Alopecia in women

What woman doesn’t dream of long, shiny hair that is full of vitality?

Hair is undoubtedly the symbol of female beauty, and when women are affected by baldness, it also has an impact on their feminine identity. The psychological consequences are often much more severe in women than in men.

Fortunately, women have a very low chance of suffering from baldness. According to scientific research, around 10% of women are diagnosed with alopecia. The reason for this is simply because women have a relatively low level of male (androgen) hormones – 10%, while men have 90%. As these androgen hormones cause hair loss, men are more prone to baldness.

The most common type of alopecia in women is androgenetic alopecia and it is generally widespread, in other words all over the surface of the head. It appears gradually and more slowly than in men, and it is not very aggressive. The hair falls out easily if it is pulled and becomes very fragile: the hair loses all its volume. This alopecia can also be noticed all along the parting. This alopecia is not at all similar to male alopecia: it is not concentrated on the top of the head and does not leave it completely bald. However, just like in men, it is permanent.

There are a wide range of causes of alopecia in women, but they are always linked to a hormonal imbalance, in some way, caused by:

  • Certain diseases in the ovaries (cysts, cancer)
  • Excessively strong contraception
  • Heredity
  • Weight gain
  • Menopause
  • Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism

The side effects of a medical treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, can cause quite aggressive alopecia. Anticoagulants and anti-depression drugs can also play a role in women’s alopecia. This type of alopecia is temporary.

Other simple, but no less serious, factors should be considered, but they do not cause permanent alopecia:

  • Hairstyling (braids, straightening, perms)
  • Setting products
  • Hairstyling devices
  • Frequent color treatments
  • Overaggressive treatments and shampoos
  • Fevers
  • Periods of stress
  • Childbirth
  • Strict diets

Women also experience quite dramatic and aggressive forms of baldness (alopecia areata, red patches, etc.), but, like in men, they are generally cicatricial and are caused by skin infections, certain diseases, external aggression, a metabolic disorder, etc. … and they are not necessarily permanent.

Fortunately, “real” baldness does not exist in women, and it also mainly affects women after they turn 60, particularly during the menopause.

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