Hair Loss Treatment for Women

Hair Loss Reviews and Advice for Women Only

Hair Loss is NOT Just a Problem for Men

February 18th, 2012

Most people don’t realize it, but women are almost as likely to suffer from hair loss, or experience thinning hair, as men.

Female hair loss usually doesn’t start happening until women are in their 50s or 60s, but it can happen to young women as well.

Hair loss is even more traumatic for women than it is for men. It’s simply not an option for most women to “gracefully” go bald, or to shave their heads.

The fact is, female hair loss is a big problem, but you don’t really hear much about it. It’s kind of a dirty little secret.

Good News and Bad News

The good news is that there are now very effective ways to regrow, or restore, female hair. It wasn’t always this way. Until pretty recently, the only way a woman could improve the appearance of her hair was to wear a wig. Fortunately, those days are long gone.

The bad news is that women cannot use one of the most popular and effective hair loss medications available today. I’m talking about the chemical finasteride, which is sold under the brand name Propecia.

Propecia is taken orally and you need a prescription to get it. But doctors won’t give out a prescription to women, especially women who might get pregnant or are breastfeeding. That’s because Propecia has been shown to cause abnormalities in babies.

Treatments for Women

So that pretty much leaves two options for women who want to reverse their hair loss:

• Minoxidil
• Hair transplant

Either one is an effective hair loss treatment for women, but they are very different.

Minoxidil is an FDA-approved chemical that you apply to your scalp every day. A hair transplant is a minor surgical procedure.

What follows is a brief explanation of each treatment along with recommendations and resources that you might find helpful.

But first, it’s important to realize that the more hair you still have left on your head, the more effective both of these treatments will ultimately be.

So take action as soon as you notice any hair loss!

Minoxidil

During the late 1970’s, minoxidil was taken in vitamin form to lower severely high blood pressure. Purely by chance, somebody got some liquid minoxidil on their skin.

Later, they noticed an increase in hair growth where the minoxdil had touched the skin. The rest, as they say, is history.

Minoxidil has been officially approved by the FDA as a hair loss product. You don’t need a prescription in order to buy it. It’s also easy to use—you simply rub a little minoxidil into your scalp once or twice a day.

Minoxidil is considered to be the best hair loss treatment for women. It’s also far less expensive than a hair transplant.

Minoxidil Side Effects

Minoxidil has a few side effects. The alcohol present in minoxidil can dry out the scalp, resulting in irritation, itchiness, and dandruff. This is probably the biggest complaint from women who use minoxidil.

Luckily, there is a way to avoid this problem.

Some minoxidil products contain special moisturizers and nutrients blended into its formula that help sooth the scalp and prevent it from getting irritated. I recommend a product called Provillus for Women.

Provillus for Woman

Provillus is specially formulated for the needs of women (there’s also a men’s version). It contains 2% minoxidil, which has been clinically proven to regrow hair. Simply apply a dropper full of Provillus to the affected areas of the scalp twice a day.

Provillus also contains a unique vitamin supplement that promotes hair growth. This supplement stimulates the roots of your hair from the inside of your body.

The vitamin supplement consists of a proprietary blend of herbs and other natural ingredients that have been shown to make hair follicles stronger and thicker. They also improve the elasticity of your hair, so it doesn’t break.

Weak, brittle hair is often caused by nutritional deficiencies, so taking a vitamin supplement like the one that comes with Provillus can really help you grow back your hair.

Conclusion

In summary, Provillus for Woman acts as a two-pronged attack upon hair loss. The topical solution, which consists of minoxidil and moisturizers, stimulates hair growth from outside your body.

Meanwhile, the vitamin supplement, which is full of nutrients, strengthens hair growth from within the body.

This combination is very powerful, and as a hair loss treatment for women it’s far superior to just using minoxidil alone.

As far as cost, Provillus for Women is fairly reasonable. If you purchase a six-month supply, you’ll be spending about a dollar a day.

Most women who are suffering from hair loss would gladly pay that amount to have thicker, healthier hair. The six-month supply is also recommended because it can take that long to really see results.

The Money Back Guarantee

When you buy Provillus for Woman through the official manufacturer’s website, you are eligible for a 90-day money-back guarantee. Please note that you not eligible for this if you purchase Provillus elsewhere.

Hair Transplants

Like any other kind of medical procedure, hair transplants have come a long way over the last couple of decades. You can really get fantastic, very natural results now. The procedure is considered minor outpatient surgery, but it’s fairly simple and painless.

A hair transplant takes strong, healthy hair from other parts of your scalp and “plants” them in the areas where the hair is thinning. This new, healthy hair then grows there in a completely natural way. Unlike minoxidil, which you have to use forever, a hair transplant is done once.

It’s impossible to estimate how much a hair transplant will cost without a consultation. The price really depends on how much work needs to be done.

The Benefits of Minoxidil

February 16th, 2012

Provided a patient has the money and the ability to follow such a regimen, clinicians describe minoxidil as a good “keep-what-you’ve got” treatment for selected younger patients of either sex who find baldness intolerable. It prevents further loss in approximately 15-20% of patients and produces some regrowth (ranging from fine, pale, barely perceptible vellus hair to aesthetically acceptable coverage with terminal hair) in a smaller number. One problem with response data in studies of hair loss treatments for women is that a placebo effect-or normal resumption of growth after a telogen effluvium, unrelated to treatment-is usually found in up to 30% of patients in any given trial. Claims of greater effectiveness for the drug often include this percentage of subjects.

Minoxidil therapy requires realistic guidance. The best candidates are patients experiencing the early stages of thinning; if extreme baldness is of several years’ duration, this treatment has a low chance of inducing significant regrowth. Tell the patient that results don’t appear light away and that the investment in treatment has no guarantee.

Remind him or her not to overuse the drug: Some patients-reasoning that if the recommended dose of two 1-mL applications a day is good, five or 10 a day must be better-have had transient hypotension and light-headedness associated with the treatment. Originally approved as an oral antihypertensive agent (Loniten) for female hair loss, minoxidil has potent vasodilating effects, and its cardiac complications can be serious, despite minimal systemic absorption at approved doses. It’s a good idea to record blood pressure routinely at each office visit. Noncardiac side effects (local irritation, dryness, and erythema) have been uncommon and mild.

Anecdotal reports indicate that tretinoin (Retin-A) can improve the absorption of minoxidil, but these data have yet to be confirmed by controlled trials. Investigators are presently studying various hair loss treatments for women, either as an adjunct to minoxidil therapy or in its own right; so far no data are available to indicate whether this novel approach yields any effect on hair growth. Another treatment option being studied is topical minoxidil in a stronger concentration (5%). Should this be approved, the greater systemic absorption will call for a more vigilant approach to hair loss treatments for women.

Minoxidil has recently been added to the armamentarium of treatments for alopecia in women. There are more therapeutic options for women than for men, not only because female baldness is a more severe psychosocial problem in women, but because many of these drugs can produce side effects most men consider unacceptable.

Most antiandrogenic treatments are based on the suppression of testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, or the enzyme 5[alpha]-reductase. Oral contraceptives and noncontraceptive estrogen/progestin combinations suppress ovarian function; dexamethasone (Decadron, Hexadrol) suppresses the adrenal gland; cimetidine (Tagamet) and spironolactone (Aldactone) have been found to have mild antiandrogenic activity; flutamide (Eulexin) is powerfully antiandrogenic. In an apparent therapeutic paradox, antiandrogens are often useful for controlling both hair loss and hirsutism, because androgens are implicated in excess growth at sites where terminal hair normally appears in males, as well as in hair loss from the scalp. The most important thing, though, is to attack the problem of balding from the moment it is noticed. Do not wait too long!

Provillus, a minoxidil-based hair loss treatment for women, has been shown to help cases of male pattern baldness, but it is still awaiting its United Kingdom licence. As minoxidil can only be prescribed by a doctor, hairdressers have been warned that if they persist in mixing their own compounds, or if they import them from abroad, they risk prosecution. Provillus is thought to work by improving the blood supply to the scalp, an idea which has prompted a Japanese dermatologist, Dr Shoji Toshitani, to devise an inflatable head cuff which will do the same thing. Pulse reports that Dr Toshitani demonstrated his invention at the recent World Congress of Dermatology in Berlin: his cuff fits around a patient’s head like a hippie’s headband, with the inflatable bags within it sp arranged that the skin of the scalp is pushed upwards. The relaxation of the tension within the scalp causes a 10 per cent increase in the blood supply. Dr Toshitani claims improvements in 65 per cent of his patients who sit for two hours a day wearing his inflatable headband.

I believe that Dr Jane Collins’s advice that there isn’t much you can do about thinning hair was incorrectly pessimistic. There is medication available that helps the majority of men at least to arrest their hair loss for many years and in a significant number, indefinitely. I have been using two, Propecia and Minoxidil, for five years and have substantially more hair than when I started using them at the age of 21 when the first signs of hair loss appeared.

Throughout this time I consulted a handful of dermatologists, including Dr Tony Chu, senior lecturer in dermatology at Imperial College, who testified to the long-term effects hair loss treatments for women in the majority of his patients.

How to Cure Female Hair Loss

February 12th, 2012

If the patient is a woman whose hair loss has occurred while she is using oral contraceptives, recommend changing to a contraceptive whose progestin has a low androgenic index. All these agents require monitoring of side effects and frank discussions of the benefit/risk balance. Cerebrovascular and embolic disorders, myocardial infarction, loss of libido, and the whole familiar range of adverse contraceptive reactions may outweigh a patient’s need for alopecia treatment.

Strangely, no national organization exists for persons with androgenetic alopecia, although many of them need at least as much psychosocial support as patients with alopecia areata. Some physicians have noted good results with informal support groups arranged at the local level. Don’t underestimate the level of concern among many patients who are losing hair; hair loss treatments for women place special emphasis on the need for respect and tact in the physican-patient relationship.

Alopecia areata is the most common autoimmune hair disease, accounting for about 1-4% of all visits to dermatologic clinics. Like androgenetic alopecia, it runs in families, but unlike common baldness, it affects men and women in equal proportions and shows a predilection for the young (about 60% of affected persons are younger than 20).

Multiple episodes are the rule; neither spontaneous regrowth nor successful treatment precludes relapse. The hair loss in alopecia areata is usually confined to round or oval patches, but loss becomes extensive in 10-30% of patients. About 5% go on to have alopecia totalis, and 1%, alopecia universalis. All these conditions can be traumatic to a patient’s self-image and sex life, particularly when onset occurs during childhood. Counseling for both patients and family members is appropriate, and referral to a local branch of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation is often much appreciated.

Clinicians have tried a wide range of hair loss treatments for women, ranging from intralesional or systemic corticosteroids to an investigational immunomodulator, inosiplex (Isoprinosine, also known as inosine pranobex). Although some regrowth has been noted with each method, none appears to protect against relapse. The most widely used approaches to date are intralesional injections of triamcinolone acetonide (Kenalog). Strong topical corticosteroids are sometimes effective; more often, intralesional and systemic therapy can produce regrowth in 2-4 weeks.

Induction of contact dermatitis at affected scalp sites has also resulted in regrowth in some patients. Agents that have been used include dinitrochlorobenzene, anthralin (Anthra-Derm, Drithocreme, Lasan, etc.), squaric acid dibutylester, and diphency-prone. Dinitrochlorobenzene is a known mutagen, and the other irritants may thus be preferable. Anthralin, recognized as effective in many patients with psoriasis, is applied either in a high concentration for short periods daily or in a low concentration overnight. Mild to moderate irritation is necessary for any chance of regrowth with contact sensitizing agents, and they all carry a risk of severely irritating both affected and unaffected skin.

Another approach that has yielded some benefit in alopecia areata is photochemotherapy with psoralens, usually methoxsalen (Oxsoralen), and ultraviolet light. Only dermatologists should administer this hair loss treatment for women because of the risks of severe burns and ocular damage with photosensitization. Topical minoxidil treatment in alopecia areata produces responses comparable to those found in androgenetic alopecia: regrowth in about 10% of patients, sustained only with continuous therapy. Thyroid disorders are associated with alopecia areata in about 1 in 4 patients, making thyroid function tests a standard part of the workup. Thyroid disease requires treatment in its own right, of course, but regulation of thyroid function does not reverse the hair loss.

A 43-year-old golfer from Buckinghamshire, who is married with three young children, is worried about a receding hairline. His wife complains that when she married him he looked like Michael Caine but now he more closely resembles Steven Spielberg. What can he do?

There are two hair loss treatments for men and women. The regular application, twice daily, of a 5 per cent solution of Provillus (minoxidil) reduces hair loss in a reasonable proportion of men. The secret is to begin treatment early, and not to wait until the scalp is as bare as a concrete path. It may take up to four or five months for the benefit to show. Provillus shouldn’t be applied to other parts of the body, and the dose shouldn’t exceed 2ml daily.

Any man or woman who becomes abnormally and seriously depressed as the result of baldness is likely to be suffering from some degree of dysmorphophobia, a pathological and irrational dislike of a specific feature of his appearance. Dysmorphophobia is not usually a manifestation of heightened sexual activity, but there is considerable anecdotal and scientific evidence that premature bald men have higher levels of testosterone and are therefore more libidinous than their contemporaries.

Finasteride, the other medical treatment for male-pattern baldness, is a drug that is usually used to control benign enlargement of the prostate. It may cause some loss of potency in a very small percentage of men. When finasteride is taken to treat hair loss it is marketed as Propecia; the higher dose medication used to treat benign prostatic enlargement is known as Proscar.

Men taking finasteride, whether to treat a receding hair line or an enlarged prostate, should remember that it reduces the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) level and may therefore give a misleading result when routine checks are made to exclude cancer of the prostate.

Finally, our patient may prefer to have a hair transplant. This is also the best hair loss treatment for women. The problem with hair transplants has been tufting. Even the most careful transplants tended to grow like marram grass on the shore, rather than a clipped lawn. A new system, follicular unit extraction, has been introduced in France. It claims to be able to remove one to three hairs at a time, to leave no scars, to be fast and not to plant any tufts.