While not as common as male pattern baldness, women can experience hair loss, too. Fortunately, there are several options available to women for stopping the hair loss, and, in some cases, growing new hair to replace what has fallen out. Some of the different types of female hair loss treatment are minoxidil and other topical treatments, hair transplant surgery, and prescription medications. Once a woman notices that her hair may be falling out, she should contact her doctor as soon as possible to discover what is causing the hair loss and how to treat it. Sometimes, the treatment is as simple as stopping an activity that is causing hair loss.
The female hair loss treatment a doctor will prescribe will depend on the type of hair loss a woman is experiencing. For instance, if hair loss is being caused by hormonal changes, a medicine that reestablishes hormonal balance may be the best option. Hair loss can also be caused by trauma, such as the hair being pulled too tightly, or by repeated damage caused by adding chemicals, like hair dye, to the hair. In such cases, simply stopping the offending activity and, in some cases, taking supplements can cause hair to stop falling out and grow back. In some cases, hair loss is caused by a traumatic experience, such as surgery or childbirth, and the hair often grows back after the experience has passed.
Sometimes, a doctor will recommend that a woman undergo hair transplant surgery as a female hair loss treatment. During this surgery, a surgeon will take grafts from an area in the scalp where hair is still growing and place them in areas where hair is not growing. The hair can then continue to grow in its new location. A surgeon can also shorten the scalp by stretching the area with growing hair over the head and removing the parts of the scalp that have no hair. Scalp reduction, as the procedure is called, may be used in conjunction with hair transplants to give a more natural look.
One topical female hair loss treatment is minoxidil, an anti-androgen drug. Anti-androgens work to reduce the amount of male hormones, such as testosterone, present in the body. Testosterone can convert to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) — a substance that can cause hair follicles to shrink and hair to fall out. Applying minoxidil as a female hair loss treatment to a woman’s scalp can often cause mild to moderate hair growth. As of 2010, the Food and Drug Administration allows manufacturers of minoxidil to promote only the 2% concentration for application on women, but some doctors may prescribe the 5% concentration in certain cases.