Female pattern baldness, otherwise known as androgenic alopecia, affects many women. In most cases, this alopecia doesn't develop until well after menopause, but for other women, thinning hair can begin in their twenties, thirties, or forties. Fortunately, there are some options to reduce the physical, mental, and emotional impact that hair loss can have on women as well as reducing the hair loss itself. Learn more about innovative treatments that may be able to help stop hair loss and even regrow hair.
What Are The Most Effective Hair Loss Treatment Options?
In response to the ever-increasing demand for new and better hair loss cures, many companies have begun marketing laser helmets and hair combs that promise to stimulate the scalp and produce more hair. However, the jury is still out when it comes to the effectiveness of these products.
Currently, the only FDA-approved treatment for hair loss is minoxidil, a topical treatment that comes in 2 percent and 5 percent formulations. While minoxidil has been used by men for decades, it was only recently that it was studied and approved for women as well. By applying minoxidil gel or foam once or twice per day, users may begin to see results in as little as a few months.
Minoxidil has relatively few side effects, but its effectiveness depends on consistent use. If you stop using minoxidil, its effects will wane, and your hair loss may continue. Because the minoxidil is generally combined with alcohol to dry quickly and prevent errant drips, it can cause scalp irritation, flaking, and redness for some. You may want to use an extra-moisturizing conditioner a few times per week to keep your hair strong and healthy.
Another treatment option that shows promise is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections directly into the scalp. PRP hair treatment injections are derived from your own blood, so they don't carry any risk of rejection. Proponents of this therapy say that this platelet-rich plasma boosts immune activity in and around the scalp, prompting dormant follicles (or those that are producing only thin, fine hairs) to begin regenerating thicker, healthier hairs.
Unlike minoxidil, PRP has not been FDA approved for the treatment of androgenic alopecia. However, it's a low-risk procedure that doesn't require daily application of medicated liquid to your scalp and remains effective for months. For those who would like to explore all their options, minoxidil and PRP may be used in conjunction with each other.