shown that by filtering (micronizing) your own fat, it is possible to tap into a rich source of progenitor cells and growth factors. The difference between plasma therapy and nanofat treatments is that plasma is used as a chemical messenger to attract cells and growth factors to the region of interest. With biocellular treatments, nanofat is directly injected into the region of interest. This is clearly going to yield better results and many hair transplant surgeons in the US and around the world have started incorporating micronized fat into their transplant regimes with very promising results. At Rejuvence Clinic we combine Magellan™ with micronized fat to give you a biorestorative hair loss treatment that can give you the best results possible for hair loss. For further details please look at our page on Biocellular Hair Restoration. Please contact us for a consultation.