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Hair Restoration
Why Women Lose Hair  :  What can be done  :  What is Encore

Why Women Lose Hair
There are 20 million women in America with excessive hair loss. Ten million of them are under the age of 40. While it's common to see and hear about men's hair loss, women's hair loss is seldom mentioned.  It's almost as if society doesn't want to admit there's such a condition.  In this site, we will define the problem and it's causes as well as explain some of the solutions available.

There are three main phases of the hair growth cycle; A C T = Anagen, Catagen and Telogen. This diagram shows the regression of an anagen hair follicle.

The hair growth cycle

All people, men and women, lose hair. It's natural... A normal person loses from 15 to 40 hairs every day.  Hair follicles produces a new hair every few years.  Hair goes through three specific growth cycles.

  • Growth (anagen) phase
    This phase lasts for 3-5 years. The longer the phase the longer you will be able to grow your hair.
    Lasts 3-4 years 85-90% hairs
  • Involution (catagen) phase
    The hair stops growing in this phase and the follicle involutes - gradually the hair root in the follicle becomes shrunken.  Hair growth ceases and no pigment is produced for about 10 days.
    Lasts 1-2 weeks 1% of hairs
  • Resting (telogen) phase
    This is the time between the involution of the follicle and the next growth phase. This is when hair is shed.
    Lasts 5 months 10-15% of hairs


What is excessive hair loss?

In individuals with healthy follicles, about 90% of the hair on the scalp grows at one time.  Because the vast majority of follicles are in Anagen phase - and only a small percentage of them are in the Tologen phase - a normal amount of hair that falls out isn't noticeable. When a follicle is unhealthy, for whatever reason, the hair growth cycles are suspended and the follicle stays in the Tologen phase for an indefinite period.

As more and more follicles stay in the Tologen phase, less new hair is being produced.  This results in thinning, and ultimately, balding.  How long do afflicted follicles stay in the Tologen stage?  In many cases, forever; in some cases, hair production resumes.  The determining factor is what caused the follicles to stop producing hair in the first place.

Why women lose hair?

Women can lose hair for a variety of reasons.  In pregnancy, changes in hormone levels can produce hair loss.  Stress and anxiety can also cause hair follicles to cease production.  In some cases, a vitamin deficiency can lead to hair loss.  Certain medication can cause hair to fall out, too.  But in all the aforementioned cases, the hair loss is only temporary for most people.  Once the condition causing the hair follicles will "wake up"  and begin producing hair once again. 

There are two conditions in which hair loss in irreversible.  The first is from a condition known as alopecia universalis.  Very few people are afflicted with alopecia universalis, but those who are facing the devastating effect of all hair production ceasing on their body - they actually produce no hair at all, from their scalps to their toes.  The condition is believe to be caused by a virus and there is no "cure" for it.

The overwhelming majority of women suffer from what is known as androgenic hair loss.  This is caused by hormones.  It was previously mentioned that pregnant women can experience hair loss due to changes in hormonal levels.  With androgenic hair loss, the principle is the same but the cause is quite different. 

Both men and women have hormones of the opposite sex.  Men have level of estrogen in their body, just as women have levels of testosterone.  In women, the cause of what is known as female pattern baldness is the testosterone hormone. Women with hair loss do not have abnormal levels of testosterone in their body.  These women are just unable to "break down" testosterone properly.


The overwhelming majority of women suffer from what is known as androgenic hair loss. This is caused by hormones.


There is much testosterone found in a person's scalp.  If the hormone does not break down properly as it ages and is ready to be disposed of as waste, a by-product known as dihidrotestosterone (DHT) exists.  When too much DHT accumulates in the scalp, hair follicles are affected.  They begin to atrophy.  The hair being produced becomes smaller, weaker in structure and lighter in color.  Finally, the hair follicle enters a permanent dormant state and no hair is produced at all.  In most cases, there is no way to induce the hair follicle to produce normal, healthy hair again.  The hair follicle is essentially dead.

Women's pattern baldness is different.

Men's pattern baldness generally ends up with a "horseshoe" of hair around the sides and back of the head, with the top of the head totally denude of hair.

Not only is the end result fairly common, the path to get there is shared by more men as well. It usually begins with a gradual recession in the temples. In actuality, the term "female pattern baldness" is largely a misnomer, because there is no pattern to female hair loss.  Very few women with hair loss end up with the horseshoe pattern that is inevitable result of male pattern baldness.  Rather, women tend to lose their hair in various combinations of patterns and progressions. 

Some women notice hair loss beginning in the anterior, or mid-scapl region, a few inches behind the hairline. In other women, it is the hairlines itself that begins to thin, but there is rarely a true recession as there is with men; rather, the thinning seems to occur randomly through the first inch or so of hair without the orderly "march back to the crown" that categorizes most male pattern baldness.  As well, few few women experience recession at the temples; most men do.

Click here to find out about how Encore™ can help.


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