Medical Treatments For Female Hair Loss
It’s been said that women are in a Catch 22 situation when it comes to finding a medical solution for Androgenetic Alopecia that actually works. Some drugs can work but only to a point, and doctors are often reluctant to prescribe them. Also, pharmaceutical companies aren’t clambering over themselves to become pioneers in the research of women’s hair loss.
You’ll get the best results if you start treatment as soon as you realise you have a problem. This is because prolonged Androgenetic Alopecia can destroy many of the hair follicles. SinceAnti-androgensblock the action of androgens like Testosterone, DiHydroTestosterone (DHT) and Androstenedione, they will stop further hair loss and encourage some hair regrowth from follicles that have been dormant but still work. But if you stop treatment, your hair loss will go back to square one.
The most common medical treatments for female hair loss are:
One treatment that appears to work for Female Pattern Baldness (Androgenetic Alopecia)is Minoxidil, which is a topical applied solution. Most women using it found it stops or slows their balding and produces thicker hair. And a quarter of women have also shown hair regrowth too. There are also scalp drops that aim to stop male hormones or androgens from damaging the follicles. Some women are also prescribed oral contraceptives but only if they contain anti-androgens.
If you suffer from diffuse Androgenetic Alopecia, you can use a 5% concentration of the topical solution Minoxidil (commercially known as Regaine©). It’s actually proved more effective in women than in men. Clinical studies reveal that in women aged 18-45 years with mild to moderate degrees of hair loss, 19% saw moderate hair growth and 40% had minimal regrowth while using Minoxidil.
This first came on the market to help prevent hair loss in men and encourage it to regrow (1mg dosage is commercially known as Propecia©). It also sometimes works for women, but not if you are already pregnant or planning to be, as it can cause birth defects in a male foetus.
This is actually used in the treatment of fungal infections and is commercially known as Nizoral©. But it also has anti-androgenic effects and can reduce the production of testosterone and other androgens. A shampoo containing Ketoconazole is prescribed to treat scalp conditions in combination with other treatments for Androgenetic Alopecia.
Birth control pills cut the production of ovarian androgens, so they can be used to treat women's Androgenetic Alopecia. But only low androgen index birth control pills should be used to treat hair loss. A high dosage can have the opposite effect and trigger it or make more fall out. The Cyproterone Acetate with Ethinyloestradiol contraceptive tablet (commercially known as Diane 35© and Diane 50©) is prescribed in Europe for women's Androgenetic Alopecia. It works by blocking the actions of male hormones that are found in a woman. The medicine can also stop you losing more hair and trigger regrowth within 12 months. But it has to be used permanently. And its potential side effects include tender breasts, headaches, and decreased libido.
It cuts the amount of fluid in your body without losing any potassium. It works in two ways. First, it slows down the production of androgens in the adrenal glands and ovaries. Then it blocks the action of androgens in part by preventing DiHydroTestosterone (DHT) from binding to its androgenetic receptor and destroy the hair follicles. Commercially it is known as Aldactone©.
This histamine blocker is often used to treat gastrointestinal ulcers. It stops the stomach from producing too much acid, allowing your body to heal itself. It’s also a fairly powerful anti-androgenic and can block DiHydroTestosterone (DHT). It has also been used to treat women suffering from too much facial hair and shows promising results in women with Androgenic Alopecia. Commercially it is known as Tagamet©.
Cyproterone Acetate is used to reduce high sex drives in men and to treat sexual aggression. It is also prescribed to treat Androgenetic Alopecia in women. Cyproterone acetate exerts its effects by blocking the binding of DiHydroTestosterone (DHT) to its receptors.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Estrogen and Progesterone pills and creams are the most commonly prescribed treatments for Androgenetic Alopecia for menopausal women.