What is it?
Androgenetic alopecia (AGA), while most commonly observed in males, can affect females too and it is the most common form of hair loss in women. Female pattern hair loss usually starts at a later age, affecting 12% of women by the age of 29 years and 41% of women by 69 years. As seen in male pattern hair loss, excess male hormones (androgens) and a family history of hair loss influence the chances of developing female pattern hair loss. However, if you have medical conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, metabolic syndrome, hormonal imbalance, or raised aldosterone levels, these may also contribute to the development of FPHL.
While the same hair miniaturisation process experienced in male AGA described here (hyperlink male pattern hair loss) also takes place in FPHL, the typical pattern of hair thinning in females differs from that seen in men. Starting at the hair parting, there is a widening of the hair partition and a gradual thinning of hair throughout the crown and mid scalp. The Ludwig classification system illustrates this and we use it to assess the extent of hair loss.