Women’s Hair Loss Treatments: What Are the Best Options?

Women’s Hair Loss Treatments

There are a number of reasons why your hair is lost. There are choices you may examine that may assist, whether this is temporary, reversible, or permanent. The first and most crucial step is to make an appointment with a doctor so that they can determine what is causing your hair loss. We’ll go through the most prevalent, conventional, and complimentary hair loss remedies for women.

What is female pattern baldness, and what causes it?

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Female pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is a kind of hair loss that affects only women. It’s comparable to male pattern baldness, except that women’s hair loss patterns vary from men’s. You’re not alone if you’re suffering from female pattern baldness. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD), this illness affects around 33% of all women who are at greater risk. Women’s hair loss is a common occurrence, particularly as they become older, with the majority of women having hair loss after menopause. More than half of women aged 65 and over will have some degree of hair loss, according to Trusted Source.

The hair development phase slows significantly in female pattern baldness. It also takes a long time for new hair to develop. As hair follicles decrease, the hair that does develop becomes thinner and finer. This may lead to hair that is prone to breakage. Female pattern baldness is inherited. It’s also more prevalent after menopause, indicating that hormones are to blame. It’s critical to see your doctor or a dermatologist if you feel you’re losing hair. They’ll be able to tell whether you have female pattern baldness or another form of hair loss brought on by other reasons.

Symptoms that are common

  • gradual thinning of hair on top of the head
  • sudden loosening of hair
  • patchy bald spots on the scalp

Possible causes

  • Genetics. The gene for pattern baldness may be inherited from either parent.
  • Hormones. Female pattern baldness occurs most often after menopause, although it may also happen during pregnancy.
  • Health issues that lie under the surface. Female pattern baldness may also be caused by an underlying endocrine disorder or a hormone-secreting tumor.

Types of alopecia

  • Female pattern baldness or hair loss induced by heredity is known as androgenetic alopecia. It’s the most common cause of hair loss in women, and it usually starts between the ages of 12 and 40. Women’s hair loss shows as general thinning rather than a receding hairline and distinct bald patches, while men’s hair loss appears as a receding hairline and individual bald spots.
  • Alopecia areata is a condition that causes patchy hair loss on the head or body. One or more spherical bald patches appear first, which may or may not overlap.
  • Cicatricial alopecia is a set of diseases that result in permanent hair loss due to scarring. Hair goes out, and scar tissue replaces the follicle.
  • Hair loss is caused by traumatic alopecia, which is caused by hair styling methods. After using hot combs, blow dryers, straighteners, or some chemicals to color or straighten hair, the hair shaft may break.

Women’s hair loss treatments

Hair loss caused by female pattern baldness and other kinds of alopecia may be treated in a variety of ways, so speak to your doctor about which one is best for you. Topical medicines, such as Rogaine, may be used as treatments. Light treatment, hormone therapy, and, in certain circumstances, hair transplants are further alternatives. To experience the full effects, you may need to utilize one or a combination of therapies for months or years.

Hair loss brought on by hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause, as well as stress, may not need therapy. Instead, the weight reduction will most likely come to a halt after the body has adjusted. Changes in diet, supplementation and the advice of a doctor or qualified dietitian are typically enough to correct nutrient deficiencies. If the deficit is caused by an underlying medical problem, you should seek medical advice. Hair loss is caused by a variety of medical issues that should be addressed as a whole, not just the symptoms.

Minoxidil Topical Solution

Minoxidil, popularly known as Rogaine, is an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine used to treat alopecia areata and androgenic alopecia in men and women. Rogaine is only effective for specific forms of baldness and only if you use it consistently; it does not work for everyone. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized this medication (FDA). It is applied to the scalp every day in the shape of foam or a liquid. Initially, it may result in greater hair loss, and new hair growth may be shorter and thinner than previously. To prevent future loss and stimulate regrowth, you may need to utilize it for as least 6 months.

The following are some of the most prevalent negative effects:
  • scalp irritation
  • hair growth on other parts of the face or hands that come in contact with the medication
  • tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
If you have any of the following conditions, you should not take Rogaine:
  • You don’t have a history of hair loss in your family.
  • Your hair starts to fall out in patches and is lost all of a sudden.
  • You’re under the age of eighteen.
  • You have a scalp infection if your scalp is discolored, itchy, or painful to touch.
  • Hair loss may be caused by hair products, chemicals, or hair styling techniques such as cornrowing.
  • Other illnesses, such as thyroid disease or alopecia areata, dietary deficiencies, scalp scarring, or drugs, such as chemotherapy, may be the reason for your hair loss.

Before using Rogaine, see your doctor if you have a heart condition.

Prescription spironolactone pills

Spironolactone, also known as Aldactone, is a medication that aims to cure hair loss by treating hormones. It attaches to androgen receptors, which slows down the body’s testosterone metabolism. The FDA has not approved it as a therapy for androgenic alopecia since not all studies believe that it helps. This medication is used to treat liver disease and nephrotic syndrome (a kidney problem). It’s also used to treat hypertension, heart failure, and hyperaldosteronism, among other things (excessive secretion of the hormone aldosterone).

The following are some of the side effects:
  • allergic reactions
  • electrolyte or fluid problems
  • dangerously high potassium levels
  • breast enlargement (gynecomastia)
  • severe skin reactions
  • drowsiness
  • diarrhea and abdominal cramping
  • nausea and vomiting
  • high potassium levels
  • leg cramps
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • itching
  • irregular menstrual cycles or bleeding after menopause

Other drugs, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking may interact with spironolactone oral tablets. Whether you want to try Aldactone for hair loss, see your doctor or pharmacist to determine if it’s right for you.

Topical Tretinoin

Retin-A, also known as topical tretinoin, is occasionally used with minoxidil to treat androgenic alopecia. Although there is minimal evidence that tretinoin may increase hair regeneration on its own, a 2007 research found that it can show promising outcomes when taken with other drugs.

Tretinoin may cause the following adverse effects:
  • irritation, redness, or dryness of the skin
  • pain or peeling at the application site
  • darkening or lightening of the skin

The FDA has only authorized topical tretinoin cream and gel for skincare and supporting pro-aging, not for hair loss therapies. It’s critical to follow your doctor’s instructions while using this sort of medicine. Tretinoin has the potential to induce hair loss in certain people.

Corticosteroid injections

Women with alopecia areata may benefit from corticosteroids administered at several places across the damaged region.

Corticosteroid injections function by reducing inflammation and modifying immune system activity. When the immune system targets the body’s normal functions, people with alopecia areata lose their hair. Corticosteroids help to avoid these types of assaults. Corticosteroids are hormones that imitate cortisol, a hormone generated naturally by your adrenal glands. They’re injected into balding areas to promote fresh hair growth. Hair growth may start in as little as four weeks, and the procedure can be repeated every four to six weeks.

Injections have the following side effects:
  • skin atrophy
  • a thinning of the scalp skin

Topical corticosteroids are also available, although they aren’t always as effective as oral corticosteroids, and oral corticosteroids may have unpleasant side effects.

Topical Anthralin

Anthralin cream was developed to treat psoriasis, but it was shown to be beneficial in the treatment of mild alopecia areata as well. Anthralin is both safe and effective in women with alopecia areata. It may be done once a day at home, beginning with 5 minutes and gradually increasing to up to an hour. Anthralin, also known as a “scalp sensitizer,” causes an irritating response in the skin that activates the immune system and promotes hair growth. Anthralin is applied to the scalp once a day in places where you wish to promote hair growth. In 2 to 3 months, new hair growth may appear.

The following are some of the side effects:
  • irritant dermatitis
  • may cause a temporary, brownish discoloration of lighter skin tones and hair colors

Therapy with platelet-rich plasma (PRP)

Therapy with platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
Therapy with platelet-rich plasma (PRP)

PRP treatment entails drawing your own blood and centrifuging it to separate the red blood cells from the plasma. The plasma is then put back into your body, including growth factors. The plasma is injected into your hair follicles when PRP therapy is used to treat hair loss. It only causes little pain and takes around 10 minutes. After the initial therapy, injections are normally given monthly for three months, then once every three to six months. They may see decreased hair loss after a few months of medication. They may see an increase in thickness or regrowth shortly after.

Because this therapy is still relatively new, there isn’t much evidence to back it up. Nonetheless, several investigations have been conducted. It has been shown by Trusted Source to be a straightforward and cost-effective treatment alternative. PRP treatment entails numerous sessions over the course of four to six weeks, with maintenance every four to six months.

The following are some of the potential dangers:
  • injury to blood vessels or nerves
  • infection
  • scar tissue or calcification at injection points.

Ketoconazole shampoo

Women with androgenic alopecia may want to try prescription ketoconazole at a 2% strength. Nizoral is the brand name for this medicine, which comes in the form of a shampoo. It’s an antifungal that may help the body produce less testosterone and other androgens, which can cause hair loss. 1 percent strength is also available at your local drugstore, however, it may not be as effective.

Skin irritation where the product is used is one of the most prevalent adverse effects, which might appear as pimple-like pimples. It may also cause oiliness or dryness of the hair or scalp, irregular hair texture, or coloring in certain people. It may also make permed hair lose its curl. Hair loss is an uncommon adverse effect of ketoconazole shampoo, so speak with your doctor straight away if you see it.

Laser and light treatment

Laser technologies may help persons with androgenic alopecia and pattern baldness grow their hair. Other terms for laser therapy include:
  • red light therapy
  • cold laser
  • soft laser
  • photobiomodulation
  • biostimulation
Devices in the following categories are accessible without a prescription:
  • Brushes
  • Combs
  • Other small objects

They produce light and may thicken existing hair. Two to three times a week, you may use laser light therapy. The time it takes to see effects might range from a few weeks to a few months.

It’s crucial to know that laser therapy isn’t regulated by the FDA in the same way that pharmaceuticals are. The long-term safety of the product and other factors remain unclear. There are currently no known side effects related to laser treatment. Companies like HairMax provide portable devices that don’t need a prescription. Laser caps, bands, and combs are among their gadgets, all of which are designed to stimulate weaker follicles and reverse hair thinning or loss.

Low-level laser treatment is used by HairMax devices to directly renew and stimulate hair follicles, promoting the creation of new healthy hair (LLLT). The laser devices aid natural hair growth by increasing blood circulation and removing debris from the follicle. Regular use of LLLT to help reduce hair loss and encourage hair regeneration is viable and promising, according to studies. HairMax’s FDA-cleared LLLT devices were safe and successful in treating patients who did not respond to traditional hair loss therapies.

Women’s hair loss may be prevented by adopting healthy practices

Other things you may do at home to improve the health of your hair and scalp are listed below. These methods may be especially beneficial if your hair loss is caused by:

  • telogen effluvium (TE) is the second most prevalent kind of hair loss detected by dermatologists, and it occurs when the number of hair follicles producing hair changes.
  • stress
  • trauma to the hair from hair styling
  • dietary deficiencies

1. Make every effort to choose gentle hair care

Avoid tight-knit styles like braids, buns, or ponytails, and avoid twisting or touching your hair.  To avoid tugging at the roots, gently wash or brush hair, switching to a wide-toothed comb if required. Other things to avoid are hot rollers, curling or straightening irons, hot oil treatments, bleaching, and other chemical procedures.

2. Eat meals that are high in nutrients

You could aim to include more nutrient-dense meals that have been shown to aid hair regeneration. Eating a range of healthy meals rich in vitamins and minerals, for example, can aid to nourish your body and the regions essential for hair regeneration. Vitamin A-rich foods, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, and kale, may aid in hair regeneration. Vitamin B-rich foods such as whole grains, nuts, salmon, and pork may also aid.

Vitamin C-rich foods, such as strawberries, peppers, guavas, and citrus fruits, may aid in the production of collagen, a protein that is essential for hair structure. If you think you may be low in particular vitamins, speak to your doctor. He or she can conduct blood tests to verify your levels and address any other nutritional difficulties you might have, such as eating disorders or health conditions that might prevent nutrients from being absorbed.

3. Iron and zinc supplementation

Consult your physician about iron and zinc supplements. Deficits in these vitamins, according to researchers, may cause hair loss, and correct supplementation may help reverse the symptoms of a variety of disorders, including alopecia areata. Again, you may discuss obtaining a blood test to check your iron and zinc levels with your doctor.

If you and your doctor agree that supplementation is necessary, you may work with them to establish a suitable amount based on your insufficiency level. Excessive or unneeded supplementing may be harmful, so get medical advice before adding any additional supplements to your diet.

4. Acupuncture treatment

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicinal technique that has been used for thousands of years. Acupuncture has a wide range of uses, and some studies think it might assist with alopecia areata hair loss.

Hair follicles may be stimulated and regeneration may be aided by needles placed into the scalp. Although more study is needed in this area, several smaller studies have shown encouraging outcomes. If you’re interested in trying acupuncture, contact your doctor for a recommendation to a qualified acupuncturist.

5. Stress management

While trauma may strike abruptly and without warning, exercise, such as yoga, and mindfulness practices, such as meditation, can help you handle chronic stress in your life. Some experts are even looking at how these alternative healing techniques might help with hair loss reversal. Yoga and meditation are thought to help balance blood sugar and improve circulation, hence boosting regeneration.

Frequently asked questions

What criteria should I use to choose which hair loss therapy is best for me?

The choice to pursue a hair loss treatment strategy is a very personal one. When considering your choices, speak with your doctor first to determine what is causing your hair loss so that the appropriate therapy may be chosen. Some individuals are better candidates for prescription drugs and therapies, while others find success with home remedies or over-the-counter hair loss treatments.

How can I tell if I’m losing my hair?

Hair loss symptoms vary widely from person to person, but you may notice more hair in your hairbrush or shower drain, as well as thinner hair on your scalp. A dermatologist can help you determine if you have hair loss, excessive hair shedding, or both, as well as the reasons.

When should I make an appointment with a doctor?

Consult a dermatologist if you notice abrupt or patchy hair loss or a rash on your scalp. Sudden hair loss might indicate an underlying medical disease that has to be treated.

In Conclusion

If you’re losing your hair, keep in mind that you’re not alone. Hair loss affects around 40% of women by the age of 50, according to one research. While it may be a tough process to traverse, many people can benefit from effective therapy alternatives.

Some disorders that cause temporary hair loss may resolve on their own or with minor lifestyle modifications. Others may react favorably to therapies that promote regrowth, so getting started as soon as possible is crucial. Consult your dermatologist before beginning any therapy to determine the best course of action for you.

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