While hair loss is often thought of as being an issue that is only faced by men, many women also suffer from thinning hair or bald patches on the scalp. According to Harvard Medical School, around one-third of women experience hair loss at some point in their life. In addition, as many as two-thirds of women have bald spots or thinning on the scalp. As hair Restoration experts explain, thankfully, there are medical hair restoration solutions to this issue.
The most common form of hair loss in women is female-pattern hair loss which is also known as androgenetic alopecia. This hair loss can begin as early as the late teens of a person. Hair loss in women is often characterized by a visible amount of thinning over the crown. The first sign of hair loss can be viewed as a widening of the part of the hair or that the ponytail is actually getting smaller.
In order to stimulate hair growth in women, minoxidil (also known by the brand name Rogaine), is the only topical medication that has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of female-pattern hair loss. This treatment is available for over-the-counter purchase, and it works to prolong the growth phase of the hair. In turn, this gives the hair more time to grow to its full density.
It can take anywhere from three to four months for the results of minoxidil to become visible. In addition, the patient must be prepared to make a long-term commitment to using the product as the results gained by the patent will be lost after she stops using minoxidil on a regular basis.
There are times when an abnormality in the hormones, such as an excessive number of male hormones that are known as androgens, might be the cause for hair loss in female patients. For example, a hair loss pattern that resembles the hair loss of a man is a good indication that hormones are the reason for the hair loss. If this is the case, a prescription medication such as spironolactone or an oral contraceptive that contains the synthetic progestin drospirenone, can be used to treat the hair loss issue.
While male patients can use finasteride (marketed under the brand name Propecia) to address hair loss on the scalp, it is recommended that women do not take the product. Finasteride can result in birth defects if a woman is exposed to the medication while she is pregnant. Females should not handle crushed or broken tablets as finasteride can be absorbed through the skin which can impact the healthy growth of a baby.