Female Hair Loss

Hair loss is not, nor has it ever been, strictly a guy thing. Believe it or not forty percent of women develop hair loss by the time they turn 40. The fact that self image and emotional well being is important to most women, hair loss can be the most devastating thing that can possibly happen to them.

Hair loss or baldness,  in women is called androgenic alopecia, or female pattern baldness. There used to be very little that could be done for hair loss in women, short of wearing a wig everyday.  Now there are products available for women as well as men that will stop the hair loss and may even regrow some hair.

Some female hair loss products that you may have heard of include Rogaine, or Minoxidil. You can buy Rogaine over the counter and it is rubbed into the scalp twice a day. 

Rogaine is best used when you first see the signs of hair loss or balding.  People with hereditary baldness, particularly where there is thinning and baldness at the back of the head, just under the crown, see more effective results, with regrowth.

If your hair loss is caused by your immune system attacking your hair follicles, a condition called alopecia areata, medications like corticosteroids are injected into the scalp multiple times about 1 centimetre apart every 4-6 weeks. This is the most common treatment for this condition.

Corticosteroids creams can also be used topically.  This gets rubbed into the scalp. However, these corticosteroids creams are of little effect when they are used alone and sees a much better result when it is pared alongside with the injected steroids or the Minoxidil (Rogaine).

Does Rogaine (also known as Minoxidil) Work

Other not widely used therapies for hair loss in women are oral corticosteroid. Oral corticosteroids are rarely used due to the adverse side effects of oral corticosteroid treatment. If they are used, however, hair growth usually occurs with treatment. 

Also used is contact immunotherapy. 

Contact immunotherapy is considered the most effective treatment for severe alopecia areata. The medication used is painted on the scalp every week and every week the strength of the medication used is increased but the medication can irritate the skin leaving it very itchy and scaly. 

Losing your hair is bad enough but if your scalp looks like someone sprayed your head with Napalm then it is even more so.

A safer and less irritating therapy is called PUVA, or Psoralen with ultraviolet A light therapy. A medication, called a psoralen, is applied to the scalp making the skin of the scalp more sensitive to UVA light. Then the skin is exposed to UVA light.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays are produced by the sun and are grouped into different wavelengths. Ultraviolet light A (UVA) is one of the wavelengths that have been found to be useful in treating certain skin conditions. PUVA is a combination of a drug called psoralen (P) and ultraviolet light A (UVA), hence the term PUVA.  

Something you should know and remember about treating hair loss that is inherited, The medication you are taking will not give you back a full head of hair. Hair will regrow on the top of your head but will not grow on your forehead. You will also have to continue taking the medication long term because if you stop taking the medication your hair loss will start again. 

All of the female hair loss products outlined above are effective in helping regrow hair. 

Talk to your physician about your hair loss and the possibility of using female hair loss products to reduce the number of hairs you lose in a day or even regrow some hair. Not that you can accurately count the hairs you lose everyday but if you estimate that you are losing at least 100 hairs a day you may want to speak with your doctor.