At the Eaton Practice our experienced trichologists will help you to diagnose and treat your hair and scalp problems. Since the reasons behind female pattern baldness are very complex, they will require detailed knowledge of your lifestyle, medical background and family history. You can rest assured that all such information is strictly confidential.

Female hair loss can also be linked to physical or emotional health; all patients’ alopecia treatments will be specifically tailored to their personal circumstances.

Types of female hair loss:

Female Androgenic Alopecia (Female Pattern Baldness)

Androgenic alopecia is caused by testosterone which is carried by the blood to the hair follicles of the scalp. There it is converted to a more active form called DHT (dihydrotestosterone) which inactivates the follicle. The hair follicles still produce hairs but they are too tiny to be visible- this process is called miniaturization. The condition appears predominately throughout the upper part of the scalp, leading to female pattern baldness. It is usually a slow progressive problem for this reason; the sooner alopecia treatment can be started, the better.

Falling oestrogen is the main cause of female pattern baldness in menopause and beyond. If alopecia begins in the forties or later, there is good chance that it is due to lower oestrogen levels, though occasionally the effect of androgens does not show up until this age. Sometimes both factors are involved.

Alopecia Areata

An extremely common condition, affecting 1% to 2% of the population at some point in their lives. Most sufferers are children and young adults (below 40 years old), though it affects people of all ages. Female hair loss is sudden and manifests itself in small, smooth-skinned patches that gradually widen with time. It can also affect the sufferer’s nails, giving them a pitted, ridged or brittle appearance. The exact cause is still unknown, although current theories include an auto-immune disease, stress or a genetic basis.

Alopecia Totalis

When the hair loss progresses until all the scalp hair is lost.

Alopecia Universalis

When all the body hair is lost as well, including eyelashes and eyebrows. It is believed to affect 1 in every 200,000 people.

Diffuse Alopecia

Sustained thinning of hair throughout the entire scalp, narrowing hair shafts and lack of hair growth are recognised symptoms of the condition. Persistent hormone problems and iron deficiency are often the cause of the problem.

Anagen Effluvium

This is a dramatic and immediate release of hair from the active growing stage of the hair growth cycle. This condition is caused by toxic abuse of the hair follicles; chemotherapy is a common example. Once the cause is removed, hair will re-grow.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen is the final stage of the hair growth cycle. Normal Telogen shedding results in 80-100 hairs being shed from the scalp on a daily basis; under normal circumstances, a brand new hair is evident soon after. During Telogen effluvium, this daily quota of shed hair can double for some months to come without hair re-growth, occurring for around a further three to six month period. This results in up to a 40% reduction in overall hair density. Common causes are severe shock, childbirth and excessive weight loss.

Sudden Hair Loss

Sudden female hair loss can be linked to many different factors, e.g. illness, nutritional deficiencies, stress or medication.

Cosmetic-Linked Hair Problems

Over abuse of hair chemicals is widely seen to cause hair loss in females. Highlighting the hair, Colouring the hair, Daily blow drying and use of Straightening irons, can all reduce the strength of the hair.

Sustained thinning of the hair throughout the entire scalp, narrowing the hair shafts and lack of hair growth are recognized symptoms. Persistent hormone problems and iron deficiency are common contribution g factors.

It is important to establish the cause of female hair loss before embarking on any form of treatment or surgery.