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What Is Baldness in Women?

Learn about baldness in women from hair transplant surgeon Craig Ziering, MD in this Howcast video.


Hair loss is not gender biased. It can effect women as well as men and unfortunately for women, they're looked upon as if they're sick or ill, have some kind of disease, and it's extremely traumatic and socially devastating for a lot of these patients.

To treat baldness and thinning hair in women it's important to have a diagnosis. The most common form would be genetic or female pattern hair loss. However, it's important to rule out certain medical conditions that can reverse the thinning with simple treatments, such as correcting thyroid disease or anemia. The only FDA approved medication for women is Minoxidil. It's the topical preparation that can be used once or twice a day.

One of the other things that we do is use laser therapy and it seems to be very effective for women in particular. They can use a laser comb or a laser cap or can come into a doctor's office and get the clinical laser treatment.

It's interesting because women don't loose the same way men do. Their patterns are often different. Where men go to complete baldness in a given area, women often maintain their hairline and then diffusely thin behind it and there's varying degrees of loss. Sometimes women loose in the corners as well and get that M-shape pattern and sometimes women will loose the front zone due to traction. All of these can be treated extremely effectively with hair transplant surgery.

It's also interesting to note, and should not be forgotten, that some coverup products are extremely good for women because they have existing hair. These powders and sprays that you can use if they're put on a bald scalp it looks just like that, spray or powder on a bald scalp. However, if you have some hair, it can make it look very thick, it can look full and opaque, and it actually is very helpful for women who have been very depressed because of their loss. And it looks very good when people are taking pictures or going out for events. And it can be used during the waiting period that it takes for the hair transplants to grow out.

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