Female-pattern hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is the most common type of hair loss in women. There is no known prevention for it.
In FPHL there is diffuse thinning of hair on the scalp due to increased hair shedding, a reduction in hair volume, or both.
Another condition, chronic telogen effluvium, also presents with increased hair shedding and is often mistaken for FPHL. It is important to differentiate between these conditions as management for both conditions differ.
FPHL presents quite differently from the more easily recognizable male-pattern baldness, which usually begins with a receding frontal hairline that progresses to a bald patch on top of the head. It is very uncommon for women to bald following the male pattern unless there is excessive production of androgens in the body.
In general, baldness occurs when the hair follicle shrinks over time, resulting in shorter and finer hair. Eventually the follicle does not grow new hair. The follicles remain alive, which suggests that it is still possible to grow new hair.
The reason for female-pattern baldness is not well understood but may be related to the following:
Family history of male- or female-pattern baldness
Changes in the levels of androgens (male hormones). For example, after reaching menopause, many women find that the hair on their head is thinner, while the hair on their face is coarser.
ANDROGEN GENETIC-MEDIATED CONDITIONS
APPROXIMATELY 1.7% OF THE POPULATION WILL EXPERIENCE EPISODES OF ALOPECIA AREATA DURING THEIR LIFETIME