Hair Loss in Women Over 40: What You Can Do About It

Everyone’s hair thins to some degree as we age. We are getting old, and so is our hair. The number one complaint of second act women, after sagging skin, is thinning hair.

In the United States alone, more than 20 million women suffer from some form of “female pattern baldness.” Consequently, a big question in my chair is: “How can I make my hair look fuller?” Chances are, if you want volume (or height), you’ll need to raise your arms above your shoulders and spend some time creating it. Sometime is not an hour. A time is 15 to 20 minutes. When hair begins to thin, we often cannot rely on a good haircut alone. Hairdressers can’t just reduce the “height” of your hair. To make thinning hair look thicker, we both need to work together.

The most common cause of hair thinning in women is hereditary hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia. In fact, 95 percent of all hair thinning in women can be attributed to hereditary hair loss. Few women have heard of this condition and even fewer realize that it may be the cause of their hair loss.

The word ‘alopecia’ is used to describe types of significant hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia describes hair loss caused by androgens, which are hormones present in everyone, male or female. Hormonal changes affect many things, including hereditary hair loss. Specifically, the key is your genetic sensitivity to the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone is converted to a more powerful hormone called dihydrotestosterone, which makes hair and sensitive follicles smaller.

why hair thins

Normally, each of your hairs grows for two to seven years, takes a three-month “break,” and then falls out to make room for new hair. But if you have a genetic predisposition to thinning hair, your hair follicles may become more sensitive to the male hormone testosterone sometime in your twenties or thirties, or even in your teens. (It’s not that you produce more testosterone than other women; the hormone just affects you differently.) Over time, your follicles shrink and may produce only finer, shorter, and weaker hairs, or none at all. In some women, the process accelerates at menopause, when natural estrogen levels decline.

This is why you may notice short hairs that never seem to grow out, particularly around your hairline and midsection. You know the “little furry ones” you see on the top of your head. One reason why adding layers and texture helps create the illusion that those shags are supposed to be there, instead of weirdly shorter than the rest of the hair.

What can be done for thinning hair?

The three common methods of treating hair loss are medical, surgical, and cosmetic. Medically, the topical medication minoxidil is used to prevent hair follicles from shrinking in about 60 percent of women who try rubbing it into the scalp twice a day. About two-thirds of those women will also see some new growth within eight months, although the new hair is usually much finer than the old.

Medical therapy is more effective at stopping the progression of hair loss than it is at regrowth already lost hair, but a lucky percentage of patients are able to see significant new growth. Minoxidil is available without a prescription, but you must use it continuously for the rest of your life to maintain new hair growth. Hair loss will start again within a few months after stopping minoxidil treatment. Some women find that the solution causes itching or headaches.

Minoxidil is the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for female pattern hair loss. Finasteride, a prescription pill that works by moderating testosterone levels, seems to work only in men. It is not safe for women.

Hair restoration surgery is another option for women, although it works best if you’re thinning primarily on top, as men do. A surgeon removes hair from a denser area of ​​the head and transplants the individual follicles where you need them most. Surgical treatment has progressed dramatically in the last 10 years, and now the most advanced surgical technique is follicular unit transplantation, which involves replacing lost hair with tiny, natural-looking microscopically obtained units of just one to three hairs each. It is so natural that, when done correctly, even delicate areas such as eyebrows and eyelashes can be recreated. You can expect to pay between $4,000 and $30,000 over time.

Finally, cosmetic enhancement is the use of products like thickeners, concealers, and techniques that create the illusion that your hair is thicker than it really is. As you read on, you’ll discover the most effective cosmetic treatments available today.

 Do you need volume? This is what works.

o Combed back: No, it does not damage the hair. No, it won’t look like a beehive if you do it right. Learn how. It will always and forever give you control over that division in the crown.

o Styling products such as mousse are often best applied only to the scalp and root area.

o Blow-dry your hair in all directions with tension (pulling hair tightly from the scalp with a brush or fingers) with heat on the scalp, and voila, Volume! Folding “upside down” will help, but only if you also use tension with a brush or fingers so that the hair dries flat at 90 degrees to the scalp.

o Volumizing products temporarily plump up the hair shaft. You get more volume. More tangles, but more volume. They can also weigh down certain types of fine hair.

o Rollers with velcro: On dry hair: fix, spray with hairspray, heat with the dryer, let cool. Fagot! Volume. Back comb for more.

o Curling irons: Rollers, magnetic rollers, rags, bendies, anything you wrap around wet hair and allow to form will add volume through waves or curls.

o Hot rollers: Always make sure the ends are wrapped tightly to avoid “hooks.”

o Curler: Start at the base of the hair, straight up and away from the direction you are rolling to lift the scalp, then roll and clamp slightly to click the hair, heat, release, let set cool. before combing.

o The round brush uses the same concept as the velcro rollers. The more you heat and lift the hair on the scalp and allow it to cool before removing the brush, the more volume you will create.

Creating illusion through the shadow

One of the simplest but least used techniques to create the illusion of thicker hair is to fill in your hairline or scalp area with a scalp shader. Just like brow tinted brows and eyeliner lashes, your hair will look thicker when you hide your scalp with a color that matches your hair.

There are various scalp shaders on the market. My favorite is a product called Dermatch. Simply apply the shadow-like powder to thinning areas and voila – the illusion of thicker hair. This is particularly effective on the hairline, temples, part of the hair, and that nasty split at the crown of the head. Also great for men.

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