While balding is discussed almost exclusively in terms of men, the reality is that millions of women also suffer from hair loss. As a busy mom who doesn’t have a ton of time to dedicate to her own needs, this can be extremely frustrating.
What is Female Pattern Baldness?
There are many different kinds of hair loss. However, female pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is the one that affects women most often. It shares similar traits to male pattern baldness, though women often lose their hair in unique patterns that differ from men.
“Female pattern baldness is hereditary,” Healthline explains. “It’s more common after menopause, so hormones are likely responsible. If you notice that you’re losing hair, see your doctor or a dermatologist. They will be able to determine if you’re experiencing female pattern baldness or another type of hair loss.”
While it can be alarming, hair loss is normal for women (particularly as you get older). Data shows that two in three women will experience hair loss after menopause, and less than half of women make it to 65 with a full head of hair.
The average woman loses somewhere between 50 and 100 hairs each day. Thankfully, there are an equal amount of hairs re-emerging in the growth cycle (which leads to a roughly net-zero loss). Those with female pattern baldness, however, can lose far more than the average 50 to 100. When this happens, thinning and balding occur.
While men lose hair at the crown of the head and hairline most often, women tend to lose hair from all over the head. It may start at the part line and extend to the temples, but hair loss is often very evenly distributed across the head. True balding is rare, but women with female pattern baldness may have lots of thinning.
It’s less common that women lose hair before midlife (like men). Most women with female pattern baldness will experience thinning beginning in their 40s, 50s, or into their 60s. However, because of the apparent relationship between hair loss and hormones, some experience thinning after pregnancy and/or menopause (which can come earlier for some women than others).
3 Tips for Reversing Hair Loss
If you’re a mom who is experiencing hair loss, the good news is that there are plenty of safe ways to fight back. Here are several suggestions:
- Try Laser Therapy
Low-level laser therapy (LLLT), also known as cold laser therapy, is a safe and effective form of hair loss treatment that works by stimulating the scalp at a cellular level.
“The lasers emit low light therapy to the skin’s tissue on the scalp. As a result, blood flow is stimulated to the scalp tissue to reduce inflammation and begins to circulate throughout the head,” explains Kiierr, the company behind one of the top laser caps on the market. “Blood flow circulation transports the essential oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles and results in cell regeneration in the problematic (thinning) areas of the hair.”
The best thing about laser therapy is that it can be safely conducted at home with a simple laser cap system. Not only that, but it’s painless and FDA approved. It does take some time to see results – possibly 180 days or more – but it’s a very safe and effective option.
- Watch What You Eat
Your diet has a major impact on hair growth. Eat the right foods and you’re more likely to have a thick, full head of hair. Consume a poor diet and you’re much more prone to hair loss.
Good foods for hair growth include eggs, avocados, spinach, seeds, nuts, beans, and red meat. Foods that are bad for your hair (and could even accelerate hair loss) include dairy, sugar, refined carbs, greasy food, carbonated drinks, and alcohol.
- Try Medication
When it comes to medication, minoxidil (Rogaine) is the only FDA-approved hair loss drug for women. It comes in both 2 percent and 5 percent formulas (with the latter obviously being more effective). Minoxidil won’t fully restore your hair, but it will give you a thicker appearance. It typically takes six to 12 months to see results. And once you stop using it, your hair is likely to return to its previous state.
Adding it All Up
Losing hair as a woman can feel awkward, embarrassing, and frustrating. However, you aren’t alone. Millions of women experience some form of hair loss in their lives. And if you know how to fight back with things like laser therapy, proper diet and nutrition, and medication, you can neutralize some of these effects and continue to enjoy a full head of hair. Here’s to being proactive about your health!