Female hair loss can happen for a variety of reasons, such as genetics, changing hormone levels, or as part of the natural aging process.
There are various treatment options for female hair loss, including topical medications, such as Rogaine. Other options include light therapy, hormone therapy, or in some cases, hair transplants.
Eating a nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also help keep hair healthy.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves Minoxidil to treat hair loss. Sold under the name Rogaine, as well as other generic brands, people can purchase topical Minoxidil over-the-counter (OTC). Minoxidil is safe for both males and females, and people report a high satisfaction rate after using it.
Minoxidil stimulates growth in the hairs and may increase their growth cycle. It can cause hairs to thicken and reduce the appearance of patchiness or a widening hair parting.
Minoxidil treatments are available in two concentrations: the 2% solution requires twice daily application for the best results, while the 5% solution or foam requires daily use.
While the instinct may be to choose the stronger solution, this is not necessary. Studies posted to the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology and the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that 2% minoxidil was effective for females with androgenetic alopecia, or pattern baldness.
If a person finds success with minoxidil, they should continue using it indefinitely. When a person stops using minoxidil, the hairs that depended on the drug to grow will likely fall out within 6 monthsTrusted Source.
Side effects from minoxidil are uncommon and generally mild. Some females may experience irritation or an allergic reaction to ingredients in the product, such as alcohol or propylene glycol. Switching formulas or trying different brands may alleviate symptoms.
Some females may also experience increased hair loss at first when using minoxidil. This typically stops after the first few months of treatment as the hair gets stronger.
Additionally, misapplying minoxidil or applying it to the forehead or too much of the neck may cause hair growth in these areas. Only apply minoxidil to the scalp to avoid these side effects.
2. Light therapy
Low-level light therapy may not be sufficient treatment for hair loss on its own, but it may act to amplify the effects of other hair loss treatments, such as minoxidil.
A trial posted to the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology found that compared to control groups, adding low light therapy to regular 5% minoxidil treatment for androgenetic alopecia helped improve the recovery of the hairs and the participants’ overall satisfaction with their treatment.
Researchers will need to carry out further research to help strengthen these results.
Some females may also respond to corticosteroid injections. Doctors use this treatment only when necessary, for conditions such as alopecia areata. Alopecia areata results in a person’s hair falling out in random patches.
According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, injecting corticosteroids directly into the hairless patch may encourage new hair growth. However, this not may prevent other hair from falling out. Topical corticosteroids, which are available as creams, lotions, and other preparations, may also reduce hair loss.
The drug ketoconazole may help treat hair loss in some cases, such as androgenetic alopecia, where inflammation of the hair follicles often contributes to hair loss.
One review posted to the International Journal of Women’s DermatologyTrusted Source noted that topical ketoconazole might help reduce inflammation and improve the strength and look of the hair.
Ketoconazole is available as a shampoo. Nizoral is the best known brand and is available for purchase over the counter and online. Nizoral contains a low concentration of ketoconazole, but stronger concentrations will require a prescription from a doctor.
5. Platelet-rich plasma
Early evidence suggests that injections of platelet-rich plasma may also help reduce hair loss. A plasma-rich injection involves a doctor drawing the person’s blood, separating the platelet-rich plasma from the blood, and injecting it back into the scalp at the affected areas. This helps speed up tissue repair.
A recent review posted to Aesthetic Plastic Surgerye noted that most studies suggest that this therapy reduces hair loss, increases hair density, and increases the diameter of each hair.
However, because most studies up until now have been very small, the review calls for more research using platelet-rich plasma for androgenic alopecia.