hair mirrorThe basic life-cycle of a hair is that it grows about half an inch per month for 2 to 6 years, rests for a while, then falls out.  At any given time, about 85% of your hair is growing and 15% is resting.  Baldness is when hair falls out, but nothing grows in its place.

Female pattern baldness isn’t exactly like the male version.  Instead of the classic receding hairline, women tend to lose hair from the top of their heads – a center parting becomes gradually wider.  And they rarely lose as much as men; women experience general thinning, but they still have hair.  It is caused by changes in the level of certain hormones.

How do you know that your hair loss is a result of female pattern baldness?  Well, process of elimination is used to rule out other causes (like medical treatments or nutritional deficiencies), and hormone levels can be checked.  There are two medical approaches to dealing with female pattern baldness: minoxidil treatment (aka Rogaine), which is effective but has to be done constantly (once you stop taking it, you begin to lose hair again), and hair transplants.  And unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent it.

If your hair is thinning on top and you feel self-conscious about it, there are lots of options in terms of covering up.  Hats obviously work well, and are versatile (they can dress an outfit up or down).  You may want to make sure you pick soft or lightweight choices – try a light crocheted beret or a soft pink straw hat.

Bandanas are a cute, casual way to cover just the top of the head (or try a tie-back if you’re worried about keeping it in place!).  Wide headbands also work really well, and come in a huge variety of colors, patterns, and materials.  I love the paisley flower print and this iridescent striped one: if it’s chilly out, try a cozy wide knit headband instead.  All of these ideas allow your hair to flow while hiding thin spots – and looking great.

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