The Most Effective Remedies For Female Hair Loss

Hair loss and eventual baldness can be caused by a number of factors but heredity appears to be the main reason why men and women lose their mane. Hereditary hair loss in men and women happens to have the same main cause, which is dihydrotestosterone (DHT) attacking and killing our hair follicles. DHT is a metabolite of the male hormone testosterone but it also happens to be present in the female body. Men and women lose their hair not because of increased levels of DHT in their bodies but due to the susceptibility of their hair follicles to harmful DHT attacks, although the mechanism and reasons why some hairs, mostly those on the top of the head, are more vulnerable to such attacks are not yet exactly know.

The main difference between the male and female form of hereditary hair loss is in its shape. The male form has a characteristic horseshoe pattern whereas the female form is typically a diffuse thinning across the entire scalp and is thus less easily-recognised. The female form of hereditary baldness is, in its form, practically indistinguishable from hair loss caused by various other factors. The second most common reason for a woman to lose her hair is hormonal imbalances during and after pregnancy or menopause. Such changes are typically of a temporary nature and so also is the hair loss, although post-menopausal hair loss is in most instances permanent.

When it comes to treating hair loss in female patients there are certain specifics. First, most women do not make very good candidates for hair transplantation due to their diffuse thinning pattern, which makes it impossible to identify the hair that will be resistant to future miniaturisation. Secondly, finasteride, which is one of the only two FDA-approved hair loss treatments available today, cannot be used in women and neither can dutasteride, which is its closest and assumedly yet more powerful relative. Rogaine (generic name minoxidil) is the second FDA-approved hair loss treatment and its approved concentration for women is only 2% versus 5% for men. However, many doctors recommend their female patients use male formulations of minoxidil, with a concentration of 5%, such as Rogaine foam. Aminexil is a molecule similar to minoxidil and it is most often recommended to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding as a safer option than minoxidil.

Although some antiandrogens such as finasteride or dutasteride cannot be prescribed to women, there are other antiandrogen medications that can be effectively used to treat female pattern baldness. Spironolactone (trade name Aldactone) and cyproterone acetate (used in contraceptives such as Ginette 35, Diane 35 and Diane 50) are antiandrogens most commonly used to treat female pattern hair loss.

Another treatment with seemingly high rates of success is topical estrogen solutions such as Crinohermal, which use a female hormone, estradiol, as their main active substance. Estradiol is capable of inhibiting the conversion of testosterone into follicle-harming DHT. Hormone replacement therapy is another hormonal treatment suitable for women at menopause, with estrogens and progesterone pills and creams being the most common forms of treatment. Estrogen levels in the body decline with time. As women enter the menopause, estrogen levels decline and, therefore, more of the male hormone testosterone is then available to be converted into follicle-harming DHT.

This list of treatments for female pattern baldness is not exhaustive. A variety of other existing remedies are claimed to help promote hair growth in women, such as ketoconazole, fluridil, flutamide, alfatradiol, as well as various substances of natural origin. Despite the fact that there are female patients who will swear by some of these alternative treatments, none of them has ever been sufficiently clinically tested, let alone approved by any major national health supervisory authority as a treatment for female hair loss and the claims of their guaranteed effectiveness should be taken with a grain of salt.

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