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The Facts About Female Hair Loss And How To Help Reverse It

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It's an established fact that men are more likely to lose their hair than women, mostly due to male pattern baldness. But thinning hair and hair loss are also common in women. And as disheartening it may be for men to see their hair thin and fall out, it can be particularly devastating for women. But now there's something you can do about it: hair restoration surgery.

What causes female hair loss

There are many reasons women lose their hair, ranging from a temporary situation — pregnancy or a vitamin deficiency — to something more permanent, such as an inherited genetic condition. Likewise, treatments for female hair loss range from a change in diet to more complex solutions, such as hair restoration surgery.

5 common reasons why women’s hair may thin or fall out:

1. Androgenic alopecia, or female pattern baldness

The leading cause of hair loss in women. This female version of male pattern baldness affects up to 50% of women over 50. Because it is hereditary, it cannot be prevented. Instead of a receding hairline (like men), women with female pattern baldness see their part gradually widen, often coupled with a noticeable thinning of their hair. 

2. Polycystic ovarian syndrome

A metabolic disorder affecting up to 5 million U.S. women. In addition to hair loss, other side effects include weight gain, irregular periods and excessive hair growth on other parts of the body. PCOS-related hair loss in women tends to worsen after menopause.

3. Telogen effluvium, or sudden hair loss

When hair falls out by the handful, usually after an extremely traumatic physical or emotional event such as childbirth or severe stress. Fortunately, telogen effluvium-related hair loss is treatable and reversible. Other possible triggers include:

  • Malnourishment
  • Eating disorders
  • Fever
  • Anemia
  • Surgery
  • Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland)
4. Trichotillomania

Also called the “hair pulling disorder,” this is characterized by a compulsion to pull hair out, from the scalp or other parts of the body. The most common age range for this condition is between 9 and 13 years of age. Primarily affecting women, trichotillomania is an automatic, sometimes unintentional, habit linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder and is done to relieve excessive stress.

5. Alopecia areata

An autoimmune disorder in which a person’s white blood cells mistakenly surround and inflame the hair follicles, leading to hair loss. Fortunately, since the hair follicles are not permanently damaged, regrowth is possible.

Other causes of female hair loss

In addition to the causes described above, there are several other possible reasons a woman might experience hair loss:

  • Hair styling (hair dyes, chemical straighteners or curling agents, hot irons, blow dryers, hot curlers)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Side effects of certain medication
  • Pregnancy
  • Giving birth
  • Menopause
  • Birth control pills
  • Poor diet
  • Too much vitamin A
  • Not enough vitamin B
  • Anemia
  • Lupus
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Antidepressants
  • Blood thinners

One solution to hair loss: hair restoration surgery

While some women may benefit from prescription minoxidil (Rogaine) to help grow hair, or slow down the thinning or loss of hair, there are few successful treatments for female hair loss. However, two options that can be very beneficial are medical and/or surgical hair restoration.

Medical hair restoration treatments can effectively slow or even help reverse hair loss. A more involved step is hair restoration surgery (hair follicle transplants) for the most natural-looking and permanent solution to hair loss and baldness.

To learn more about either of these procedures,  please refer to the Hair Restoration page on my website.

If you are interested in hair restoration surgery

If you are thinking about getting hair restoration surgery and would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact me. I will you additional information prior to your appointment.

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Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS)Samuel J. Beran, MD is a plastic surgeon with offices in Manhattan, Harrison and Mount Kisco, NY. With years of experience and a thorough command of the most advanced techniques and technologies, he consistently provides his patients with the highest level of plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast, face, skin and body.

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"Dr. Beran is a board certified plastic surgeon, specializing in cosmetic surgery procedures such as breast augmentation. He is amazing and I definitely recommend him."

-Olivia