What causes Hair Loss in women?
Approximately one in four women experience hair thinning. Due to a lack of accurate information many women are misinformed about the progression of thinning hair. In general, as healthy women age, their hair becomes thinner. Most women will lose 40-100 hairs per day.
The texture of hair is a combination of the size of each strand, and the overall amount of hairs on your head.
Fine, medium and coarse hair are terms used to describe the size of each strand, while thin, normal and thick hair refers to the number of hairs on the scalp. Many hair experts will use this terminology when describing hair loss. In general, women with fine hair will have a higher chance of hair thinning and loss.
Certain conditions such as thyroid problems, pregnancy, medications, diet, or stress can cause hair thinning. The most common type of hair thinning or loss is called androgenetic alopecia. Thirty million women are affected by this condition. It can affect women of all races and can be passed from either mother or father. It usually begins in the twenties and becomes more obvious with age, such that by age 50, 50% of women will notice some degree of hair thinning. Usually hair grows approximately ˝ inch per month. With androgenetic alopecia, the hair becomes smaller and the growth phase of the hair is reduced resulting in shortened and thinner hair.
Other types of hair loss include alocpecia areata and telogen effluvium. Alopecia areata is an immune system disorder that causes the hair follicles to stop producing hair and results in patchy hair loss. Telogen effluvium results in thinning that begins abruptly and is associated with a significant stress or illness. Women often notice telogen effluvium during the post-partum period, where thinning hair is likely to occur as a result of the stress of childbirth. It is usually reversed after 6-8 months.
What are the Treatments for Hair Loss in Women?
Fortunately, there are many options for treating hair loss in women.
Some options for making hair thicker and fuller include:
Minoxidil (2% topical solution) to reverse the thinning process and help stimulate hair growth. Minoxidil is an FDA approved treatment for female hair thinning and is the active ingredient in a number of over the counter treatments, such as Rogaine® for Women. In clinical studies, dermatologists reported that almost 2 out of 3 women who used Rogaine® For Women were re-growing hair at 8 months. Minoxidil works by increasing the growth phase of the hair cycle, allowing hair to grow longer and inactive hair follicles to become active. In general, if used daily results are seen within 4 months of use. Side effects to Minoxidil are few and include itching and irritation of the scalp. Some women will notice fine facial hair on the cheeks and above the eyebrows. Minoxidil will not alter the way a women styles and cares for her hair and can be used to maintain your hair while making it thicker and fuller. Lastly, Minoxidil needs to be used continuously to maintain the hair that has re-grown.
A wig or hairpiece. A good wig can be styled to look like your natural hair before thinning occurred. The most common complaint about wigs is the difficulty in maintaining the style and look. They can be made from natural or artificial hair.
Hair transplant surgery. This operation actually replaces hair in a natural pattern. Multiple techniques are used including grafting, hair plugs, or scalp revisions. Most transplant surgery is expensive and requires qualified and experienced practitioners for the best results.
What are the causes of Unwanted Facial Hair?
It has been estimated that more than 40 million American women in the United States have unwanted facial hair. UFH may be caused by hereditary factors, part of the normal aging process, or by medical conditions such as androgen excess disorder or polycystic ovarian syndrome
UFH can be different for every woman, from a few hairs on the chin, light growth on the upper lip or heavy and beard like growth. One woman may find the slightest growth on her lip or chin terribly bothersome, while another woman may have visible hair on her upper lip and it may not bother her at all. Women with excessive facial hair often experience psychological factors such as low self-esteem and embarrassment.
In 1999, over 13,000 women were interviewed about their facial hair and 45% noticed UFH within the preceding six months of the interview. One in five of these women removed the UFH at least weekly. These women came from all ethnic groups, ages and income levels.
Common causes of UFH:
Normal depending on racial and geographic origin. Different cultures and ethnic groups are more likely to have facial hair than others.
Familial. Many women notice family members with similar distribution of UFH.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Abnormal ovarian function results from a hormone imbalance that can cause irregular menses, weight gain, and excess facial and/or body hair.
Menopause. Many women notice the hormonal changes that occur during menopause will predispose them to abnormal amounts of facial hair.
No known cause.
It is important to talk to your doctor about unexpected or rapid unwanted hair growth.
What are the Treatments for Unwanted Facial Hair?
A number of options for treatment of Unwanted Facial Hair have commonly been used, including: Tweezing, Shaving, Bleaching, Depillatories, Waxing, Electrolysis and Laser. There is also a new prescription cream, Vaniqua, that is the first and only prescription cream proven to slow the growth of unwanted facial hair (UFH) in women.
What is Vaniqua?
Vaniqa (eflornithine HCl) is a topical solution available by prescription that has been clinically shown to slow the growth of unwanted facial hair (UFH) in women. When applied to the areas above the lips and on the chin can slow the hair growth significantly in those areas. Women will have to continue to use their normal hair removal system, but over time you will discover that hair removal will become less and less necessary, as the hair growth dramatically slows.
Is Vaniqua safe?
Vaniqa is a safe and effective way for women to deal with unwanted facial hair. Vaniqa is also safe to be used in conjunction with women’s conventional cosmetics.
What about Side Effects of Vaniqua?
Some women experienced mild and temporary skin irritations such as redness, stinging, burning, tingling or rash in clinical studies.
Copyright ©2003 content, MenopauseRx, Inc. The information provided by MenopauseRx, Inc. is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health-care provider. Please consult your health-care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.