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Women with Hair Loss

What Caused My Female Hair Loss and How Can I Treat It?

Question:

I am a female in my late fifties and have been concerned about hair loss since my mid-forties. My hair is almost all gone at my temples and I have only a very short, sparse hairline above my forehead. Basically my fringe has practically gone.

I have been to see the dermatologist many times over the years. He ran tests and told me I had very low serum ferritin levels (23) but, after taking a long course of iron, my levels are now normal (110). I have been told the only treatment open to me is Rogaine (minoxidil). I have also been having my thyroid checked regularly with blood tests because it is borderline but my doctor will not give anything for what could be an underactive thyroid. I have also been to see a hormone specialist who offered me the Dianette pill. I declined her offer fearing that I was too old, but right now I think I would consider anything. I also saw another specialist who sold me Florisene tablets which did not make a difference.

My question to you is; do you think Rogaine is worth considering and, if so, should I choose the one for men? I am also considering taking HRT which I stopped several years ago. I must say, I thought HRT was not doing my hair any good so I stopped taking it but I think maybe the hair loss has stepped up a gear since then so maybe it was helping me after all.

Answer:

As I’m sure you already know, there is a variety of reasons why women experience hair loss. You have already taken all the steps I would normally recommend for a female with thinning hair.

Please bear in mind that I am not a physician nor medical professional of any kind and I cannot give medical advice. However, many physicians do recommend Men’s 5% Rogaine (minoxidil) for their female patients as it is typically about twice as effective as the 2% solution. However, along with the higher concentration comes a greater risk of side effects. Some females will experience an increase in facial hair growth when using minoxidil. For more on Rogaine’s side effects, I recommend visiting their website.

It is my understanding that the Dianette pill is used to treat hirsutism or abnormal hair growth in women. I am unaware of its use to slow the progression of hair loss or stimulate hair growth. However, it does contain the anti-androgen cyproterone acetate.

You may also be a candidate for hair restoration surgery. If you are interested in considering surgery to treat your hair loss I recommend that you consult our interactive map and locate the prescreened quality hair loss doctors nearest you. You can then schedule free online consultations if you like.

You may also find the following articles from our Hair Loss Q&A Blog of interest:

When Surgical Hair Restoration is Appropriate for Women with Hair Loss

The Causes and Treatments for Female Hair Loss

David (TakingThePlunge) - Forum Co-Moderator and Editorial Assistant