Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL) is the most common cause of hair loss in women. Approximately one out of every three women develop FPHL. Unlike male-pattern baldness, which is usually associated with hair loss on the top and front of the head, FPHL causes hair to thin on the top and crown of the head.
The main, central hair part begins to thin when FPHL’s genetics kick in. Thankfully for women, the front of the hairline remains affected. Yet experiencing FPHL can contribute to depression.
It’s estimated that less than 45% of women will live out their lives with a full set of hair.
Most often occurring after menopause, FPHL can occur in women who are in their 30s and 40s.
What Causes of Female Pattern Hair Loss?
The main cause is most often genetics. But in addition to your DNA, there are several other factors that can cause FPHL, including:
- Prescription medication side effects
- Extreme dieting
- Hair growth products
Women’s Hair Growth Products
Most women with FPHL will try to remedy the situation by purchasing an over-the-counter hair growth treatment.
However, there are a few problems with name-brand hair growth drugs. For starters, women are charged more than men for the same formulation. This is known as a “pink tax.” Walgreens was recently sued because of this deceptive marketing practice.
But the most troubling thing about hair growth treatments is potential side effects. For instance, minoxidil (Rogaine), the most popular hair growth product on the market can cause hair growth on areas of the body that shouldn’t be hairy in women such as the cheeks.Minoxidil can actually cause temporary hair loss before it starts working—if it starts working; it can take several months to notice any benefits.
Another popular remedy is Finasteride (Propecia), which has been linked to hot flashes and low libido. Spironolactone (Aldactone) may cause tenderness in the breasts and irregular menstrual cycles.
Choose Natural, Organic Shampoos and Conditioners
The name-brand shampoos and conditioners that dominate supermarkets and drugstores are petroleum-based. Petroleum byproducts trap dirt and residue in the scalp, which can dull the hair and prevent the anagen phase of hair growth. Plus, these hair care products strip the natural oil away from the scalp.
Using Essential Oils For Hair Growth
Essential oils contain the natural chemicals of plants that provide therapeutic value. Diluted essential oils are safe to apply to the skin. Throughout the centuries, plant oils (aka “aromatic oils”) have been used for immune support and most famously, beauty and skin health.
The following oils have been shown to be effective for hair growth. Large clinical trials have not been conducted on these oils. Therefore, the evidence isn’t overwhelming. However, small studies on animals and humans have demonstrated efficacy.
This study in Toxicological Research suggests peppermint oil promotes hair growth without toxic side effects.
In a study of mice published in the same journal, lavender oil significantly increased number of hair follicles, deepened hair follicle depth, and thickened the dermal layer.
A study compared the clinical efficacy of rosemary oil in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia (AGA) with minoxidil 2%. Fifty patients with alopecia were randomly assigned to rosemary oil and 50 to the minoxidil 2% group for a period of 6 months. After a baseline visit, patients returned to the clinic for efficacy and safety evaluations every 3 months.
Both groups experienced a significant increase in hair count at the six-month evaluation.
This study also looked at natural remedies for alopecia and concluded that pumpkin seed oil increased hair counts by up to 40% at 12 and 24 weeks.
Tea tree oil
Research shows that tea tree oil was significantly superior to treating hair loss with minoxidil alone in terms of stability, safety, and efficacy. Plus, tea tree oil helped treat androgenic alopecia earlier compared with minoxidil alone in a 32-week pilot study.
For thousands of years, amla has been used as a restorative hair tonic. It contains powerful antioxidants and other nutrients that contribute to scalp health, and may help in neutralizing the so-called “baldness enzyme,” 5-alpha reductase, research shows.