Are you sure you don’t have any hair loss problems?
It’s always been perceived that hair loss problems are only common among men. Unfortunately, the condition occurs in women too, according to hair loss statistics. In fact, 80% of women will suffer from hair loss by the time they’re 60. That’s 15% higher than men and that also means only 1 out of 5 women can live their lives without worrying about losing hair.
Apparently, it is difficult to escape from the grasp of hair loss problems.
The worse problem is that hair loss attacks men and women differently. It won’t be safe for a man to assume that he’s safe from hair loss just because he doesn’t have the signs and symptoms that’s typical in women. Judging the health of your hair based only on common symptoms is a bad idea.
To make it easier for you to decide whether you’re really suffering from hair loss, here’s a comprehensive list on the differences of hair loss in men and women.
Hair Loss Causes
There are a lot of uncontrollable factors at play that causes hair loss, like age and genetics. As you age, your testosterone decreases, that’s why the onset of hair thinning problems in men typically start around their 30s. If any of your relatives showed early signs of the condition, it’s most likely that you’re at risk too, so use this observation to anticipate and prepare for hair loss problems.
The decisive genetic factor that plagues men with hair loss is the sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone or DHT. It is an offshoot of testosterone that typically shrinks and kills hair follicles in the crown area.
Pituitary gland and thyroid problems as well as Syphilis and other infections also cause hair loss.. Scalp infections are known culprits, too. A ringworm infection, for example, affects your hair and scalp which leads to hair loss. Fortunately, hair grows back when the infection is treated immediately.
While women are also susceptible to hair loss causes, they are exposed to more factors when compared to men. For example, menopause, pregnancy, and childbirth cause hormonal imbalances and changes that trigger hair loss. Going through emotional and physical trauma, like the death of a family member and invasive surgery, also triggers hair thinning. Fortunately, the effects of these factors are typically short-term.
One of the core difference of male and female hair loss is that women are more prone to excessive application of hairstyling products and hairstyles that put the scalp and hair strands in a considerable amount of stress. Constant hot oil hair treatments will cause hair follicle inflammation and will lead to hair loss. Tight braiding, pigtails, and ponytails will cause traction alopecia, a problem caused by constant hair pulling. Women should note that birth control pills can cause losing hair, too.
Both sexes should be aware that medications for depression, arthritis, cancer, blood pressure, and heart problems might cause hair loss, as well as excessive intake of Vitamin A.
Hair Loss Disorders
According to a study, 90% of hair loss in men are caused by the hereditary male pattern baldness. Alopecia areata is a prevalent disorder that leads to losing patches of hair from the scalp and the eyebrows. Its roots are still yet to be discovered, only that it’s more apparent in men than in women. It’s known to affect men of certain age with proportional rates: 30% of men in their 30s, 50% if men in their 50s, and almost 60% of men in their 60s.
Scarring alopecia is a scary hair loss disorder that affects even healthy men. It kills hair follicles, replaces it with scar tissues, which causes permanent loss of hair.
Androgenetic alopecia is a pattern baldness that affects both men and women. It is a hereditary hair loss disorder that thins out the hair on the crown area of the scalp. The curious difference between male and female pattern hair loss is that it rarely leads to total hair loss in women.
Telogen effluvium, on the other hand, is a condition that seems to affect more women than men. It causes shedding of hair from all over the scalp area. It typically behaves in an acute manner after stressful events like severe blood loss from menstruation, which might explain its pervading presence in women.
Trichotillomania is a behavioral disorder that causes a person, typically women, to compulsively pull out her hair in response to stressful situations. This type of disorder requires psychiatric intervention instead of direct hair treatments.
Signs & Symptoms
So, what you need to know about balding in men is that you’ll notice the increasingly receding hairline first, followed by the hair thinning out around the crown area. When left untreated, the hair follicles will shrivel up and die, which will end up in baldness. The culprit, dihydrotestosterone, only attacks the front and center parts of the scalp, making it the reason why the hair at the side and back of the head remains intact when a male person is hit with male pattern baldness.
Although the patterns of hair loss in women are not as easily recognizable as those in men, the condition is still prevalent. For female pattern hair loss, you’ll have to check for hair thinning in the crown, the central region of the scalp. How male balding differ from female is that the thinning of the hair in women will spread out around the temple area and the area above the ears. You’ll probably notice that your scalp is more exposed than usual whenever you part your hair.
Hair Loss Scale
There are different hair loss scales for men to determine the stage they are currently in. Using the Norwood scale, 7 classes are presented where the first three focuses on receding hairlines. Class 4 is where the first sign of hair loss in the crown area is appearing and the remaining classes are for the increasing affected area. Class 7 indicates the most severe hair loss stage where the person has only the hair on the sides and the back of the head remaining.
For hair loss in women, the Ludwig Scale is used to determine the state and severity of the condition. The scale is divided into three types. Type 1 is the mildest stage. It’s often unnoticeable as there’s no evident changes in the frontal hairline. However, a Type 1 hair loss can be noticeable when a female person parts her hair across the crown area. Type 2 is when women observe a noticeable decrease in hair volume, significant amount of hair being shed, and hair thinning. Type 3 is when the loss of hair is extensive. At this point, the present amount of hair isn’t enough to cover the scalp.
For men, their hair symbolizes their virility and their attractiveness. The emergence of hair loss problems will lead them into depression, and bring social anxiety issues and low self-esteem problems at work and in their social life.
Women also suffer psychologically from hair loss. Because women see their hair as a symbol of their beauty and sexuality, the presence of hair loss symptoms will give them body image problems like dysmorphic disease and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Hair Loss Diagnosis
When men are diagnosed with hair loss, their hair are typically assessed through the Norwood scale, where the professional designates the state their hair based on the pattern and appearance. Men will be questioned about their family’s history of hair loss and recent stressful events. A detailed medical history will also be required.
A medical professional will then examine the scalp with a densitometer to evaluate the degree of hair follicle miniaturization, or the rate of their hair thinning. Some professionals will advise hair analysis or scalp biopsy in order to rule out hair loss caused by poisonous elements like arsenic and lead. It is also used to rule out diseases like lupus and other bacterial infections.
Hair loss diagnosis in women are more extensive; they are subjected to a number of tests like hormones level tests, thyroid levels, complete blood count, syphilis screening test, serum iron, and total iron binding capacity.
They are also subject to diagnostic tests in men like densitometry and scalp biopsy. Women are also subject to the hair pull method, where the hair professional will pull a hundred strands of hair to check for excessive hair fall. If more than three strands of hair are successfully plucked, then they are probably suffering from excessive hair loss and will be assessed using the Ludwig scale.
Hair Loss Solutions
Men usually come up with ways to battle hair loss, like using wigs and caps to cover their bald spots. However, this is not a sustainable solution. Some use Rogaine, a hair-growth medication, which don’t even provide permanent hair regrowth. It also requires constant application, which can be costly and tiring in the long run.
There are many ways to disguise female pattern baldness. For one, they use topical solutions to deal with the problem, unfortunately topical solutions don’t work very well on women. Some use hormone replacement therapy, where women of menopausal age take estrogen in a bid to counter the effects of DHT. However, this method is futile if the cause of hair loss is not due to sensitivity to DHT.
In the long run, hair transplant is the best solution for both men and women. It’s relatively cheaper and hair regrowth is guaranteed to be permanent. Follicular Unit Extraction or FUE is the ideal hair transplant method to deal with extensive hair loss, which is the typical stage in most men. Women looking for permanent hair loss solutions should look into Follicular Unit Transplants or FUT, the latest hair transplant method. It is also faster, making it the best choice for women who want to regain their confidence faster.
If you have no idea whether you’re suffering from hair loss or if you believe that you’re already experiencing its signs and symptoms but still not seeking any medical help, NuHart Clinic Philippines offers free and confidential no-obligation hair consultations.
Dr. Bato of NuHart Clinic Philippines is an experienced and trusted doctor specializing in hair loss treatments. He is also known as the leading expert in hair transplant in Asia and the Philippines. He and his team of hair loss solutions expert will be attending to your condition so you can be sure that your free and confidential no-obligation consultation is of top quality.
Best of all, NuHart Clinic Philippines offers the most affordable hair loss treatment rate in the country, making it easier to get the medical attention your hair deserves.