With different colors, styles and variations, young or older, male or female, the hair has a significant role in a person’s image.

While advertising for products that”fortify the hair” are almost always male-oriented, it might seem that women do not suffer from alopecia. The reality is that over two thirds of women face the challenges of hair-loss at some point in their lives.

In addition, the female physiology is unique, and variables such as menstrual cycles, menopause and pregnancy are especially important.

For many women, hair loss can be hereditary; however, lots of the causes of female hair loss are treatable.

Undeniably, the physical appearance of women depends heavily on their hair. For many women, their hair is a sign of youth and vitality.

Hair structure:

The external part of the hair, known as the stem, is the component of the hair which we see and fashion. The truth is it is dead tissue produced by hair follicles, small bag-shaped structures located deep in the scalp. Each hair is included within a follicle.

In the bottom of the follicle is the oval shaped root, which is responsible for the development of hair. In the lower part of this is the papilla, which comprises blood capillaries that provide blood to each hair.

Keratin is the same protein found in the nails.

The stem is composed of 3 layers: the cuticle, the cortex and medulla. The cuticle, or outer layer, is made up of small cells known as scales. The cuticle serves as a case for the cortex, the thickest portion of the stem, composed of cells organized in the form of tobacco leaves. The cortex holds the pigment that gives hair its color. The medulla is composed of cells with the form of a situation and can be located in the center. The spaces between cells in the medulla influence the refraction of light in tone and hair.

Glands and muscles

The hair is lubricated by fatty secretions from the sebaceous glands, situated on the sides of the majority of follicles. Surrounding these glands and the rest of the follicle, there are groups of muscles (arrector pili) which allow the hair to stand up when a person is cold or afraid.

Cycles of growth

Hair develops and is renewed regularly. Normally, 50 to 100 hairs fall out every day. If there aren’t any problems, this loss will most likely go un-noticed.

Hair grows about 1 cm per month, although this growth declines as we age. Every hair on your head remains there for about two to six decades, and during most of this time it is growing. When the hair is older it enters a resting stage in which it remains on the head, but stops growing. At the end of this stage the hair falls out. Normally, the follicle replaces the hair in roughly six months, but many things can interrupt this cycle. The result might be that the hair falls out soon or is not replaced. Normally 90% of hair is in constant growth (anagen phase) that lasts 2 to 6 years. 10% of hair is in a resting phase, which lasts approximately 2-3 months. At the conclusion of this stage it’s normal for the hair to fall out (telogen phase).

Blonds have the most hair (140,000 hairs) followed by dark hair (105,000) and red hair (90,000). As we age the rate of hair growth declines, leading to a progressive reduction of hair. Since the hair is composed of protein (keratin), and this substance can also be from the nails, it is very important that all folks ingest or eat an abundant amount of protein to maintain the healthy hair creation. Protein is found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, cereals, nuts and soy.


Main causes

It’s mostly determined by 3 factors: aging, hormones, and heredity.

Most individuals experience some hair loss as they age. The outcome may be a partial or complete baldness. Men are far more likely than women to undergo baldness and hair loss when they get older, but”female baldness” can also be inherited, which may result in modest or significant hair loss in women as they age. Hair loss is evident originally between 25 and 30 years of age. In female baldness, hair is replaced by increasingly thinner and shorter hair. Hair may even become transparent.

Usually, hair loss in women is less obvious than in men. Also, the pattern in which the hair falls out differs. It’s most evident in the hair area, in addition to the crown of the head, additionally the frontal hair line is retained. It’s inherited from the father and mother.

About 50% of women who experience hair loss have”female baldness”. In these cases there is a plethora of dihydrotestosterone (male hormone) in the hair follicle. The conversion of testosterone to DHT is governed by the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme in the scalp. Over time, the action of DHT degrades, and shortens the development phase of the follicle (Anagen). Although the follicle is alive, it grows less and less each time. Some follicles just die, but most become thinner and smaller. As the Anagenic Phase remains very short, hair gradually thins and drops out until it becomes so fine it can’t sustain daily hair combing. Baldness turns out a long, thick pigmented hair into thin, light and clear hair. Nevertheless, the sebaceous glands attached to the follicle remain the same size and continue to produce the identical amount of sebum. When a medical therapy (flutamide, cyproterone or spironolactone) can decrease the male hormones, the sebaceous glands become smaller, and lower their production of this hormone in the sebum causing less damage.

There also seems to be an immune factor in baldness. Basically, the immune system begins to target hair follicles in the areas of alopecia. The development in male hormones (DHT) during puberty begins this procedure.

Secondary causes

Birth Control Pills

The pills contain two components, a synthetic estrogen and progestin. This can be accelerated by the effects of the male hormone owning some progestagens. If this happens, it’s advisable to change to another type of oral contraceptive. Also, when a woman stops using certain oral contraceptives, she can be notice baldness 2-3 months later. This lasts about 6 weeks and usually ceases. It would be like hair loss experienced after giving birth.

Iron deficiency anemia

Deficiency of iron causes hair loss in men in addition to women. However, in women the problem is more widespread, especially in those with heavy or long menstrual cycles. The lack of iron can be detected easily with diagnosis, and corrected with medical therapy.


Vegetarians, individuals with diets low in protein, and patients with anorexia nervosa may be a protein deficient. When this happens the body helps to conserve protein by altering hair growth to the resting stage. This may lead to significant hair loss about 3 months after the hair growth enters the resting phase. This process is reversible with medical treatment, which requires an adequate intake of protein.


Some women lose considerable quantities of hair 2-3 months after giving birth. When a woman gives birth, too many hairs enter the resting phase. 2-3 weeks after she may notice a high number of hairs at the comb or brush after combing her hair. The hair loss can last about 6 months. The issue, typically, is solved after proper medical treatment. Not all new mothers will suffer from this experience, and not all women will notice hair loss with each pregnancy.

Stress and illness

You may start to eliminate hair 1-3 months after a stressful situation, such as major surgery. High fevers, infections, severe or chronic diseases may also lead to hair loss.

Thyroid Disease

An underactive or hyperactive thyroid can cause hair loss. These diseases are characterized by clinical symptoms and laboratory evaluations. These cases require special handling.


Some drugs used in cancer chemotherapy cause hair cells to stop their division, resulting in thinner more brittle hair that easily breaks as it emerges from the scalp. This phenomenon occurs 1-3 weeks after the beginning of anticancer treatment. The individual can lose 90 percent of their hair. In most patients, hair grows back when anticancer therapy ends.

Also, many popular drugs can cause hair loss.

  • Drugs that reduce cholesterol: clofibrate (Atromis-S) and gemfibrozil (Lopid).
  • Drugs for Parkinson’s: levodopa (Dopar, Larodopa).
  • Anti-convulsants / antiepileptics: trimethadione (Tridion).
  • Beta blockers for hypertension: atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor), nadolol (Corgard), propranolol (Inderal) and timolol (Blocadren).

Alopecia Areata

A frequent disorder that causes patches of hair loss on the scalp and other body parts. It affects men and women of all ages, but more commonly childhood. The affected follicles significantly diminish their production of hair. They become very small and create hair that’s hardly noticeable. These follicles are in a resting state, and anytime can resume their normal activities after receiving a signal. Some people develop only a few bald spots that return to normal in about a year. Some people loose all the hair on their head (alopecia totalis). In other folks all body hair is lost (alopecia worldwide ). It’s thought that alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder in which the body mistakenly creates antibodies against the hair follicle (autoallergic). Anxiety and nervousness may trigger the disease or prevent it from healing. Treatment involves injecting cortisone, or simply by applying Minoxidil, cyclosporine, steroid creams or Anthralin into the affected region. In selected cases, UVA therapy, or the application of dibenciprona on the lesions is employed so as to produce an allergic eczema to excite the resting follicle.


A fungal infection on the scalp. Small patches can cause flaking and some hair loss.

Inappropriate hair care

A lot of women use chemical treatments on their scalp, such as dyes, highlights, and perms. Chemical treatments can damage the hair if done incorrectly. The hair becomes weak and breaks when these materials are applied too often, left too long, bleaching previously bleached hair, or if two or more procedures are performed in the same day. If the hair becomes too porous and dull by excessive exposure to chemical treatments, it’s a good idea to suspend these remedies until the hair has recovered. Shampoo, brushing and combing are necessary for appropriate care of the hair, but if done excessively or inappropriately can damage hair, causing it to crack at the stem, or create split ends. You can use a hair or conditioner repair product after shampoo to decrease the force necessary to comb the hair and make it more manageable. When there are broken ends, and hair that’s difficult to comb, it is advisable to use hair repair products with silicone serums. Excess water should not be dried and rubbed vigorously with a towel. After the hair is wet its structure is more brittle, and vigorous combing or brushing should be avoided. Forget the old recommendation of combing or brushing in surplus also, because it damages hair. Use combs with widely spaced teeth and thin bristle brushes, preferably natural (wild boar bristle brushes for instance ). The hairstyles that require tension on the hair such as curls and braids should be alternated with loose hair styles to avoid the continuous”pull” that can produce baldness, particularly on the sides of the scalp.

Topical Treatments

1. Minoxidil. Is a vasodilator agent that has been used orally in the treatment of hypertension and is now widely used in treating a variety of types of alopecia. Generally speaking, 1 ml of cream is applied twice a day (every 12 hours) to dry hair, as humidity increases the penetration of the item many times. Works better in young men than in women (20 years), especially in those with mild hair loss (thinning) on the crown, or a tiny bald patch 3-4 cm, but also is functional for a receding hairline. The response to Minoxidil varies from individual to individual. Treatment should be 2 to 5 years. The scalp will recover beginning to grow more hair in the tiny thin hairs. Minoxidil causes hair becomes thicker and healthier.

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The outcome is better for individuals experiencing hair loss for less than two decades. Most see fuzz growing in the first couple of months. Some experience more hair loss after the first applications. This is because the older hair should fall out in order for new hair to grow. Positive results can be understood in 4-8 months, even though the maximum effects of Minoxidil are reached between 12-14 months.

2. Pyrimidine N-oxides. A generic class of hair tonics similar to Minoxidil (2.4-Diaminopyrimidine Aminexil-3-oxide). The results in more than 250 women and men include an 8% increase in hair growth after 6 weeks of therapy, in contrast to a decrease in the rate of hair growth with a placebo.

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3. Tretinoin. Has been used for many years in the treatment of acne. It is also a hair tonic in appropriate doses, especially in combination with Minoxidil. If implemented collectively, first apply the Minoxidil, wait for it to dry (usually 15-30 minutes) and then apply Tretinoin. Tretinoin should be implemented only at night. A small irritation to the skin of the scalp is expected, particularly at the start of the treatment.

4. Topical estrogen. Solutions of dienestrol or progesterone might be applied daily for 6-12 months.

5. Natural treatments. There are many remedies with vitamins, sulfur amino acids (cysteine, methionine, tiazolidín carboxylic acid), minerals (zinc) and plant extracts (Indian horse chestnut, calendula) that are useful as dietary supplements and promote healthier hair. Sulfur favours the formation of keratin, the protein that provides structure to the hair. The plant extracts act to stimulate the circulation and rejuvenate the hair follicle. Zinc gluconate is an astringent and reduces sebaceous secretion by inhibiting the production of DHT when applied topically.

6. Others. Recently, lotions containing superoxide dismutase (copper peptide ligands) are being used to strengthen and trigger the growth of hair. This is based on the fact that there are chemical messengers in the body that send signals to hair follicles to start the Anagen and telogen phases. In this sense, focused more towards the telogen phase (resting phase), while nitric oxide causes the hair to join the anagen (growth) phase. Evidently, the treatments should stimulate the levels of nitric oxide and reduce the amount of superoxide radicals used in superoxide dismutase and antioxidant agents.

Oral treatments

Although androgenetic alopecia isn’t because of lack of vitamins, it’s suggested that certain sulfur amino acid supplements (arginine, cysteine), vitamins and minerals (biotin, iron, folic acid) favor capillary nutrition, reduce fat, and encourage the synthesis of the protein that provides structure to the hair (keratin). Many of these chemicals have an antioxidant action.

Antiandrogens. DHT is an androgen (male hormone) competing for a spot in the hair follicle receptors. If follicle receptors are inhabited by other agents, DHT cannot enter the hair follicle and therefore does not induce its competitive action. The problem is that by blocking DHT in other parts of the body signs of feminization may show in guys. In contrast, for women this cube is not as problematic.

Zinc. Affects hormone levels when taken orally and inhibits the production of DHT when applied topically.

” Espirolactona. Habitually used as a diuretic. It is one of the most effective antiandrogens. Reduces DHT, the hormone that causes baldness. May also be applied topically, which isn’t absorbed and does not produce internal results. It is used in doses of 50 to 100 milligrams per day.

” CPA (cyproterone acetate). Is a derivative of an anti-progesterone with antiandrogenic effects. It’s used for the control of androgenetic alopecia in women only. It can’t be used in men. The treatment must be at least 12 months and often requires 2 years for advancement. The result is more tolerable when treatment is started within the first two years of the onset of alopecia. The treatment stops hair loss and improves hair quality. Treatment lasts 1-2 years.

” Flutamide. Another antiandrogic indicated for women. The treatment lasts 1-2 decades.

Ketoconazole is an antifungal agent which has antiandrogenic properties. In men the treatment can be quite successful with Finasteride, a drug normally used to treat hypertrophy of the prostate.

Cosmetic treatments

Cosmetic treatments include creative hairstyles, wigs, and hair transplants. To reduce the visual impact of the thinning hair, camouflage methods can be used.

Keeping the hair short, will make it appear less patched. This will also make it much easier to maintain. Longer hair produces bunches and locks of hair which are separated, showing large areas of the scalp.

A skilled hairdresser can disguise thin hair in certain areas. If the hair is thin in the hair line, the hair line and extends into the temples, ask your hairdresser to cut your hair short in front, and leave it more at the temples.

If your hair is thinner on the crown of your head, keep hair short, about neck length. Long hair is heavier, and this brings hair, separating it at the crown and showing more of the bald area. If you still have a reasonably thick hair on the roof of the mind, leave it long and cover the bald spots.

If the hair is quite thin is more difficult to cover up alopecia places. You can try out a gentile perm to increase the hairs volume.

In case you’ve got dark hair, you may try to lighten it a bit to decrease the contrast between the remaining scalp and hair, thus making the skin less noticeable.

A decorative trick that may function in women is to employ a bit of hair colored eye shadow, on the scalp over the regions of thin hair. This is harmless and can make fine hair less noticeable.

Finally, do not use products that make tuffs or locks of hair stick together. This permits empty spaces on the scalp to be more easily seen.

Appropriate Shampoos

Maintaining clean hair helps preserve the health and beauty of hair. The frequency of washing and shampooing for each person are important factors and should be recommended by a dermatologist. In the case of oily hair followed by thinning hair, frequent washing is advised because this lowers the fat on the surface of the scalp. It is important to have hair that is clean and non oily, as sebum contains elevated levels of dihydrotestosterone and testosterone (male hormones) that can be absorbed into the skin and affect hair follicles. In cases of dandruff and greasy hair that’s washed frequently if it’s wise to change to a treatment shampoo for frequent use. With these shampoos, you should wash your hair twice, and the second time leave it in for 2 -3 minutes without waxing. The comb teeth should be wide and separated. If the hair has broken ends (tricoptilosis) these can be repaired with a silicone polymer based repair serums, which functions as a patch on the split ends.


Hereditary hair loss is not curable, but it is controllable, and the sooner be treated the better. Currently there isn’t a perfect treatment for androgenetic alopecia, but there are drugs that prevent hair loss and prolong the life of hair follicles.

We have to consider the present and future hair treatments because hair requires living hair follicles. With hair loss follicles are miniaturized and die after 5-10 years. With any treatment you will get better results with more follicles which stay alive. Many other hair problems are temporary and can be treated by dietary measures and other steps. In these cases, good dietary habits in addition to eating supplements of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants help to prevent hair loss and regain normal development after a month or two. To find out more about hair loss, ask your dermatologist, because skin diseases include diseases of the nails and hair. Don’t be influenced by advertisements for”hair tonic” or by hairdressing specialists.