The Impact of Genetics on Female Hair Loss
If you’re a female experiencing hair loss, you may be waking up in the mornings to an above average amount of hair on your pillow. Or maybe when you comb your hair, too many strands are left behind.
You might notice that your hair has an overall thinner appearance when you look in the mirror. Maybe your middle or side part is growing wider and wider, thinning with each passing day.
There are numerous reasons for hair loss in women. Hair can fall out because of pregnancy, certain medications, or illnesses. If you’ve been hard on your hair, years of pulling your hair too tight in a ponytail, or using harsh chemicals on it can be the culprit. Hormonal shifts, stress, trauma, dieting and poor nutrition are other causes.
Yet the leading cause for female hair loss is genetics, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
The hereditary condition androgenetic alopecia, also known as female pattern baldness, affects roughly 30 million American women, according to Genetics Home Reference. It can happen anytime, although it occurs most commonly in your late 50s or 60s.
Female pattern baldness runs in certain families, and you’re at a higher risk of female balding if you have a close relative — for instance, a sister, mother or aunt — with the condition. Male hair loss usually follows a well-defined process. Male pattern baldness begins above both temples, with a gradually receding hairline, often resulting in partial or total baldness.
In women, it’s different. The hair primarily thins at the top of the head, yet the density remains on the sides and the back of the head. And unlike in men, female hair loss rarely leads to total baldness, although some women can suffer from a receding hairline or bald patches.
To better understand the term “androgenetic alopecia,” let’s divide it into two: “Andro” means the hormone androgen, which helps regulate hair growth, among other things. “Genetic” refers to an inherited condition that can involve a number of different genes.
How the hair loss occurs is pretty straightforward and formulaic. The anagen phase, which is the hair’s growing phase, is genetically altered and shortened.
What happens next? The time lag lengthens between when hair is naturally shed and when its new growth phase begins.
And on top of that, there are changes in the actual follicle itself, which shrinks and turns out a shorter and thinner hair shaft. Eventually, the follicle will quit and close up shop altogether, resulting in no new hair growth at all.
Though the explanation is quite simple, the fallout is not. Hair loss is generally more traumatic for women than it is for men. Men’s baldness can even be sometimes celebrated, while women suffer self-esteem and body image issues, and may even feel depressed and become withdrawn.
Just Google “The Sexiest Bald Men Alive” or “The Hottest Bald Men Of All Time” if you’re not convinced. Now try to imagine similar website searches or pages for women with thinning hair.
If female hair loss is negatively affecting your life and self esteem, consider some treatment options to restore your hair. NeoLTS Light Therapy System is one non-invasive treatment that has been clinically proven to improve the appearance of hair as well as skin. With light therapy, patients are exposed to specific wavelengths of light which can help hair appear more full, thick and strong, while also improving the appearance of skin concerns like wrinkles and age spots.
HairMedica is another option to help slow hair loss and keep the hair you do have healthy and strong. The three-step hair treatment plan nourishes hair roots and stops hair follicle degeneration. It also improves the amount of nutrients delivered to scalp skin, hair roots and follicles with increased circulation for healthier hair.
Female hair loss can be difficult to deal with, but remember, there are treatment options and resources available to help you along your journey.