Female Hair Loss – Not So Pretty In Pink

June 21, 2021

When I was in high school, I had long dark brown hair down to my waist. No grey hair or pink skin to be seen. However, by the time I was 35, it was above my shoulders. I’d stopped coloring it to hide the grey that had become so obvious in my late 20’s. By age 40, it was the standard middle-aged woman’s short haircut, iron grey to silvery, noticeably thinner and flatter than before.

Then, in an effort to add some fullness and some body to that thin, fine, flat hair, I decided to have a perm. Since I had my glasses off during the process and the subsequent styling, I couldn’t really see what all was happening and was moderately happy with the results once the stylist held up her back-of-the-head-view mirror and spun me around in the chair.

But OMG, a day or two later after my first post-perm shampoo, standing in front of my bathroom mirror with the overhead vanity lights shining down, the awful truth was all too apparent. In between the little clumps of damp curls, acres of pink scalp shone back at me like some cruel Christo art project. Despite my best efforts at fluffing and finger-combing and strand arranging, there was no denying that I had crossed that threshold from thinning hair and wide part line to incipient bald spots.

Shrinking the Pink – The Journey Begins

And so my hunt began for the magical solution to transform my limp locks. If not Farah Fawcett’s beach-worthy waves, at least some kind of feminine and flattering hair. I could cope with the grey, but not the pink scalp!

My first inclination was to look into nutritional components and supplements that would encourage and support hair growth and retention. Adding a bit more protein to my diet and taking Biotin supplements didn’t cause any harm. However, they really didn’t help, either. I still saw that wide pink part line grinning back at me in the mirror. Every day. However, I didn’t just sit around hoping the problem would go away. I spoke with my doctor about my hair loss. I read every magazine article I could find on the subject (this was pre-internet). Nothing worthwhile.

I learned that female pattern baldness typically manifested with thinning crown hair and wider part lines. Hair loss could increase from a normal level of 50-100 strands per day to three or four times that amount. My doctor thought my hair loss might be related to hormonal changes due to early menopause following a hysterectomy, and that hormone therapy might help. Although I took Premarin for almost two years, it had no effect on my hair loss, and I found myself avoiding looking at my own reflection, going through my morning routine without actually looking too closely at myself in the mirror. It was depressing and stressful.

Trying Anything To Restore My Hair

Rogaine was a new thing back then (that’s how long I’ve been dealing with thinning hair), and even though it was safe for me to use it was expensive and icky to apply. I could smell it on myself all the time. Also, Rogaine has to be used for an extended period of time before any change is noticeable — up to a year — and only about 20% of patients notice meaningful improvement. Rogaine wasn’t the right solution for me, no pun intended.

I did more research and reading, trying to figure out why this was happening and how to stop it. Both my parents had full heads of healthy hair throughout their lives, and photos I’d seen of grandparents didn’t show up any patterns of baldness, so it seemed like genetics wasn’t the cause.

I stopped using a hairbrush and used only a wide-toothed comb to avoid pulling. With my short hair, tangles and snarls weren’t an issue, so I figured that handling what hair I had as gently as possible couldn’t hurt and might help. There is a school of thought, however, especially among hairstylists, that regular brushing with a natural bristle brush cleanses the hair shaft, stimulates the scalp, aids in the distribution of natural oils, and eliminates flakes of dandruff and dead skin that accumulate around the base of the hair follicles. For me, the proverbial 100-strokes a day made me look as though I’d dipped my head in Crisco, so no thanks. Still no improvement, though.

I considered wiglets and hairpieces, but even bobby pins slip right out of my thin, fine hair, and I could just see myself at work in a meeting with a dead squirrel of a hairpiece sliding off my head — so no thanks. Also, I was still having hot flashes and sweating flashes and the very idea of wearing a hair shirt on my head was repellant. Wearing a hat was similarly problematic — they made my head sweat and itch and weren’t a workable solution anyway.

What’s a Woman To Do?

Congresswoman Pressley had not made alopecia a beautiful thing yet, but I did start noticing that I wasn’t the only woman dealing with this issue. {I did learn that alopecia and hair loss were two different things — alopecia is the absence of hair in areas of the body where it normally grows, while hair loss is just that — a reduction in the number and thickness of normal hair growth.)

In my bridge group, two of the ladies wore small hairpieces. One wore a full wig. The woman who so carefully gave me a pedicure had a sizeable thin patch on her head too. The cashier in the grocery store had a very high hairline with thin wispy hairs beneath her headband. Could it be that this was a much more widespread problem than I thought? Was there any help available for us?

Aside from that brief experiment with perming my hair, I hadn’t colored it in 30 years and always chose shampoos with gentle, natural ingredients, so it seemed like I could rule out the effects of harsh chemicals as a cause of my hair loss. I wasn’t a swimmer, so chlorine wasn’t an issue. I did have a slightly low level of thyroid hormones, which could be a contributing factor, but my doctor didn’t feel it approached a level requiring synthetic thyroid supplements, so no joy there either, although for some women this does seem to help slow down or stop hair loss. Ruling out other common contributing factors including not using hair dryers or styling wands or hair irons, anything that could pull or break or stress the hair shafts themselves. I’ve always avoided sun exposure because I’m heat-intolerant, so sunburned hair (yes, it’s a thing) wasn’t the cause either.

More Choices, Fewer Results

I learned that more supplements and medications were becoming available to treat female pattern baldness, including iron for those suffering from mild to moderate anemia (a contributing factor due to poor oxygenation of the follicle), B-complex vitamins (always a good addition for women), zinc, Biotin and Vitamin D. I take most of these regularly so did not notice any difference, either improvement or worsening, in my hair situation.

My Lesson: Stress Equals Pink

I came across several articles on the detrimental effects of stress on many physical and emotional aspects of life. Suddently, it felt like all the lights flicked on. I was widowed early, had a stressful job. Eventually I retired, sold my home, made a major decision to relocate. Furthermore, I dealt with a few financial setbacks and some major health issues — all within about a 10 year period. Stress reduction seemed do-able and certainly fit my budget at the time.

As a results, I decided to adopt some stress management into my life. Daily meditation, guided imaging, mindful breathing, pre-bedtime relaxation, and even some chair yoga. Yay! It did seem to help quite a bit. I didn’t seem to be losing as much hair, my hair felt stronger. Maybe even a little thicker. As a result, I felt positive for the first time in years. Lately though, as another decade has passed and aging has added its toll on my thin, fine, flat hair, I’m considering other options.

Dr. Anthony Oro, Director of the Stanford Hair Loss Clinic says “The hair follicle is a biosensor for everything going on in our body. It’s wired up to your brain, it’s surrounded by blood vessels, it senses all the hormones – it knows your stress levels. Make sure all your nutrients and emotional state and hormonal state are in balance – that’s number one and it’s the easiest thing to do.” Nioxin products, which are available at beauty supply shops such as Sally’s, contain ingredients like vitamins, SPF 15 sunscreen and botanicals, which can help clean follicle-clogging sebum from the scalp. Nioxin shampoo and conditioner have hair thickeners that coat the hair shaft to make the hair feel thicker.

The Smarter Option Became Clear

One final option to be considered is hair implants/transplants. While not inexpensive, they do work and can definitely improve the thickness, density and pattern of hair growth on the head. In fact, they’re the most permanent solution for hair loss available. Hair implants have come a long way from the truck-garden appearance of rows of hair plugs. A technique called Follicular Unit Extraction – FUE – is the latest advance in surgical hair transplantation.

During the procedure, hair follicles are removed one-by-one from permanent hair-bearing areas of the body (usually the lower scalp). Then, they’re re-implanted into areas experiencing hair loss. Since each follicle is being removed individually, the scarring is minimal, typically less than 1mm in diameter. Dr. Oro describes this process as similar to transplanting seedlings in a garden. “You’re not planting more seeds, you’re moving seedlings from an area of growth to an area that has room for growth, you are redistributing the seedings.”

Hair loss is difficult to deal with, both emotionally and physically. That’s why it’s important to treat the hair that we have as gently as we can. Making a long-term investment in yourself is worth considering. I’ve been through a lot with my hair, and am happy that stress reduction helped so much. However, I’m open to considering FUE transplantation as a more permanent solution. I feel lucky to live so close to the best experts in the field.

If you’re looking to regrow more hair and cover up your pink, exposed scalp, looking into hair transplants may be just what you need.

Suffering From Pink Scalp Hair Loss?

Best Hair Transplant is the best place to schedule your hair transplant in Los Angeles. We’ve helped both men and women with a pink exposed scalp regrow their lost hair. But don’t take our word for it. We suggest learning as much as possible about hair restoration. Do so prior to making a decision on how to address your hair loss. Not every procedure is right for everyone.

At Best Hair Transplant, we’re proud of our results and happy to provide hair restoration services. Additionally, we’re proud to make hair transplants affordable and help you save money on a variety of hair transplants.

To ensure your ease of mind, you can view our customer recommendations HERE. Furthermore, you can also see our Google reviews and Yelp reviews. We can’t wait to help you start restoring your lost hair.


Best Hair Transplant
1970 S. Prospect Ave., Suite 2
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(213) 403-0455

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