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Female hair loss

Hair is the first most noticeable part of female's beauty. Hair loss causes significant psychological distress. Compared to unaffected women, those affected have a more negative body image and are less able to cope with daily functioning. Hair loss can be associated with low self-esteem, depression, introversion, and feelings of unattractiveness. It is especially hard to live in a society that places great value on youthful appearance and attractiveness.

What is female pattern baldness [FPB]?

Female pattern baldness [FPB] is common balding in females. Around 40% menopausal women show signs of FPB. In FPB, there is diffuse thinning of hair on the scalp due to increased hair shedding or a reduction in hair volume, or both. FPB has a strong genetic predisposition. There are many genes that contribute to this condition, and these genes could be inherited from either parent, or both. Genetic testing to assess risk of balding is not recommended, as it is unreliable. It is also not clear if androgens (male sex hormones) play a role in FPB, although androgens have a clear role in male pattern baldness. The majority of women with FPB have normal levels of androgens in their bloodstream.

How long does it take for FPB to progress?

FPB can affect women in any age group but more commonly, it occurs after menopause. The hair loss process is not constant. It is not uncommon to have excess hair loss for 3-6 months, followed by periods of stability lasting 6-18 months. Progress of FPB can be variable in each individual.

For females, hair is essential for looking beautiful. Hair loss causes significant psychological distress. Compared to unaffected women, those affected have a more negative body image and are less able to cope with daily functioning. Hair loss can be associated with low self-esteem, depression, introversion, and feelings of unattractiveness. It is especially hard to live in a society that places great value on youthful appearance and attractiveness.

What is Telogen Effluvium (TE) and Chronic Telogen Effluvium (CTE) ?

Telogen effluvium [TE] is a form of non-scarring alopecia characterized by diffuse hair shedding and it is also known as general hair loss. Most common causes are hormonal changes, fever, childbirth, chronic illness, major surgery, anemia, severe emotional disorders, crash diets, hypothyroidism, and drugs. Usually this type of hair loss is known as reversible and it becomes normal within 6 months without any treatments. However in few cases, Hair loss exists for more than 6 months or longer period which is known as Chronic Telogen Effluvium [CTE]. Such type of hair loss known as tough to treat and could be a permanent change in few cases. PCOS [Policystic Ovary] and Thyroid are most common triggers and Chronic telogen effluviums have been reported mainly in women. Chronic telogen effluvium was first reported at a conference (Alopecia, Washington DC, November 1996) and later published as a newly identified diffuse form of hair loss in women. Very rarely has chronic telogen effluvium been reported in men. This form of hair loss can gradually become quite extensive, all over scalp and known as permanent changes.

How to differentiate Chronic telogen effluvium (CTE) & Female pattern baldness (FPB) ?

Female pattern baldness (FPB) Chronic telogen effluvium (CTE)
Female Pattern Baldness [FPB] occurs more commonly after menopause or 35+ women. Chronic Telogen Effluvium [CTE] occurs more commonly in young females.
Genetic predisposition could be a strong trigger for FPB PCOS, thyroid or anemia could be main triggers for CTE.
Gradual progressive thinning. CTE patients complain of excessive shedding which begins abruptly.
FPB reveals miniaturized hair of varying short lengths and decreased caliber. In CTE, there is a general absence of miniaturized hair.
The hair pull test in FPB may be normal or increased with telogen hair in the top-scalp area with normal findings in the occiput. In CTE, increased numbers of telogen hair are obtained throughout the scalp and to a greater degree than in FPB.
Prognosis: In most cases, FPB is known as irreversible and permanent condition.
Prognosis: In most cases, CTE is also known as irreversible condition. However in few individuals, re-growth can be seen if treated the route cause earlier.


Home Remedies

  • Amla oil, prepared by boiling dry pieces of amla in coconut oil, is considered a valuable hair tonic for enriching hair growth.
  • The application of coconut milk all over the scalp and massaging it into the hair roots is also beneficial in the treatment of hair loss. It nourishes the hair and promotes hair growth. Coconut milk is prepared by grinding the coconut shavings and squeezing them well.
  • Take powder of amla (30gm), shikaki (30gm), brahmi (10gm), shilajit (1/2 gm), bhringraj (10 gm). Soak them overnight in an iron utensil. Blend and make a paste. Apply well into the scalp. Keep it for 1-2 hours and wash it off with warm water.
  • Soak a towel in hot water and squeeze lightly. Cover your hair with this for 10 minutes and do try this for almost a week. Apply a little almond oil before taking hot towel steam.
  • These remedies take time to show a visible change but are effective for some people. The best point concerning a home remedy is that you have many options and, if you think that a particular ingredient does not suit you, you can try an alternative. You should give each remedy at least a week before trying another.


Note - Information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or mitigate any disease. If you have a medical condition, please consult a health professional.


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Dr. Rohit Shah, in International Conference and Exhibition on Cosmetology & Cosmetics, which was held in November 23-24, 2012 Hyderabad, India. The conference was arranged by OMICS Group.Dr. Rohit explained how Ayurveda Herbal Treatment is safe and potential way to cope up with Alopecia Areata.
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