Hair Loss in Women FAQ
The doctors answer some frequently asked questions about hair loss in women:
Q: Why am I losing my hair?
A: There can be many causes for women to lose their hair. Unlike men, where it is more commonly a hereditary cause, women can have many underlying factors. Thyroid conditions, auto-immune disease, stress, hormonal imbalance, pregnancy, anemia (iron deficiency), crash dieting, and many other conditions can cause hair loss in women. Some of this hair loss can be reversed by correcting the underlying cause. If there is a genetic component, and a woman is a candidate, hair restoration surgery may be considered. Read more about the causes of hair loss in women.
Q: What is Telogen Effluvium?
A: Telogen effluvium is a condition that can be easily confused with genetic female hair loss if it is misdiagnosed. Telogen effluvium, is a condition where hair is pushed into its resting phase and then several months later is shed. This can be caused by several medications and many different medical conditions. Fortunately, telogen effluvium is usually reversible. View the hair loss glossary for definitions of important hair loss terms.
Q: Is women’s hair loss different from men’s?
A: The most common type of hair loss in women occurs in a diffuse pattern. Thinning occurs “all over the scalp” rather than in a localized area. Diffuse hair loss is most often hereditary, but it can also be caused by underlying medical conditions or other factors. This is in contrast to male pattern baldness which is general hereditary and in a definitive pattern, balding from the top of the scalp and slowly having the pattern increase until there is only a circumference of hair around the scalp. Read more about the causes, classification and diagnosis of hair loss in women.
Q: What can I expect at a consultation?
A: All consultations included a thorough medical history and physical examination of your hair and scalp. In addition, an evaluation with a hair densitometry will be conducted to measure your density and track miniaturization. During your evaluation, potential underlying medical or genetic causes of your hair loss will be evaluated and a formal diagnosis will be given. If the diagnosis is in question, several tests may be conducted including a hair pluck, or hair pull testing, scalp biopsy or blood tests. Once the diagnosis is determined a comprehensive treatment plan will established to best address your hair loss.
Q: What happens if I need blood tests?
A: We can draw blood for these tests in our office, or we can give you a lab prescription to have them conducted at a lab or by your general practitioner. As we do not accept insurance the lab will bill you directly and you can submit these tests to your insurance company. These tests may include CBC (complete blood count) – for anemia, blood loss and certain vitamin deficiencies; a Serum iron and iron binding capacity – for anemia, T3, T4, TSH – for thyroid disease, ANA – for Lupus or other testing.
Q: Can medications cause hair loss in women?
A: Blood pressure medications, cholesterol lowering medications, oral contraceptives and diet pills are among a myriad of drugs that can cause hair loss in women. One of the things we will do at your consultation is look into your current medical history and determine if any medications you may be taking are exacerbating your hair loss.
Q: Can women have hair transplants?
A: Women who have patterned hair loss (i.e. have thinning localized to the front and/or top part of their scalp) and who have stable donor hair on the back and sides of their scalp, make excellent candidates for surgery. At your consultation, we will be able to determine which type of treatment will be best for you. View before and after photos of some of our female hair transplant patients to see examples of hair restoration in women.
Q: How much does a consultation cost?
A: Check our hair transplant costs and consultation fees page for the current fees. While we do not accept insurance, we will provide you with a bill which you can submit to your insurance company.
Q: How does hair transplantation in women compare to procedures in men?
A: Dr. Bernstein answers this question in the video below.