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The most common cause of hair loss in women is Female Pattern Hair Loss. There is a clear pattern for the hair loss as defined in the Ludwig Scale as attached.
Other common causes of hair loss in women are :
- Alopecia Areata ( coin-shaped hair loss )
- Vitamin / Mineral Deficiencies ( Iron, Zinc, Copper etc)
- Traction Alopecia ( tight hairstyles over many years)
- Fungal infection of scalp
It’s best to visit a doctor highly interested in hair loss treatment to have a clear detailed and effective consultation and treatment process.
There is difference between hair thinning and hair fall. If you noticed the hair gradually thinning over months or years, female pattern hairloss is the most likely diagnosis. If however, there is an increase in the hair fall of >100 strands, that is significant and there are a number of conditions that can cause this and this often warrants further investigation to look for the underlying cause.
Dermatologists specialize in the treatment of skin and hair diseases and you can consider seeing a dermatologist for your concerns.
Dr Colin Theng
Hi Rupa, I fully agree with Dr Israr’s answers.
A constant hair loss of more than 100 strands a day (losing up to 100 strands a day is considered normal) definitely warrants further investigation with a doctor.
As Dr Israr explained, Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL) certainly would be my top suspicion as I see it most commonly amongst female patients of your age group.
To add on to the very useful image for reference he has included above, a few additional details about FPHL:
- Hair thinning is different from that of male pattern baldness.
- In FPHL: Hair thins mainly on the top of your head and crown of your scalp.
- It usually starts with a widening through the center hair part.
- Your front hairline remains (unlike a receding hairline in males).
- The hair loss rarely progresses to total or near total baldness, as it may in men.
I’d suggest that you see a dermatologist as a first step to find out the cause of your hair loss. Subsequently for treatment, you can choose to see either a dermatologist or an aesthetic doctor with a special interest in hair.
What should you expect when you see the doctor?
Your doctor will take a thorough history and exam. FPHL is usually diagnosed based on:
- Ruling out other causes of hair loss
- The appearance and pattern of your hair loss
- Your medical history
The doctor will examine you for other signs of too much male hormone (androgen), such as:
- Abnormal new hair growth, such as on the face or between the belly button and pubic area.
- Changes in menstrual periods
- New acne
In rare instances, if your hair loss pattern is not typical of FPHL, he may also suggest a few bloods tests or a skin biopsy to diagnose other types of skin disorders that cause hair loss.
The hair loss in FPHL is permanent, if not treated.
The 3 main types of treatment for FPHL:
1. Minoxidil, a topical foam applied to your scalp.
- Minoxidil may help hair grow in about 1 in 4 women.
- In most women, it’s effective at slowing or stopping hair loss.
- You must continue to use this medicine for a long time.
- Hair loss starts again when you stop using it.
- If minoxidil doesn’t work, your doctor may recommend an oral medicine called spironolactone: Spironolactone may help if your hair loss is caused by too much androgen, a male hormone.
3. Hair transplant
- Hair transplant removes tiny plugs of hair from areas where your hair is thicker to replace hair in areas where you are balding.
- This can cause minor scarring where the hair is removed, and carries a slight risk for skin infection.
- Hair transplant is expensive. In Singapore, hair transplant costs anything from $8 to $15 per single strand of hair transplanted. However, the results are permanent.
Thanks for your query on hair loss.
First step is identifying if your hair loss is gradual hair thinning or a sudden fall of >100 strands, which would require medical attention.
Next is looking at the pattern of the hair loss. Female pattern hair loss is the loss of hair along the top of the scalp and is the most common form of hair loss.
Treatment is dependent on the cause and can be divided into conservative and surgical. For more information about hair loss, feelfree to browse this hair article.
Lastly, in my opinion, it is best to see a doctor specialising in hair loss to help with your condition.
I hope this helps!
Dr Daniel Chang