It’s uncommon to see women with genetic hair loss known as female hair loss or female androgenetic alopecia. When it does occur, it manifests in a pattern that is different from men. All women with hair loss need an accurate diagnosis, especially when the loss is diffuse and some underlying medical illness may be a factor. Diagnosis of permanent hair loss patterns in women is done with the help of the Ludwig Classification System.
The Ludwig Classification System delineates the progression of genetic hair loss in women as follows:
Mild At this stage, hair loss can still be camouflaged with proper hair grooming. There is only a small amount of loss or thinning and medical treatment is often enough to reverse the effects.
Moderate At this stage a significant widening of the midline part occurs, as well as a noticeable decrease in volume. Hair transplants are useful at this stage.
Extensive At this stage a thin, see-through appearance at the top of the head indicates extensive hair loss and significant widening of the part line. The hair loss becomes almost impossible to conceal and requires extensive restoration to solve.
If you suspect you may have hair loss congruent with one of these stages, it’s important to get a thorough consultation with a hair loss specialist in order to catch it as early as possible. Just as with males, if a woman’s hair loss does not follow the pattern, it is not a cause for concern.