How do I Choose the Best Treatment for Female Baldness?

Elizabeth West

Choosing the best treatment for female baldness depends on the condition causing the hair loss. There are many factors contributing to hair loss in females. Among them are hormonal issues, inflammation caused by medical problems, drugs, poor diet, and pregnancy issues. Before seeking treatment, women suffering from hair loss should consult a medical professional. Female hair loss that goes untreated may become permanent.

Hair loss caused by an underlying condition typically begins to regrow quickly after the issue is addressed.
Hair loss caused by an underlying condition typically begins to regrow quickly after the issue is addressed.

Topical minoxodil was first used by men to treat genetic hair loss, and a solution of 2% minoxodil is now recommended as a treatment for female baldness. Surgical intervention via hair plugs or micro-grafting transplant procedures has also been successful. Another procedure is scalp reduction, although it does leave scars that can spread over time and may not be desirable. In women, administrating oral contraceptives or other medications that reduce androgen hormones can help slow hair loss.

Birth control pills that contain high doses of androgen can cause hair loss in women.
Birth control pills that contain high doses of androgen can cause hair loss in women.

Treatment for female baldness caused by alopecia areata ranges from the use of topical steroids and ultraviolet light therapy to dealing with underlying medical issues. This condition, which results in round patches of baldness, often happens with thyroid disease, lupus, or allergic conditions. Any signs of patchy hair loss along with other symptoms may indicate a medical problem and should be brought to a doctor's attention.

Ringworm is a fungal infection that causes bald patches when it affects the scalp. The infection is easily treatable with a skin medication or antifungal pills. Itchy, scaly patches appear, with the center fading out so the edges take on a ring-like appearance. Ringworm is highly contagious, and is contracted by handling infected pets or coming into contact with surfaces that harbor the fungus, so sharing of towels and combs and frequent washing of bedding is recommended. Hair normally grows back quickly after the infection is clears up, which usually takes about four weeks.

Besides alopecia and ringworm, there are other common causes of female baldness, each with their own treatments. Injury, surgery and the end of pregnancy can increase the normal loss of hair and result in a form of alopecia called telogen effluvium. If medication, such as chemotherapy drugs, is causing the problem, or bald patches shows up after discontinuing birth control or another hormonal drug, an adjusted dosage or the passage of time may be all that is needed. Severe emotional stress can contribute to telogen effluvium or cause a person to compulsively pull hair, and recommended treatment is therapy to relieve stress. Vitamin deficiencies also can contribute to baldness, so dietary changes may be necessary.

Minoxidil is now recommended for women to treat hair loss.
Minoxidil is now recommended for women to treat hair loss.

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