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Male Hair Loss versus Female Hair Loss

Hair loss, in both men and women, is actually more common than you would expect. Although we tend to think of hair loss and balding as a “men only” experience, surprisingly, up to 40% of women in Australia have suffered from female hair loss and thinning hair at some point in their lives.

The underlying cause in a majority of hair loss cases is what is termed androgenetic alopecia. In men, this is called ‘male pattern baldness and, in women, you guessed it – ‘female pattern baldness’. The hair loss experienced by either gender differs, and follows a predictable pattern though the underlying cause is the same.

THE HAIR LOSS PATTERN identified as “Male Pattern Baldness”

Beginning as early as in their 20’s men will notice their hair beginning to thin out at the temples. The rate at which hair begins to recede and be lost will differ for all men as there are many other underlying factors that speed up and slow down a males’ susceptibility to hair loss. Many males can become bald within five years from the first signs of male pattern baldness. For others, the process seems to take longer. Generally speaking, it takes the average man between 15 and 25 years to go from hero to zero, where no regrowth solutions have been attempted.

female and male hair loss

Once the hair begins to thin out, it also recedes from the forehead, moving backwards toward the crown. The hairline takes on the characteristic ‘m’ shape, indicative of male pattern baldness. Hair follicles at the side and back of the head seem to be less affected, so men generally retain hair in these areas. It is unusual for a man to go completely bald as a result of male pattern baldness.

What causes this GENETIC HAIR LOSS?

Androgenetic alopecia is caused by the effect of an androgen hormone, called DHT, on overly sensitive hair follicles. Females have less androgen present in their bodies (unless they have an underlying medical condition), so the way that females experience hair loss generally differs from men.

THE HAIR LOSS PATTERN experienced as “Female Pattern Baldness”

In female hair loss, women will start to notice thinning hair down the middle of their scalp. The hair will appear finer and sparser. Sometimes, the thinning hair can also be seen on the side areas of the scalp around the temples and just above the ears. However, most women don’t tend to lose hair from their hairline. For a small number of women, the hair follicles in the central area will shrink and eventually stop producing hair, resulting in a bald area. Women tend to notice thinning hair or hair loss later in life than men, usually in their 50s or 60s.

IN RARE CASES : Male vs Female Hair Loss

While the patterns for male and female hair loss are generally followed according to gender, in some cases it is possible for men to develop hair loss in a female pattern, or for women to display a male pattern loss. In rare cases, either gender can sometimes experience both patterns.

The good news is that treatment for hair loss, in both males and females, is often very successful. Regrowth of natural hair is an option, as are treatments for hair loss like shampoo or foams. If you are experiencing symptoms of hair loss, contact a professional and seek advice as to the best treatments for hair regrowth and to prevent further hair loss.

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