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Male & Female Hair Loss Pattern; Explained

male & female hair loss

Hair loss can severely affect men and women’s emotional wellbeing and quality of life, with hair thinning and bald spots affecting our self-esteem and confidence. The most typical form of hair loss among both men and women is pattern hair loss. However, did you know that hair loss patterns show up very differently in men and women? In this article, we share everything you need to know about male & female hair loss patterns, also medically termed as androgenetic alopecia. Regardless of whether you’re a male or female, you will know exactly when it’s time for hair loss treatment in Singapore, and how to describe your condition to your hair loss clinic in Singapore. Let us take you on your hair growth journey. 

Male Hair Loss Pattern

Male pattern hair loss is the most common cause of hair loss in men and tends to develop slowly,  causing thinning and hair loss for many years. In men, androgenic alopecia, often known as male pattern baldness, represents the most prevalent form of hair loss. Male pattern baldness will have some impact on more than 50% of all males over the age of 50, as reported by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Individuals might be experiencing male pattern baldness if their hair loss starts at the temples or crown. A bald patch might develop in some males. Others might notice that their hairlines are curving into a “M” pattern. Until the majority or all of the hair is gone, the hairline may tend to recede in some males. It can begin in your teens or twenties, but more often than not, it appears in the later stages of life. By 50 years of age, many men tend to show visible signs of male-pattern hair loss such as: 

  • Noticeable thinning or hair loss beginning at temples or crown of the head 
  • Balding or bald spots at the back of the head that gradually increases in size
  • Receding hairline to form an “M” shape, or recede until most of the hair is gone 

Also known as androgenetic alopecia, male pattern hair loss is due to a combination of hormones (male sex hormones called androgens) and a genetic predisposition. Male pattern hair loss is an inheritable condition, caused by a genetically determined sensitivity to the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on certain areas of the scalp. 

DHT can shorten the growth phase of the hair cycle from the typical duration of 3-6 years to just weeks or months. This occurs concurrently with miniaturization of the follicles, progressively producing fewer and finer hairs. Eventually, the growth cycle ends and no new hair grows in its place. 

Causes of Male Pattern Hair Loss

Male hormones known as androgens and a genetic susceptibility combine to trigger male pattern hair loss. Due to a genetically established sensitivity to the effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on specific parts of the hairline, male pattern hair loss is an inherited genetic disorder.

The hair growth process of the cycle can be reduced by DHT from the average span of 3-6 years to just a few weeks or even months. The follicles progressively become smaller as a result of this, producing gradually lesser and thinner hairs. The hair’s growth cycle eventually terminates, and no more hair sprouts in its place.

Male pattern baldness can start in adolescence, although adult males are more likely to experience it, with the probability growing with age. As genetics is an important factor, men who have male pattern baldness in their immediate family are at greater risk. When their relatives are on their mother’s branch of the family, the chances of developing male pattern baldness increases further.

Treatment for male hair loss 

It’s hard to prevent your hair from falling out as you age, but there are definitely hair regrowth treatments that you can turn to. Here are just some of the options you can discuss with your doctor. 

Over-the-counter (OTC) Medication and Prescription

Currently, there are 2 well-known medications to treat male pattern baldness which have been approved by the FDA. They are: 

  • Minoxidil / Rogaine, which is available in pharmacies as a liquid or foam. Apply it to the scalp twice a day to stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss. 
  • Finasteride / Propecia / Proscar, which is a pill that is taken daily, and is only available with your doctor’s prescription. 

Both medications may take up to a year for any visible results, and they have to be consumed long term to see any consistent improvement. 

Adjunct Hair Growth Treatment Options 

In addition to finesteride / minoxidil, some patients who like to have some in-clinic treatment options to complement their treatment. At Eeva Medical Aesthetic Clinic, a suite of in-clinic treatment options such as hair laser therapy, Biosignal Follicular Therapy can be used to further trigger and enhance hair growth. Oral hair growth supplements eg Nourkrin can also slow down hair loss and trigger quicker new hair growth.

Hair Transplant 

This is typically viewed as the last resort option for very severe hair loss, as it’s a surgical procedure that is expensive, painful, and comes with risks like infections and scarring. You might also need to do multiple hair transplant treatments to achieve a favourable outcome. The 2 most well-known hair transplant procedures are follicular unit transplantation and follicular unit extraction. 

FUT involves removing some skin from the back of your scalp which is rich in hair, removing follicles from that strip of skin, and then transplanting them into the part of the scalp where there’s hair loss. In FUE, hair follicles are removed directly from the scalp, and reinserted into the bald parts of the scalp. 

Laser Treatment 

Studies1 have shown that laser therapy is safe and effective in treating male pattern hair loss. It works by reducing inflammation that prevents the regrowth of hair follicles. However, a successful outcome is dependent on the clinic you go to. Instead of going to a regular hair salon, it’s recommended to visit an experienced hair doctor that can administer a medical-grade laser. At Eeva Medical Aesthetic Clinic,  our medical-grade hair laser is FDA-approved, stimulates hair growth, increases hair thickness and density, stimulates the Scalp Growth Factor, and even balances scalp oil production. With this stamp of approval from the FDA, some patients even take their regular laser treatment as a sort of lunchtime relaxation.

Scalp Massage 

Surprisingly, scalp massage can indeed be a wonderful source of comfort while helping to stimulate the hair follicles and improve hair density. Research has shown that men who received scalp massage every day for a period of 6 months had thicker hair after the study. 

If you’re lazy to massage your scalp, check out our Eeva Clinical Scalp Repair and Hair Growth Stimulation Treatment System. This is a super-effective medical-grade scalp repair cocktail specially customized for each patient by our beloved doctors.  Not only does it repair scalp problems, it also does a deep cleanse and stimulates hair growth. All while being painless and non-invasive. 

Well-balanced Diet and Supplements 

Try to eat foods that are high in iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and high protein as these will help with healthy hair growth. Fruits, vegetables, and plenty of water definitely help. Oral supplements for hair regrowth will be beneficial, but consult your doctor for a recommendation. It has been clinically documented that proteoglycan levels decline within the hair follicle in age-related or genetic hair loss (Androgenetic Alopecia), post-pregnancy hair loss (Postpartum Effluvium) and whilst experiencing stress-related hair loss (Telogen Effluvium).

Nourkrin Hair Growth+ is a bioactive proteoglycan formula used as a Proteoglycan Replacement Therapy and is specifically designed to normalise the Hair Growth Cycle and promote normal, healthy hair growth. It is an oral supplements are well-accepted by many Singapore doctors for hair loss treatment to restore thick and healthy hair, with 94% of women noting an increase in hair volume after taking it. It’s also safe for consumption by men. 

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

A strip of skin from the scalp is removed by the surgeon during FUT, typically from the rear of your head. The quantity of follicles required to completely fill bald areas determines the precise dimension of the strip. The individual follicles are taken out of the strip and placed back into the scalp. A hair transplant operation takes roughly 4 to 8 hours. The time taken to complete FUT treatment is generally shorter than FUE treatment. With a local anesthetic that numbs the scalp, the majority of patients undergo the procedure while conscious. In most cases, 6 to 9 months following their surgery, patients experience improvements. For some, it takes a full year to see improvements.

Individuals must have sufficient hair on the scalp to utilize for both FUT and FUE surgeries. Male pattern baldness is the optimum condition of baldness in which to undergo FUT. FUT surgery is probably not a possibility if a medical problem, such as a thyroid disorder or alopecia areata, is the reason for your hair loss.

Some factors influencing success of FUT:

  • Typically performed on patients who are over 25
  • Typically men who have Norwood pattern hair loss
  • Greater hair follicle concentrations means broader coverage
  • Hairline at the front is most effectively treated
  • Individuals whose hair color is similar to their skin tone

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

Individual hair follicles are removed from the skin during a follicular unit extraction (FUE) hair transplant and then implanted in different locations on the body. The replacement region’s hair will appear thicker as a result.

The “classic” follicular unit transplantation (FUT) methodology was intended to be replaced by FUE. This operation involved transplanting a full portion of the skin or scalp—complete with follicles—to the desired location. Because it’s less likely to result in an appearance, where patches of skin or hair don’t match the surrounding areas, FUE has grown more popular than FUT. It won’t also create a recognizable mark, as with FUT.

With only small potential side effects, such as minuscule scars where follicles were removed, the FUE technique is thought to be safe. In exceedingly rare circumstances, the surgical site may develop an infection or experience tissue death. It’s common to get short-term negative impacts that completely heal a few days following the treatment. Scarring, swelling, and hypersensitivity are a few instances of potential adverse impacts.

FUE is frequently performed in a series of two to four-hour sessions spread out over several days. Periodically, a long operation could take as long as a period between 10 to 12 hours. Since FUE is an outpatient surgery, patients can usually return home after each operation.  Following FUE, patients won’t have to significantly alter their everyday schedule. But don’t submerge the region in water or engage in intensive physical activity.

Female Hair Loss Pattern 

Female Hair Loss Pattern is the most common cause of hair loss in women and can begin in midlife, or even earlier for some women. It is a progressive condition, meaning that hair loss will continue, but unlike men, you won’t lose all of your hair. Typical signs include: 

  • Gradual thinning at the part line till it gets wider 
  • Hair near your temples may recede 
  • Widespread thinning if there is no treatment 

Female pattern hair loss is hereditary – the risk is higher for women with a history of hair loss on either side of the family. Because it is more common after menopause, hormones may also play a role. 

Androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens, which are essential for normal male sexual development. However, unlike men, in women, the precise role of androgens is harder to determine. In addition to genes, female pattern hair loss could also be caused by overproduction of androgen or an androgen-secreting tumour on the pituitary, ovary, or adrenal gland. 

The Ludwig Classification is used by clinicians to describe female pattern hair loss. Type I is minimal thinning which can be camouflaged with hairstyling techniques. Type II is characterized by decreased hair volume and visible widening of the mid-line part. Type III refers to diffuse thinning, where there is a see-through appearance on the top of the scalp. 

Almost every woman may develop some degree of female pattern hair loss. It can start any time after puberty but is most often noticed around menopause when hair loss increases. 

Causes of Female Hair Loss Pattern

Just about all women end up experiencing female pattern hair loss to varying extents. It can begin at any point after adolescence, but women often become aware of it around the menopause, when hair loss tends to intensify. The risk increases with age and is greater in females who have a family history of hair loss on either side.

Androgenetic alopecia, as the name implies, is caused by the activity of the hormones known as androgens, which are crucial for healthy male sexual development and serve other crucial roles in both sexes, such as regulating sex drive and hair growth. Multiple genes may be involved in the disorder, which may be inherited. It may also be brought on by an underlying endocrine disorder, such as an excess of testosterone or a tumor that secretes androgen. For either scenario, elevated androgen activity is probably responsible for the alopecia. However, the specific function of androgens in women is less clear than it is in men with androgenetic alopecia. It’s crucial to evaluate androgen levels in women who have hair loss that closely follows the female pattern in case an androgen-secreting tumor is at play.

Effects of Female Hair Loss

Even while it can begin much earlier in life, hair loss is more frequent in men. As a result, there has been a lengthy attempt to lessen the stigma and emotional impact of male hair loss. However, one in three women experience hair loss at some point in their life, and it also has a significant impact on women. Contrary to men, there hasn’t been much effort to lighten women’s burden of hair loss.

Contrary to men, there hasn’t been much effort to lessen the burden of hair loss on women, who still have to conceal it in order to maintain their attractiveness. Simply put, a bald male is culturally acceptable in our society whereas a bald woman is not. As a logical result, there is scholarly evidence that women experience more anxiety as a result of hair loss than do men. Women deeply associate their hair with their individuality, and some studies even claim that losing their hair is more difficult emotionally for them to deal with than losing a breast to cancer.

Treatment for Female Hair Loss

Doctors will diagnose female pattern hair loss by taking a medical history and examining the scalp. They will observe the pattern of hair loss, check for any signs of inflammation or infection, and might order a blood test to investigate other possible causes of hair loss, such as hyperthyroidism or iron deficiency. If there are signs of excess androgen activity (e.g. acne, menstrual irregularities, abnormal hair growth), then the doctor will help to investigate further into hormonal activity. 

Here are the most common treatments for female hair loss. 

1. Medications or Supplements

As discussed earlier, topical application of Minoxidil or Rogaine can also be used by women to treat hair loss. However, some women may find that it causes contact dermatitis due to the alcohol that is included to facilitate drying. As such, always consult your doctor to seek advice on the level of concentration you should be using. 

The anti-androgen drug Spironolactone may be prescribed by doctors for women who don’t benefit from Minoxidil. It may also be prescribed to women who are suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), as they tend to make excess androgens. 

Iron deficiency may cause hair loss. Your doctor may test your blood iron level especially if you’re a vegetarian, have a history of anaemia, or have heavy menstrual bleeding. Taking a supplement may help to lessen hair loss in this case. Do also check with our doctors on Nourkrin Hair Growth+, an oral supplement for hair loss as it could be beneficial for you. 

2. Hair Transplantation 

This procedure was discussed earlier, and can be done for women too. It’s not recommended unless you have severe hair loss. 

3. Regenera Activa

This is a trending treatment that involves the injection of stem cells into the hair loss area. However, there is some pain involved with local anaesthesia required. It would also take quite a fair bit of time and money to truly see visible results, with multiple injection sessions required. 

4. Eeva Medical Grade Laser, Clinical Scalp Repair, Korean-Israeli BioSignal PDRN Follicle Therapy 

We have many female patients who truly enjoy and benefit from going for hair regrowth and hair loss treatment at Eeva Medical Aesthetic Clinic, and we offer up-to-date and scientifically researched options that benefit any stage of hair loss, whether mild, moderate or severe. 

As described previously, our holistic and personalized approach to hair loss comprises of: 

  1. Proven in-clinic treatments & protocols, backed by years of R&D 
  2. Personalized skincare and haircare, where our lady doctors will customize a long term all-rounded program for you after an in-depth analysis of your hair and scalp condition 
  3. Clinically approved medication and supplements prescribed by our doctors that not only solve problems but also address the cause and restore your body back to the peak of health. 

This comprehensive approach ensures optimal results for every single of our patients embarking on their personal enhancement journey with Eeva. 

Our medical team is staffed with experienced doctors and therapists who are passionate about delivering the results our patients want. We treat every patient with love, respect, fairness, and honesty. More importantly with 40 years of collective experience and fair pricing, our doctors handle your concerns with confidentiality and professionalism, customizing your treatment to your preferences, needs, schedule, and budget. Don’t be shy, simply drop us a line if you have any questions. 

Conclusion 

Hair loss doesn’t have to be painful and confusing. We’ve shared clear and precise knowledge about hair loss faced by men and women. Couple that with the caring hands of our doctors and it’s not difficult to see why so many patients return to Eeva for multiple sessions. Contact us now for a consultation with our medical team, our doctors warmly welcome you with open hearts. 

Sources 
  1. Zarei, M., Wikramanayake, T. C., Falto-Aizpurua, L., Schachner, L. A., & Jimenez, J. J. (2016, February). Low level laser therapy and hair regrowth: An evidence-based review. Lasers in medical science. Retrieved December 7, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26690359. 
  2. Koyama, T., Kobayashi, K., Hama, T., Murakami, K., & Ogawa, R. (2016, January 25). Standardized scalp massage results in increased hair thickness by inducing stretching forces to dermal papilla cells in the subcutaneous tissue. Eplasty. Retrieved December 7, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740347/. 
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