Although we tend to think that men have the exclusive on baldness, roughly 21 million women suffer with some form of alopecia or hair loss. In a majority of the hair loss cases in the US, the underlying cause is “androgenetic alopecia” or male and female pattern baldness. Yet while the underlying causes are similar, there are differences in that each one follows a predictable pattern. That is why if you notice an increase in hair fall, it is time to consult with a specialist.
Female Pattern Baldness
With female pattern baldness, women typically notice that their hair starts thinning in the middle region of the scalp, appearing finer and sparser as time goes on. Sometimes the thinning occurs around the temples, just above the ears, and the side of the scalp. However, female hair loss rarely occurs around the hairline. When thinning occurs down the mid-section of the scalp, the follicles in that particular area begin to shrink and eventually stop producing hair, thereby resulting in a bald spot. Furthermore, women tend to notice thinning in their 50’s or 60’s or later than what men typically do.
Male Pattern Baldness
Men oftentimes notice that their hair starts thinning at the temples as early as their 20’s and 30’s. No two men are alike where male pattern baldness is concerned. The rate at which the hairline recedes is attributed to a number of factors that can slow down or speed up their susceptibility to losing their hair. In fact, some men go completely bald within 5 years while others take longer. If no hair restoration solutions are attempted, it will take 15 to 25 years for the average male to go bald. Once the thinning starts it recedes from the forehead back towards the crown.
What causes Female and Male Pattern Baldness?
In cases of androgenic alopecia, the culprit is most often Dihydrotestosterone or DHT, an androgen hormone and its effect on overly sensitive follicles. Unless there is some type of underlying medical condition, women have less androgen than men do. So the way in which a woman experiences hair loss normally differs from that of men. In rare cases, some men have developed a hair loss pattern that is more like female pattern baldness while some women have experienced a male pattern form of hair loss.
Fortunately, many of the hair restoration and transplant procedures that are performed today work equally well for men and women alike. If you’ve been experiencing the symptoms of female or male pattern baldness, you should contact a hair restoration specialist and discuss your treatment options before losing more hair.