Like men, women can experience hair loss. Seeing a doctor as soon as possible when you notice you’re losing your hair can help you get to the bottom of the cause of thinning hair and allow you to understand your treatment options. Dr. Jeffrey Epstein and the Women’s Center for Hair Loss Team in Miami, Florida can discuss hair loss in women treatment options with you and help you decide what to do next.
What Kind of Doctor to See for Hair Loss in Women
Every day, the average person sheds between 50 and 100 strands of hair. Seeing a few hairs in the tub after a shower or on your hairbrush or comb shouldn’t be anything to worry about. But when you start to notice thinning areas on your scalp or see large clumps of hair coming out, it may be a cause for concern.
Women who experience hair loss have a few options when it comes to working with a doctor. Often, it’s recommended that a woman make an appointment to see a dermatologist about hair loss.
While a dermatologist can help to diagnose the cause of the hair loss and can prescribe topical medications to help treat it, they usually don’t perform surgery to restore the hair. Dermatologists don’t usually specialize in hair loss and might not be able to provide all the information a woman needs to effectively treat the problem.
A better option is to schedule an appointment with a hair restoration specialist, such as the plastic surgeons at the Women’s Center for Hair Loss. Dr. Gorana Kuka-Epstein and Dr. Jeffrey Epstein have devoted their careers to performing hair transplants and to studying the latest hair loss treatment options. They understand the myriad causes of hair loss in women and can help you determine which treatment option is best.
Patterns of Hair Loss in Women
Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern baldness, causes hair loss in a distinct pattern. In men, the hair typically thins from the crown of the head or recedes from the hairline. In women, the pattern is slightly different.
The hair loss pattern in women can also look different when the hair loss is due to other causes, such as too-tight ponytails and braids or autoimmune disorders. Examples of hair thinning patterns in women include:
While men with androgenetic alopecia typically lose hair from the top of the head or the hairline, women with female pattern baldness often notice a pattern of diffuse thinning from the part.
One of the first signs of hair loss in women is a widening of the hair’s part. The degree of hair loss can be measured using the Savin scale. However most common the loss of hair is frontal and frontotemporal thinning which can be effectively treated with transplants in most cases.
When hair loss isn’t due to female pattern baldness, it can often present as bald spots on the scalp. A variety of conditions and factors can lead to bald spots.
One cause is alopecia areata, an autoimmune disorder. When a woman has alopecia areata, her immune system attacks the hair follicles. While some people with the condition experience all-over baldness, others develop smooth, round bald spots, often on the scalp.
Repeated stress and tension on certain hair follicles can also lead to bald spots. For example, pulling the hair into a tight ponytail or sectioning it into braids can put enough force on the strands that the hair falls out.
Women with female pattern baldness are less likely than men with male pattern baldness to experience a receding hairline. But some women notice recession from the hairline or naturally have a high forehead.
Tension alopecia, from women’s hairstyles that are too tight, is a common cause of a pattern of hair loss along the hairline. Another cause is frontal fibrosing alopecia, which is a relatively rare type of hair loss that causes scarring along the hairline.
Women Hair Transplant Gallery
* All patients are unique and individual results may vary.
Hair Loss Causes in Women
Women can experience hair loss for several reasons, which can be both good and bad news. The good news is that hair growth often returns once the cause of hair loss is discovered. The bad news is that the number of potential causes can make it challenging to figure out why a woman’s hair is falling out.
Some possible causes of hair loss in women include:
- Stress levels: Experiencing high levels of stress can trigger a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. When a woman has telogen effluvium, many hair strands move into the resting, or telogen, stage prematurely and do not grow.
- Thyroid problems: An over or under-active thyroid can cause hair loss.
- Poor diet: If a woman goes on crash diets regularly or doesn’t get the recommended nutrients, she could experience hair loss.
- Hairstyles: Braids and ponytails can put pressure on the hair follicles. Using a lot of chemicals to process the hair can also lead to hair loss.
- Genes: Hair loss can occur due to genetics in women as well as in men.
- Skin issues: Some skin problems, such as eczema or psoriasis, can affect the hair follicles.
- Exposure to toxins: Toxic chemicals can lead to hair loss. In some cases, the toxins might be necessary, such as chemotherapy to treat cancer.
- Menopause: Many women first notice thinning hair or hair loss when they go through menopause.
- Autoimmune disorders: Alopecia areata is one example of an autoimmune disease that can lead to hair loss.
- Pregnancy: Some women experience telogen effluvium after giving birth, causing them to shed a lot of hair soon after having a child.
- Birth control: Taking hormonal birth control pills might also lead to hair loss.
- Anemia: Low iron levels are associated with hair loss.
Immediately After a Hairline Lowering/Forehead Shortening Surgery
Women forehead reduction Photos
* All patients are unique and individual results may vary.
Hair Loss in Women by Age
Women can experience hair loss at any age, but the cause of the hair loss is often different based on how old a woman is. For example, older women who are past menopause are more likely to have hair loss due to female pattern baldness. More than 50% of women have some hair loss by age 70.
When hair loss occurs in younger women, it’s often due to a variety of causes. A woman might experience shedding after giving birth or if she starts taking a new form of birth control. A young person who experiments with different women’s hairstyles or who dyes, relaxes, or perms her hair might experience some balding due to her style choices.
Is a Hair Transplant a Treatment for Hair Loss in Women?
For some women, a hair transplant can be an appropriate alopecia treatment option. Hair transplants have come a long way since the hair implants and hair plugs used in the mid-20th century.
Today, hair restoration surgeons use advanced methods to extract the follicles from the scalp carefully and transplant them into the treatment area. The result is much more natural-looking, helping a woman regain her confidence and her hair.
A hair transplant can be part of a multi-pronged approach to treating baldness or thinning hair for many women. Along with surgical hair restoration, a woman might benefit from a hairline lowering procedure and from medications and supplements to address the cause of the hair loss.
Hair Transplantation Options for Women
Depending on the type of thinning hair a woman has, Dr. Epstein might recommend one type of hair transplant over another. Additionally, some women might find that a non-surgical treatment can help them regrow hair and regain confidence.
Follicular Unit Transplantation
Follicular unit transplantation, or FUT, is an older method of hair restoration. During FUT, a hair restoration surgeon removes a small strip of scalp from the back or side of a patient’s head. The strip contains hair follicles that aren’t affected by androgens and won’t fall out due to male or female pattern baldness.
FUT allows a surgeon to harvest many hair follicles at once, making it a good option for patients who want to restore a significant amount of hair. One drawback of the procedure is that it’s more invasive than other options and leaves a surgical scar.
Follicular Unit Extraction
Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is a newer method of hair restoration. When performing FUE, a surgeon harvests each follicle individually with a punch tool. There’s no incision and no scar. The process can take longer, but recovery is quicker as compared to FUT.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
Hair loss treatment for women doesn’t always have to involve surgery. Some women might also benefit from combining FUT or FUE with non-surgical options.
One of those options might be Rogaine for women. Rogaine, or minoxidil, is a topical hair loss treatment that helps to stimulate hair regrowth. A woman can apply it to the areas of the scalp with thin hair to encourage thicker growth or new hair growth. Our office can also create for our patients a custom topical compounded minoxidil, based on blood tests and or TrichoTest, a genetic test that our office now offers.
To continue to see results, a person needs to keep using minoxidil. Once they stop, the hair growth will stop. Minoxidil side effects can also occur, such as irritation of the skin or dryness on the scalp.
Other non-surgical hair restoration options include adipose-derived growth factors and lifestyle changes, such as improving the diet and minimizing stress. Getting hormone levels under control can also help to reduce baldness.
Hair Transplant Cost
The cost of a hair transplant depends on a few factors, including the size of the treatment area and the technique used. The cost can range from a few thousand to more than $10,000. Since it’s considered a cosmetic treatment, it’s not often covered by insurance.
Recovery Timeline and What to Expect After
The initial recovery after a hair transplant typically takes a few days. While you might get the all-clear to go back to work after a couple of days, you might prefer to take a week or so off to rest up and to give your scalp time to heal.
One thing that’s important to understand is that you won’t have a full head of lush hair immediately after the transplant surgery. The recently transplanted hairs will be shed before they regrow.
Don’t panic, though, as that’s to be expected. After the initial shock loss, the newly transplanted follicles will start to grow. You should notice new growth within a few months.
Care Tips After Hair Loss Treatments
Be gentle with your scalp during the first few days after your surgery. The newly transplanted follicles are likely to be tender.
Your surgeon will let you know when it’s okay to start showering or washing your hair again. Usually, you’ll want to leave it alone for a few days. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to rest and take it easy after the surgery.
As far as styling your hair goes, hold off for a few months or until you get the all-clear from your surgeon. Avoid perms, relaxers, or hair dyes to minimize the chances of irritating the scalp.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best treatment for hair loss depends on the cause. Some women see dramatic improvements by changing their diet, reducing stress, or adjusting their hormones. For other women, surgery is the best option.
Your hair might be falling out for a variety of reasons. Stress, diet, medications, and hormone levels are just some of the common causes of hair loss in women. Talking to a hair restoration specialist can help you pinpoint the cause and determine the best treatment.
Some women who are losing their hair at the temples have a condition known as frontal fibrosing alopecia.
You can try to reverse hair loss naturally in a few ways. If a nutritional deficiency is causing your hair loss, addressing the deficiency can help. Changing your hairstyle might also help. Some women find that relaxation and stress reduction techniques are also effective.
For some women, a hair transplant is the best option. A hair restoration surgeon can help you decide if it’s right for you.
The amount of hair you need for a female hair transplant depends on the amount of hair you want to restore. A surgeon will evaluate your scalp and the pattern of hair loss to determine if surgery is a viable treatment choice.
While hair restoration surgery won’t make the hair thicker, it can make your hair look fuller by replacing lost strands. Minoxidil might help to thicken the hair.
One of the signs of female pattern baldness is a part that looks wider or bigger than it should. If you’re concerned about the size of your part, talk to a hair restoration surgeon about your options.
Schedule a Consultation in South Florida
Knowing how to treat your hair loss requires knowing what’s behind the issue. To get a fuller head of hair and regain your confidence, schedule a consultation with the hair restoration specialists at the Women’s Center for Hair Loss in Miami, Florida. Call 305-666-1774 or fill out our online form to book your appointment today.