Hair restoration makes up a significant part of Gary Linkov, M.D.’s, NYC-based facial plastic surgery practice. It’s not unusual for his female patients to complain of hair loss and thinning, says Dr. Linkov who presented “Women’s Hair Loss Evaluation,” at this year’s Global Aesthetics conference in Miami, Fla.
“Women who come in with complaints of [their] hair falling out [or] thinning and losing hair, really want to be heard,” he says.
They also want to walk away with a specific diagnosis, according to Dr. Linkov.
“Consultation takes time to figure out all the different causes of what might be contributing to the hair loss,” he says. “Knowing the various types of alopecia or hair loss conditions is very important.”
The most common type of alopecia in women is androgenic alopecia, or female pattern hair loss.
Other forms include anagen effluvium, telogen effluvium, alopecia areata and traction alopecia.
“Women with increased hair shedding but little or no reduction in hair volume over the mid-frontal scalp could be suffering from several diseases and acute and chronic telogen effluvium (TE),” according to a study published in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology. “Anamnesis and a physical examination are needed to get the right diagnosis.”
Physical examinations can be used to quantify hair loss and to determine whether the hair is shedding at the scalp or distal hair shaft. Pull tests can be performed to evaluate the number of hairs that shed. The trichogram method can be used for hair root and cycle evaluation. Standardized wash tests can also be used, according to the study.
Importantly, “Early diagnosis and initiation of treatment are desirable because treatments are more effective to avoid the progression of hair loss than stimulating regrowth,” write the study authors.
Fabbrocini G, Cantelli M, Masarà A, Annunziata MC, Marasca C, Cacciapuoti S. Female pattern hair loss: A clinical, pathophysiologic, and therapeutic review. Int J Womens Dermatol. 2018;4(4):203-211.