Female Pattern Baldness

What is Female Pattern Baldness?

Female Pattern Baldness condition presents as a change in the density of the upper region of the hair compared to the sides and the rear, it can feel much finer and look quite transparent. The onset of this is usually gradual although the individual can perceive this to have worsened more recently.

Interestingly this affects both men and a woman at any age from puberty upwards and therefore isn’t exclusive to the senior age group as is thought to be.

Male and female pattern thinning may have other medical associated conditions, such as in women Polycystic Ovarian syndrome or hormone imbalances. However, in most cases, this inherited hair loss condition is NOT due to raised levels of hormones. Androgen Dependant Alopecia is predisposed of the inherited condition and is triggered by the influence of circulating male (androgens) hormones. The hair follicle becomes sensitive to these hormones causing the affected follicles to miniaturise, this results in terminal (mature) hairs gradually developing into finer smaller (vellous) hairs.

What are the most common symptoms of female pattern baldness?

Patients who attend Sussex Trichology with this complain that their hair lacks body, the scalp is increasingly more visible and that it is both embarrassing and very upsetting.

At Sussex Trichology, this condition in women can be completely arrested in most cases; improved hair density can be achieved. Contrary to some medical opinions, certain HRT and oral contraceptive pills can exacerbate rather than help this condition. It is essential for these women that are considering commencing these are advised the most appropriate ones. I often work alongside other medical disciplines such as Endocrinologists and Gynaecologists. I am endorsed by many of these.

Can NHS treatment help female pattern baldness?

There are currently no Trichologists available on the NHS and most Dermatologists are unable to diagnose and advice accurately how to both treat and prevent this condition from getting worse. Your GP may mention the use of Regaine (available from a Pharmacy) but in my opinion, this is insufficient used alone to either block the androgens or stimulate a sustainable level of regrowth for the patient.

Can alternative treatments help female pattern baldness?

In my experience no. While I massively support the use of alternative therapies where appropriate, in the case of this hormone-related condition it is not sufficient. Anti-androgen products such as saw palmetto and green tea leaf extract are within this category, however, will not alone suffice.

What patients say about our service?

Sally, a patient from Seaford, East Sussex, visited Sussex Trichology after suffering from “baldness”. You can read her full testimonial here.

I noticed that I was losing a copious amount of hair in Spring of last year (2012). I also noticed that my hairline had retreated alarmingly and I had taken to wearing headbands to keep my hair to hide the “baldness”. I went to see my GP in June who put it down to my “getting older” and probably having hair loss in the family. He was disinterested, but I eventually insisted on a referral to a Consultant.

SallySeaford, East Sussex