When large amounts of hair begin to come out, it can be tough to deal with. Pattern hair loss is well known in men, but women can also have Androgenic Alopecia (AGA). In both men and women, 90% of hair loss is characterized as pattern hair loss. Affecting approximately more than 20 million women in the United States, women often notice hair loss starting in their twenties and thirties.
Some amount of hair loss is normal as humans shed a small number of hairs daily. When the balance of hair loss and growth is disrupted, hair loss occurs. While men generally have pattern baldness, women notice hair loss throughout the crown of their heads. Over time, the amount of hair loss, baldness, and the size of affected areas tend to expand. The amount of hair loss can be described as mild, moderate, to severe.
3 Causes of Hair Loss in Women
The causes of hair loss in women vary, with about 50% of women experiencing hair loss due to different factors. While hair loss is common in women that have recently given birth, are undergoing chemotherapy, or have hairstyles that pull on hair, the other root causes are typically more complicated. Age, genetics, and hormones all play a factor in the amount of hair loss in a woman.
Alopecia can happen on any part of the body, but most commonly affects the scalp hair. The hair loss can range from minor hair shedding to balding patches to overall loss throughout the hair. Factors considered in diagnosis often include the duration of hair loss, pattern, and whether the hair loss has increased.
As women age, hair disorders can begin to manifest. While some women are genetically predisposed to be affected by pattern hair loss later in life, they generally don’t begin to lose hair until they reach their twenties or thirties. One of the reasons hair loss occurs as a woman age is due to the fluctuation of hormones.
Women in their twenties and thirties may experience hair loss due to hormonal interventions like birth control, pregnancy, and postpartum hormones. When women reach their forties and fifties, hair loss can become more common due to a combination of genetics and hormones (especially menopause) can cause hair loss. Women in their sixties and seventies can experience hair loss due to the hair structure itself changing and a combination of the other factors.
Hormones are responsible for many bodily functions, and hair growth is one of them. A derivative of the male hormone testosterone, DHT, is directly related to hair growth and loss. You may be wondering how a male hormone affects women, and that’s because women naturally have levels of testosterone in their bodies.
Women’s hormones are a delicate balance, and many events can upset that balance. Pregnancy, disease, medications, and thyroid hormone imbalance can all affect hormones responsible for hair growing and shedding. Women’s hormones naturally decrease as they age, especially before, during, and after menopause.
Our genetics can be responsible for many processes of the body and can give us genes that make the scalp hair follicles more susceptible to the harmful effects of the hormone DHT. DHT is essentially an enemy to the hair follicles growing on your head as it wants the follicles dead. The male sex hormone testosterone converts to DHT with the assistance of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase.
It’s now believed that the level of DHT binding to receptors in scalp follicles is the problem, whereas the amount of circulating testosterone was previously to blame. The hormone DHT is responsible for shrinking hair follicles which makes it impossible for healthy hair to survive. In both women and men, testosterone converts to DHT, harming hair follicles.
Typical Hair Growth and Loss
Each of the hair follicles on your head has a lifespan of two to six years. The hair will fall out of the follicle and enter a resting phase at the end of the lifespan. The follicle stimulates growth for a new strand of hair after the hair falls out. When a woman has higher levels of DHT, hair follicles can shrink, and the life cycle can be shortened, causing hair to grow out looking more brittle and thin. High levels of DHT make it harder for new hair growth to be stimulated as the hair grows out.
An individual’s androgen receptor (AR) gene variations affect the susceptibility of the effects of DHT on hair growth. The androgen receptors are what allow hormones like testosterone and DHT to bind to the receptor site. During the binding activity, normal hormone processes like bodily hair growth happen.
With individuals diagnosed with pattern hair loss, the enzyme 5-Alpha-Reductase (5AR) is found to be higher in those men and women. Formulations from Hair Genesis stop the negative activity and cycles of the 5AR enzyme. This process may help prevent damage to the hair follicle due to high levels of DHT. Healthy hair follicles start to produce strong and healthy hair as a result.
Call Us Today for More Information
If you’ve been dealing with excessive hair loss, give Hair Genesis a call to explore what treatment options are available. We love helping our patients in the Houston, Texas, neighborhoods. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment to meet with a specialist to develop a treatment plan to help you!