Understanding The Differences Between Male & Female Pattern Hair Loss

Male and female pattern hair loss, though similar in their impact on confidence and self-image, differ significantly in their manifestations and underlying causes. By age 50, up to 50% of both men and women experience clinically significant hair loss. Alarmingly, 25% of men begin losing hair before age 21, and 65% face this issue by age 35. For women, the figures are similarly concerning, with up to 30% showing signs of female pattern hair loss in their 20s.

Men typically experience hair thinning around the crown and a receding hairline, forming the ‘M’ shape; often referred to as “Male Pattern Hair Loss”. Conversely, women often face a general thinning process across the entire top of scalp and temple areas, preserving the hairline; often referred to as “Female Pattern Hair loss”.  While “Male Pattern” hair loss is more common in men, and “Female Pattern” hair loss is more common in women, both sexes can experience either pattern.  Interestingly, some ethnicities have a higher prevalence for certain patterns, for instance, “Female Pattern” hair loss is more common in both men and women from Indian, Middle Eastern, and to a lesser degree Asian backgrounds, suggesting a western bias in this nomenclature.  Ultimately, all pattern hair loss hair is genetic and inheritable, though the genes might not express similarly among genders, leading to different patterns. Hormonally speaking, both male and female pattern baldness are linked primarily to distribution patterns of scalp DHT receptors, as well as the sensitivities these receptors have to DHT.  To a lesser extent, the levels of DHT are a factor, but the receptor sensitivity plays a much greater role in the majority of times.  People who do not experience as much hair loss generally do not have partially low levels of DHT, but rather low sensitivity to DTH in their scalp.  In the presence of DHT sensitivity, the hair follicles shrinks in a process known as miniaturization.  Pattern hair loss is not a shedding process, as many believe, but rather a lack of growing process caused by this continuous miniaturization. It is important to note that women can experience hair thinning due to a range of additional factors, including post-pregnancy and menopause, as well as autoimmune conditions which are more prevalent in women.  In addition, men and women tend to respond to different medication dosages, requiring the need to special tailor treatments.

The advancement of hair loss in men commonly leads to hairline recession and a bald spot, while women most often experience diffuse mid-scalp and temple thinning, resulting in reduced hair volume.

At Blends®, we address these gender-specific nuances in hair loss through made-to-order treatments, using a blend of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and along with hair vitamins and minerals, to meet each individual’s needs.A few key APIs in our formula include Finasteride (aka Propecia®), a DHT blocker, and Dutasteride, a more potent DHT blocker helpful especially for women, and for more advanced hair loss in men. We offer customized dosages, helping reduce potential side effects. Minoxidil, renowned from Rogaine®, can stimulate hair growth by increasing the blood flow to the scalp, and is provided in our formulations at prescription strength. Ketoconazole serves as an anti-inflammatory and has natural DHT blocking activity.Tretinoin, improves scalp permeability, ensures other API’s penetrate deeper, enhancing their effectiveness. Lastly, Latanoprost, a medicine in the same family as Latisse®, which is used for eyelash growth, promotes additional hair growth on the scalp.

Alongside these APIs, we incorporate essential hair vitamins and minerals. Biotin, or Vitamin B7, is a standard for hair health, alongside Vitamin C, crucial for keratin synthesis. Vitamin D stimulates the hair growth cycle, with our capsules containing a sufficient daily dose of Vitamin D3 (2000 IU) replacing the need for additional Vitamin D supplementation. Folate, or Vitamin B9, promotes cell and DNA growth, critical for healthy hair, while Vitamin B5 strengthens hair. Pyridoxine, or Vitamin B6, blocks androgen protein receptors on the hair follicles. Zinc and Selenium are integral for healthy hair growth, and Methionine, an essential amino acid, prolongs the hair shaft growth phase.In essence, Blends®’ made-to-order treatments offer unique solutions for male and female pattern hair loss, ensuring each individual receives a targeted approach to their specific needs. With a combination of potent APIs and essential supplements, we strive to help our clients regain not just their hair, but their confidence and quality of life. Our personalized approach to treating hair loss marks a new era of specialized hair health care.

Special Considerations for Trans Men and Women Experiencing Hair Loss

Transgender Men (FTM)  and Transgender Women (MTF) who are not on hormonal therapy, and who have not had gender-affirming surgery that affects their hormones, will benefit from the Blends® treatments displayed when selecting the sex assigned at birth.

For Trans Men and Trans Women on hormonal therapy, or for those who have had surgery that affects their hormones, who are experiencing hair loss, we encourage you to make a free virtual/zoom - or in person - consultation at our brick and mortar company, Barber Surgeons Guild™. With a 1:1 consultation, a detailed discussion can be had around all treatment options, including custom Blends® products, that would be recommended based on unique considerations and needs of the transgender patient. Some general considerations are listed below, but much more value will be obtained from a dedicated consultation.

Trans-Men on Testosterone therapy are at increased risk for DHT mediated hair loss just as their Cis-Male counterparts, especially when there is a family history of men with hair loss. Finasteride containing medications help here, however there are unique risks to be aware of including but not limited to: risk of reversing facial hair growth, and risk of menstrual cycle returning.  Topical Dutasteride may be considered as it does not impact the blood DHT levels the way Topical finasteride can.. Hair restoration is also often helpful for Trans-men in treating male pattern baldness, adding more beard density, and masculinizing the hairline shape.

Trans-Women on anti-androgen medications, or have had an orchiectomy, are at low risk for future hair loss, and often their gender affirming treatments alone have helped their hair. For hair loss acquired prior to transitioning, medical and/or surgical treatments are often helpful.

Join the thousands already using Blends® personalized treatments to thicken up their hair and prevent future loss, delivered straight to your door.