The majority of people are under the assumption that hair loss only affects men, but millions of women suffer from hair loss worldwide. In fact, approximately 50% of women suffer from some form of hair loss by the age of 50. Unfortunately, the majority of women suffer in silence out of shame and embarassment. In this article, we will go over the top 3 hair loss treatments for women.
#1 Rogaine (minoxidil)
Rogaine (minoxidil) is the only medication approved by the FDA to to treat female pattern baldness. Rogaine (minoxidil) is a topical vasodilator, which basically means it widens the blood vessels to allow for better blood flow to the scalp. However, the exact mechanism for how Rogaine (minoxidil) works is relatively unknown, but many believe that it works by prolonging the hair follicles anagen (growth) phase. Others believe that minoxidil works by allowing more oxygen, blood and nutrients to the hair follicles. Regardless, the medication has been clinically proven to work for both men and women, regrowing hair in up to 40% of the individuals who start treatment.
Progesterone is a natural hormone and steroid that is produced in the ovaries of women. The body uses Progesterone to control a variety of bodily functions. These include regulating the menstrual cycle, slowing and preventing bone loss and maintaining the health of the female sexual organs. However, in regards to hair loss, Progesterone is a potent 5-alpha reductase inhibitor. The 5-alpha reductase enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone in to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) through the blood stream. DHT is the hormone responsible for causing hereditary hair loss. Unfortunately, there haven't been any extensive or conclusive studies on the efficacy of Progesterone on genetic hair loss. However, the few studies that are available prove that it is an effective treatment for stopping the progression of androgenic alopecia.
#3 Spironolactone (spiro)
Spiro is a medication that was initially used to treat blood pressure but was later discovered to be an effective treatment for female pattern baldness. Spiro acts as an anti-androgen by inhibiting DHT from attaching to the hair follicle androgen receptor. Spironolactone is a powerful anti-androgen that has feminizing effects. Thus, this hair loss treatment is only recommended for women suffering from female pattern baldness.
For women, the causes of hair loss are much more complex than the typical male pattern baldness. The causes can be hormonal, stress related, post-partum and post-menapausal. Fortunately, most of the causes of hair loss can be treated with lifestyle changes. However, hereditary hair loss can be treated with the aforementioned treatments. With that said, the only treatment that can regrow hair on a completely bald scalp is surgical hair restoration. Prior to treating hair loss through surgery, it is imperative to consult with a hair transplant surgeon to properly diagnose the cause of the hair loss and to discuss the surgical and non-surgical treatments available.
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