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Female Pattern Hair Loss

With Age, Comes Hair Loss

Female pattern hair loss affects about 30% of the female population in their lifetime and gets worse with age, especially after each pregnancy and the menopause. FPHL is characterised typically by a gradual, diffuse thinning of hairs at the top of the scalp. The back and sides of the scalp are usually not affected by the thinning. Often, the parting becomes wider and the scalp shows through more easily. The hairline in front is usually not affected in FPHL, and is therefore not noticed by the patient until significant hair has been lost.

The common diffuse pattern of female hair loss caused by genetics is classified according to the severity of thinning. We use the Ludwig-Savin pattern of hair loss to objectively assess patients.

Ludwig Savin Classification for Female Hair Loss

Before making a diagnosis of FPHL, it is important to rule out treatable causes including anaemia, thyroid dysfunction, autoimmune disorders, extreme stress or crash diets leading to nutritional deficiency. Sometimes, there is no obvious cause of the hair loss and it is down to genetic influence.

In mild cases of hair loss, minoxidil spray is an effective way to improve hair growth. Other options include oral spironolactone, low level laser therapy. Some hair growth supplements have limited studies that demonstrate their efficacy.

In more advanced cases of hair loss, a hair transplant is a good option to consider, subject to certain criteria. This involves moving healthy hair follicles from the back and sides of the scalp to the top of the scalp where there is thinning.

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