Androgenetic alopecia is a common form of hair loss in both men and women. In men, this condition is also known as male-pattern baldness. Hair is lost in a well-defined pattern, beginning above both temples. Over time, the hairline recedes to form a characteristic “M” shape. Hair also thins at the crown (near the top of the head), often progressing to partial or complete baldness.
The pattern of hair loss in women differs from male-pattern baldness. In women, the hair becomes thinner all over the head, and the hairline does not recede. Androgenetic alopecia in women rarely leads to total baldness.
Female androgenic alopecia has become a growing problem that, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, affects around 30 million women in the United States. Although hair loss in females normally occurs after the age of 50 or even later when it does not follow events like pregnancy, chronic illness, crash diets, and stress among others, it is now occurring at earlier ages with reported cases in women as young as 15 or 16.
A 23-year-old Anastasia Sidorova is one of the former sufferers of severe hair loss and was diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia as a teenager. The condition resulted in large chunks of her hair falling out to the extent that her head was completely covered in large bald patches.
The sudden hair loss began when she was 18 and it triggers her confidence so much so that she went to see a trichologist, an expert on hair-related conditions. The treatment that Anastasia received from the trichologist allowed her hair to start growing again. She was so ecstatic to have her hair back that she began to take a deep interest in trichology and has even begun training to become a professional trichologist.
When Anastasia’s hair grew back, she couldn’t bring herself to cut it. Her hair is a whopping 90 inches long and she’s now being referred to as the real-life Russian Rapunzel in 2017.
Now, Anastasia became a part-time model and has even appeared in numerous Pantene adverts in Russian magazines. She has over 241,000 followers on her Instagram where she primarily uploads photos of herself and her long luscious red locks.
In light of her newfound expertise in all things hair, she often gives people advice on how best to treat their locks:
“Before you decide on which shampoo suits you, you need to decide on the type of hair. Improperly selected shampoo can damage your hair very badly.
For example, if you have dry hair, start using shampoo for oily hair, you remove all that natural fat, without which the normal condition of the hair, which is already lacking, is impossible.”
“You will dry the scalp and make your hair very fragile, brittle. Many people often face a season of hair loss. If the iron content in the body is normal and there are no hormonal changes, this is normal.”
In order to protect her luscious locks, Anastasia says she never straightens her hair, allows her hair to air dry 60 percent of using a hairdryer, and uses special treatments (including taking daily doses of omega-3 and vitamin D) to keep her hair perfect.
Dr. Omar Milhem, who is the spokesperson for the National Hair Council has dealt with a number of cases in which sufferers of hair loss suffered psychologically as a result:
“The impact that hair loss is having on British women’s lives is huge. Knowing how common hair loss is and how important self-image is to most women, it’s concerning that they feel less attractive and avoid certain social circumstances when suffering.”
Of course, it should be emphasized that the psychological impact of hair loss is one that doesn’t discriminate. There are many millions of men who suffer from conditions such as alopecia and are equally as distraught by it.
Hopefully, those who suffer from hair loss will be able to take inspiration from Anastasia’s story and realize that all hope is not lost.
Are you inspired by her story? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.