Alopecia in women is a more common pathology than is believed and not in all cases is caused by an oncological disease. Hair loss can be caused by various causes and factors, such as stress, a poor diet, pregnancy or hormonal problems.
There are several types of alopecia in women that exist today, such as alopecia areata, diffuse alopecia or frontal fibrosing alopecia. There are also different degrees of female alopecia, classified from 1 to 8 on the Ludwig scale.
At least 50% of women are affected by severe hair loss. To solve all the doubts that this problem may cause you, below, we will talk about all the types of alopecia that women can suffer and if they have any solution.
What is alopecia areata? Alopecia areata in women is characterized by beginning with small hair loss in localized areas of the scalp. Normally, it does so in rounded areas, where they do not appreciate more symptoms.
They can appear at various times in life and the causes are multiple, although the most common is that there is a family history. Alopecia areata is, in fact, an autoimmune disease that ends with total hair loss.
What causes universal alopecia?
What causes alopecia areata is the person’s own immune system, which believes that hair follicles are a threat to the body. For this reason, he fights against them and eliminates them. Because of this, it is normal for women to end up losing even the hair on their eyebrows, which is a real bump for many people, who see their self-esteem undermined.
In advanced stages like the one mentioned, this disease is usually called universal alopecia areata. What happens, ultimately, is that this type of female alopecia attacks all the hair follicles in the body.
Frontal fibrosing alopecia
Another of the most common types of alopecia in women is fibrosing, which can be largely related to menopause. This type of alopecia also affects more and more women who are in the premenopausal stage and, although its causes are not fully defined, it seems that it is an autoimmune disease.
How does frontal fibrosing alopecia start?
How to know if you have frontal fibrosing alopecia? Realizing that you are suffering from fibrosing alopecia is relatively easy, as this type of alopecia involves massive hair loss on the front. It is classified as a type of scarring or permanent hair loss, since normally the hair does not grow back, since the body itself destroys the hair follicles. With hair loss, the forehead becomes wider, since the hair that is lost is on the frontal hairline.
How can frontal fibrosing alopecia be stopped?
Although there is no treatment that completely cures this type of female alopecia, there are drugs that can delay its effects. They should always go with a prescription, so it is advisable to visit a specialist if you suffer from fibrosing frontal alopecia to stop female hair loss.
Androgenetic alopecia is another type of alopecia in women with more incidence, although it is usually more common in men. While in men it implies total hair loss, in women it becomes visible due to the loss of density.
This is how we can see women with a very low amount of hair, in addition to lightened areas, especially on the top of the head. As a general rule, at least 10% of women suffer from this type of alopecia before the age of 40 and 40% after the appearance of their first symptoms.
What causes androgenic alopecia in women?
The causes of female androgenetic alopecia are due to genetic factors, hence its high incidence in society. Women with androgenetic alopecia often suffer from depression or anxiety about the appearance of their hair, which requires treatment as soon as possible.
Before menopause it is called early and, possibly, it implies that the loss of hair density is even greater once this stage has passed, due to the decrease in estrogen at that time in life. Other possible causes are iron or vitamin deficiencies, episodes of anorexia nervosa, or disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome.
How do I know if I have female androgenetic alopecia?
As we have told you a few lines back, androgenetic alopecia manifests itself through the quality of the hair, which becomes thinner. In addition to losing thickness, the hair fibers become weaker and gradually lose their shine.
At the same time, a loss of hair density occurs, leaving areas of the scalp exposed and generating the sensation of bald spots.
How is androgenetic alopecia cured?
As with frontal fibrosing alopecia, androgenetic alopecia can be treated with medications that work by blocking the production of androgens, the male hormones.
When women have a high number of androgens, there may be cases of hyperandrogenism, which is caused by excessive production of this hormone in the ovaries.
This type of alopecia has a lot to do with androgenetic alopecia, and the latter can be one of its causes. Another reason why you can suffer from this type of alopecia is telogen effluvium.
How does diffuse alopecia occur?
Diffuse female alopecia occurs when some of the hormones present in our body weaken hair follicles. Fortunately, it is one of the reversible types of alopecia in women.
On the other hand, another of the characteristics of this type of female alopecia resides in the fact that it is not located in a certain region of the scalp. Depending on its cause, hair loss can be noticeable after about 2 or 4 months from the event that triggered it.
How long does diffuse alopecia last?
When we talk about diffuse alopecia, we refer to a type of reversible female alopecia. Since what is known as telogen effluvium does not cause permanent damage to the hair follicle, this type of alopecia can be stopped partially or completely.
How? The first thing is to find the cause of hair loss and, from there, act to solve this problem.
Traction alopecia is the only type of alopecia in women on this list that has a clear origin, mechanical traction. Traction alopecia is highly common in women, and is caused by the continued tightness of certain hairstyles.
Usually, this type of alopecia gives its first signs of discomfort in the temples and in the front area of the hair, as well as a slight headache. Normally, once the hair style is changed, this tension usually disappears, generating a feeling of relief in the person.
How do I know if I have traction alopecia?
As we have said before, this type of alopecia is quite common in those women who normally wear tight hairstyles, such as ponytails, bows or braids. However, it can also be caused by the misuse of hair extensions, caps or helmets that pull the hair.
In the event that these factors trigger hair loss in those areas, we would be talking about trichotillomania, a disorder derived from the stress to which the hair is subjected and which gradually thins it out.
How to prevent and cure traction alopecia?
Since suffering from this type of female alopecia is basically due to bad habits, avoiding hair loss for this reason is relatively easy. To stop hair loss due to traction alopecia, it is best to change your hairstyle, for another type of style that does not make the hair tense.
If you notice your hair is weaker and finer, it is time to leave behind the tight ponytails or bows. Otherwise, it will cost you much more to fix this problem in the future. Also park the extensions, lacquers or fixers and avoid the use of dyes, dryers and heat tools as much as possible.
Our hair says a lot about us and seeing it disappear can be a very strong blow for many people. Female alopecia has many and varied causes, such as genetic factors, stress, or even the hairstyle that is worn. We hope that knowing in detail these 5 types of alopecia in women has helped you understand a little more about this pathology, which is becoming more common every day.
On many occasions, to stop hair loss, it is enough to improve your diet, put aside toxic habits or relieve stress and anxiety. In others, however, it is necessary to resort to specialists who find the right solution and help you restore the health of your hair.
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If you suffer from any of these types of alopecia and want to recover your usual appearance, do not hesitate to contact us so that we can advise you and find the best hair system for you.