Is Female Hair Loss Permanent and Irreversible?

Women who experience hair loss often worry that the results will be permanent and that they may soon become completely bald. Fortunately this is rarely the case. The most common hair loss disorders that affect women can often be improved or reversed. It is only when the follicle is damaged or no longer alive that the condition is permanent.

Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium does not damage or destroy follicles. Although the shedding may become severe, the hair within the follicle is always replaced. If excessive shedding is short-lived the hair growth cycle will return to normal within six months. When the condition is long-lasting, recurrent, or episodic there may be noticeable thinning and a dramatic decrease in volume, as the new growth will not be able to keep up with the loss. Telogen effluvium is caused by an internal imbalance. Indentifying and correcting the imbalance will help restore the hair growth cycle.

Alopecia Areata

With alopecia areata the follicles lay dormant but remain alive. The hair that falls out is not immediately replaced. Instead the follicles remain empty until they receive the signal to once again produce hair. Re-activation can occur at anytime. The longer the follicle is inactive and the more extensive the disease, the more difficult re-growth may be, but the potential always remains. Some persons with this condition have experienced regrowth even after ten years of no growth. Advanced forms of this condition can cause total baldness of scalp or entire body. Because this is an autoimmune disorder, therapy would involve balancing and supporting immune system, as well as using topical agents such as essential oils to stimulate new growth.

Androgenetic Alopecia

Androgenetic alopecia is also known as female pattern baldness. This condition does not cause true baldness and does not cause actual shedding of hair. Instead of falling out, certain hairs (mostly on top area of head) progressively become thinner due to follicle shrinkage. The thinner hairs provide less scalp coverage. This is a slow and gradual process. It does not become as severe or extensive as male pattern baldness. With this condition some follicles may eventually close up especially if there was an early onset, allowing the process to continue and progress for a longer length of time. Reducing inflammation, keep body fit and healthy and keeping follicles nourished and energized can help inhibit the progression.

Cicatricial Alopecia

Cicatricial alopecia, also known as scarring alopecia is the one category of hair loss that causes permanent balding. There are many different conditions within this category. Altogether these conditions account for only approximately three percent of all hair loss cases. The loss is permanent because the follicle is destroyed and replaced with scar tissue. The scarring is not visible on the scalp because it is below the surface. A scalp biopsy is the most accurate way to verify if scarring has occurred.

Some of the disorders within this category include discoid lupus, lichen planopilaris, frontal fibrosing alopecia, pseudopelade, etc. This condition can also occur due to external injury to the scalp from using harsh chemicals that burn the scalp, severe trichotillomania, or other injuries.