One of the most commonly known and misunderstood forms of hair loss amongst women is alopecia.

Alopecia, in itself, is simply baldness. It means that hair isn’t growing in places that it would normally grow.

Pattern baldness can evoke intense feelings of anxiety and insecurity, however the condition itself does not necessarily indicate any deeper medical conditions. Yet pattern baldness in women without treatment for hair loss is sometimes permanent.

There are two main causes of alopecia in women. The first is when the healthy hair follicles are disrupted by an abnormal hair growth cycle. This can be a result of genetic predispositions as well as hormonal changes within the body.

The other cause relates to damaged hair follicles. This can be caused by also be caused by hormonal changes, as well as illness. Of course, excessive styling routines alongside harsh chemical processing can also result in thinning of hair on the scalp.


Female alopecia patient

What are the different types of female alopecia?

The first four variations of seven are the most common:

1. Diffuse Alopecia Areata
This is when hair loss is found over the entirety of the scalp.

2. Areata Monolocularis
Limited to one area on the scalp.

3. Aeata Multiocularis
Found on several different areas of the scalp.

4. Ophiasis
Found in “waves” around the circumference of the scalp.

5. Areata Barbae
Loss of hair limited to simply the face and neck region.

6. Alopecia Totalis
A total loss of hair to the scalp region.

7. Alopecia Universalis
A total loss of hair including all body hair.

Symptoms of hair loss are similar in both males and females however, the treatment for alopecia may vary. Minoxodil is the most widely used and topical medication with a recommended concentration of just 2% for women. Initially used as a hypertension drug, it was soon discovered that excessive hair growth was a side affect. Administration of Minoxidil will show successful results in around 25% of women.