How is hair loss in women treated?

Treatment depends on the cause of the hair loss.

  • In cases where the loss is due to stress or hormone changes like pregnancy, there might be no treatment needed. The hair loss will stop after a period of time.
  • In cases of hair loss being due to hair styling practices, like tight braids or ponytails or certain chemicals, treatment depends on not doing the things that caused the damage.
  • In cases due to nutritional deficiencies, you might be told to take supplements. For instance, you might be told to take a multivitamin and 3-5 mg of biotin daily.
  • Minoxidil (Rogaine®) is approved for treating FPHL. The 2% or 5% solution can be purchased in stores. However, you have to follow directions exactly and use the product indefinitely.
  • The HairMax Lasercomb® low light laser is approved by the US FDA to treat FPHL. Another FDA-approved laser product is the Theradome LH80 PRO® helmet.
  • Other medications that have been studied, but not approved, for hair loss in women include:
    • Spironolactone and other anti-androgens
    • Finasteride and other alpha-reductase enzyme inhibitors
    • Estrogens
    • Prostaglandin analogs
    • Steroids
    • Light treatments

It is important to note that premenopausal women should not take medications for hair loss treatment without using contraception. Many drugs, including minoxidil and finasteride, are not safe for pregnant women or women who want to get pregnant.

  • Hair transplant surgery is another option. Small pieces of scalp with hair follicles are taken from the back of the head and moved to slits in the areas of baldness. Potential problems with this treatment include the usual risks of surgery like infection, such as folliculitis, and shock loss—where the hair falls out in the transplant area. In cases where the bald areas are large, there might be trouble trying to find enough hair to transplant. In addition, the surgery can be costly and is usually not covered by insurance.
  • Injections of something called protein-rich plasma (PRP) have also been done to encourage hair growth. PRP is generally made from blood drawn from a patient. The platelets are removed and concentrated and then added back to the blood for injection.

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