Is Women’s Hair Loss Reversible?

Women’s hair loss is not uncommon, but for many sufferers, there are treatments available that can offset or reverse the effects.

What Are The Early Stages of Women’s Hair Loss?

Women’s hair loss can begin as early as in the teen years or early twenties, but more often it begins during menopause. At that time, women’s bodies produce less estrogen or stop producing it altogether. Estrogen is a female hormone that protects a woman’s body from the small quantities of testosterone that is naturally produced. Prior to entering menopause, the estrogen that is present will make the existing testosterone less available for dihydrotestosterone (DHT) conversion. DHT can cause hair follicles to shrink or age and prematurely enter the “resting stage” of hair growth which prohibits the emergence of new and healthy hair follicles.

What Are The Effects of DHT When It Comes to Women’s Hair Loss?

Men’s hair loss due to the effects of DHT is often characterized by a u-shaped pattern on their scalp of thinned or missing hair. With women, DHT affects them differently when it comes to women’s hair loss. Their frontal hairline is usually spared and the thinning is more diffused across the area of the scalp. There may not be visually dramatic bald spots, either. However, the hair loss can be dramatic enough for the woman who has enjoyed a lifetime of healthy and luxuriant hair. And though the effect of DHT may be slower for women as compared to men, and may only begin after menopause, it can have an emotional as well as a physical impact. If this describes your circumstances you should seek a consultation by a hair transplant doctor.

What is Telogen Effluvium?

Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss that is more common among women as compared to men. What occurs is that far more than a normal number of hair follicles simultaneously begin the telogen or “resting stage” of the hair cycle, which is the final stage of hair growth. As a result, there is a dramatic amount of hair shedding. Women’s hair loss caused by an excess of follicles in the telogen phase can be triggered by a sudden and extreme loss of weight. Other common triggers include physical stress (including surgery), emotional stress, serious illness, and post-pregnancy hormonal changes (also known as postpartum alopecia).

The good news about triggers that may lead to telogen effluvium is that once those triggers are removed, the hair loss may stop and normal growth begins again. However, recovery can take as long as six months to a year. Our women’s hair loss may be able to accelerate that process with one or more treatments. Consulting a hair loss doctor like Dr. Robin Unger can help you better understand your options.