Hair Loss: Does It Differ Between Men and Women?
I see a lot of patients who are suffering from hair loss. Hair loss is a difficult condition both aesthetically and emotionally. For many people, their hair constitutes a key part of their identity, and the thinning or loss of that factor creates significant stress, dissatisfaction, and low self-esteem.
Although we often limit hair loss to a male-specific condition, many women also experience the thinning and loss of their hair as they age. It is estimated that up to 40 percent of both men and women will begin to experience hair loss during their 20s and 30s and will see a spike in that hair loss during their 40s and 50s. While the reasons for hair loss are widespread and sometimes gender specific, hair loss as a whole generally affects both men and women in a variety of ways.
The Genetic Connection
Genetics is the most significant factor in hair loss among men and women; it is also the most unfortunate. When your genetic disposition plays a role in any undesirable condition, there is generally very little that can be done to prevent it.
Androgenetic alopecia is the technical term for hair loss in men and women, and it is often linked to genetic levels of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone has a direct negative impact on the growth of hair follicles.
Additional Causes for Hair Loss
While genetics are commonly the cause of hair loss in men and women, other factors include:
- Hormonal changes
- Thyroid conditions
- Protein deficiencies
- Stress and anxiety
Receding Hairline in Men
Traditionally, male pattern baldness is characterized by a receding hairline and the thinning of the hair around the crown of the head. This condition can eventually lead to bald spots and even the entire loss of the hair except for the ring around the back and sides of the scalp.
Thinning Hair in Women
Women traditionally do not experience the receding hairline in the way that men do. Hair loss in women is characterized by the overall thinning of the hair, and female pattern baldness is broken down into three types.
- Type I is the thinning of your hair at your natural part
- Type II involves the increased thinning and widening of the part
- Type III is thinning throughout your scalp
While men typically experience receding hairlines and women usually experience thinning of the hair around their part, it is possible for either sex to experience any of these symptoms.
Treatment Options for Both Men and Women
Even though male and female pattern baldness affects the hair differently, they can be treated similarly. I address hair loss for both men and women through the SmartGraft™ method or through injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
This procedure shaves a portion of hair at the back of the head to use as donor hair follicles. The SmartGraft™ device takes the donor hair follicles and keeps it moist and cool until it is ready to be grafted to the thinning or bald areas.
These injections make use of the natural growth factors in your blood. In this process, blood is taken, and the platelet portion is separated out. It is this part of the blood that retains cell regeneration properties, which can help stimulate hair follicle growth. This treatment is ideal for patients who are experiencing thinning hair but not complete hair loss.