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Coping with Female Pattern Hair Loss

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:49pm
FRANCES, HAS FEMALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS: To actually look and see your scalp or bend over and notice that somebody else can see that. That's a no-no.

ANNOUNCER: After menopause, Frances noticed more hair on the floor – and less on her scalp.

FRANCES, HAS FEMALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS: The stress – the stress level was horrible. It was horrible. The depression – horrible.

ANNOUNCER: Many things can cause a woman to lose hair. But the most common is genetic – the same as for men.

ANDREA CAMBIO, MD, DERMATOLOGIST: In female pattern hair loss, the hairs are skinny and the growth cycle is shortened. The good news is that most women do not go bald. What usually happens is a patient will come in and they'll say that their part is wider than used to be or their ponytail is less thick then it used to be.

ANNOUNCER: The bad news is there's no way to prevent or cure it.

ANDREA CAMBIO, MD, DERMATOLOGIST: But we can stop the progression with medical treatments and we can also work with whatever hair we have and find something that will help camouflage the loss to make us more comfortable living.

ANNOUNCER: Frances tried an over-the-counter medication called minoxidil, the only FDA approved treatment for female pattern hair loss. But what worked best was a new hairstyle and products that helped make her hair look fuller.

FRANCES, HAS FEMALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS: Once I do it and it's brushed and it's blown the way, it looks, you can't see anything. It's amazing. It's double the size of my hair.

ANNOUNCER: If these things fail, hair transplant surgery is also an option.

ANDREA CAMBIO, MD, DERMATOLOGIST: That's basically taking hair from your own scalp where it's full and taking it and surgically placing it in areas that are more thin. So there's a lot to do about female pattern hair loss.

FRANCES, HAS FEMALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS: I take pride in what I look like. I have found a way to make my life a little easier every day.

ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily.

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