For women, hair loss can be a difficult and embarrassing experience. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available to help women address their hair loss. Minoxidil is the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat female pattern baldness. This drug was initially introduced as a treatment for high blood pressure, but people who took it noticed that it was causing their hair to grow in places where they had lost it.
Research studies confirmed that minoxidil applied directly to the scalp could stimulate hair growth. As a result of the studies, the FDA originally approved minoxidil 2% over-the-counter to treat hair loss in women. Since then, a 5% solution has also been available when a stronger solution is needed for a woman's hair loss. Other treatment options for female hair loss include phototherapy, hormone therapy, or, in some cases, hair transplants.
Spironolactone is another drug that can be used to address hormones related to hair loss. Additionally, some women may find success with home remedies or over-the-counter treatments for hair loss.In both sexes, hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia occurs due to a genetically determined shortening of the anagen, the growth phase of the hair, and a lengthening of the time between hair loss and the start of a new anagen phase. In women, androgenetic alopecia begins with a gradual thinning in the partial line, followed by an increase in diffuse hair loss that radiates from the top of the head.Women with hair loss due to alopecia areata may consider treatment with corticosteroids injected at multiple sites in the affected area. Additionally, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been found to be promising in helping stop hair loss and promote hair growth.Hair loss in women can occur for a variety of reasons, such as genetics, changes in hormone levels, or as part of the natural aging process.
Some women may start to lose their hair in their late teens or early twenties, although most women may not begin to lose their hair until their 40s or older. Even tight hairstyles, such as ponytails or braids, can cause hair loss as a result of putting pressure on the roots.A study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology found that up to 75% of women would experience hair loss due to androgenetic alopecia when they were 65 years old. About one-third of women experience hair loss (alopecia) at some point in their lives; among postmenopausal women, up to two-thirds suffer from hair loss or baldness.The risk increases with age and is higher for women with a history of hair loss on both sides of the family. While some forms of afab hair loss are temporary, female pattern baldness is permanent and irreversible without treatment.
For many women, accepting hair loss as part of the natural aging process is an important step in finding peace with their changing appearance. Fortunately, there are treatments available that can help slow down or even reverse female pattern baldness.