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Male pattern baldness is commonly discussed along with treatment options. However, many make the wrong assumption that only men from varying age groups are prone to hair loss. In fact, studies have found that only 45% of women go through life without suffering from drastic hair loss . As a woman, when you notice that your hair is thinning to an extent where your scalp is clearly visible, it can be distressing. Balding in females here s what it says about your health.
A full head of hair is known as a woman s crowning glory and countless women with female pattern hair loss are left wondering what treatment options are available for them. If you have been noticing that your hair has started thinning, getting it treated with the help of a dermatologist at the early stages is the best way to prevent further hair loss. This is because most treatments for female pattern hair loss work better in arresting hair loss instead of stimulating hair re-growth. Here are the 10 reasons why you may be losing hair. These are the six treatment options for female pattern hair loss that you could discuss with your doctor.
Minoxidil is the most common treatment for both male and female pattern hair loss. While experts still don t know what makes minoxidil effective in treating hair loss, it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) worldwide. However, while it is available in 2% and 5% solution, currently the FDA has approved only the 2% solution for female pattern hair loss .
A dermatologist will usually prescribe 1ml of minoxidil to be applied twice a day to a dry scalp. You will need to use minoxidil regularly for at least four to six months before you notice any results and your dermatologist will advise you to continue using it for at least one year. In some cases, it can cause side-effects like scalp irritation, dryness, itching and redness. While minoxidil can help in arresting hair fall, dermatologists say that it might not help with hair re-growth in some cases.
2. Oral medications
Medicines used to treat male or female pattern hair loss are known as androgen-dependent medications which need to be continued for at least one year like minoxidil. The most common drug is known as finasteride. However, there are currently very limited large-scale studies that prove the effectiveness of finasteride and side-effects include breast tenderness and increased libido in post menopausal women . Other such medications include flutamide, spironolactone and cyproterone acetate which have similar side-effects. However, further studies are required to determine how effective they are in fighting against female pattern hair loss. Here s what you need to know about medication for hair loss.
3. Using certain hairstyling techniques
If you are not comfortable opting for expensive hair loss treatments, adopting certain hairstyling techniques can help in making your hair look fuller. You could consult a hair stylist and opt for a shorter haircut that doesn t have a central parting. Go for a side or zig-zagging part and add soft layers at the top for better volume. Using a wide tooth comb or brush also helps in preventing hair breakage and avoid towel drying your hair to prevent further damage .
4. Camouflaging products
If you have developed visible bald patches, camouflaging products can help cover those areas temporarily. Most of these products are sweat and water resistant and they include hair building fibers, scalp spray thickeners and even alopecia masking lotion . In India, hair building fibers are easily available both online and in retail stores. They are basically keratin fibers that come in a jar with a pepper-shaker type top and can help in reducing the visibility of thinning hair. Certain scalp spray thickeners work in a similar way and are available in different hair colours. However, using a spray could be messy as it can stain your clothes and fingers.
5. Hair extensions or hairpieces
If you re looking for a more permanent fix for thinning hair, your hair stylist might suggest hair extensions that can either be clipped on or even attached permanently. However, this could result in further hair damage and hair loss if it is attached to hair that breaks easily . Your other non-surgical or medical option could be using hairpieces or a wig if need be.
6. Hair transplantation
Hair transplantation is seen as a treatment mainly for balding men. However, experts claim that a hair transplant can be just as effective for women with female pattern hair loss . Ensure that you consult an experienced dermatologist you can trust before opting for this expensive treatment. If you re planning a hair transplant, these are the expert tips to keep in mind.
Reference: Dinh QQ, Sinclair R. Female pattern hair loss: Current treatment concepts.Clinical Interventions in Aging. 2007;2(2):189-199.
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