Women of all ages experience hair loss, and it can be embarrassing or difficult to talk about with friends. There are proven hair loss solutions for women like this, and they may not be as crazy as you might think.
While most hair loss solutions for women focus on those in their golden years, it happens at any – and every – age. If it’s not yourself, you probably know many women who have suffered from premature hair loss and have had more questions than answers. It is possible to stop hair shedding and breakage, and even to re-grow lost hair. It takes lots of commitment and study, but it’s possible to have at least a partial female hair loss solution.
Hair loss solutions for women can vary, and you should know and understand why your hair is thinning, breaking, or falling out. It could be that you’ve suffered a terrible illness, or your diet is low in protein, or maybe you’re genetically predisposed to hair loss. The most common reason for unexpected female hair loss, however, is due to a hormonal imbalance.
Androgens: Your #1 Hair Loss Hormone
Androgenetic alopecia is a fancy name for hair loss due to a hormonal imbalance of androgens. Trauma, illness, surgery, or genetics might be the root cause of your hair loss, but don’t discount your hormones. It’s ofter called male pattern baldness, but androgenetic alopecia affects both genders. It’s a hereditary condition that’s brought about by androgens, also known as the “male” sex hormones. Little known fact: Women have these hormones, too. They’re produced in the female body mostly through the ovaries and adrenal glands, which sit above your kidneys. And when there’s an imbalance, your hair can fall out.
Unfortunately, an imbalance of androgens is the one of the most common forms of hormone issues facing females today. DHT, also known as dihydrotestosterone, is the real culprit: this chemical binds itself onto healthy hairs that produce follicles. Then, it shrinks the hair follicle, which can kill your healthy hair and eventually lead to massive hair loss. Too much androgen is the root cause of DHT wreaking havoc on your head, and that’s where androgenetic alopecia goes from an annoyance to a real problem. This condition affects about 30 million women in the United States. It’s a common source of stress and trouble for hair health minded women.
What is the best hair loss solution for women?
Treating women’s hair loss can involve drug and hormone therapy, and other remedies. Whether you’re looking to regrow your hair, or just a female hair loss solution for thinning hair, it’s best to consult a medical professional before trying any of the following methods.
Hair Growth Supplements
One of the best solutions for hair loss are hair growth supplements. Sometimes prescribed but often available over the counter, these supplements contain essential vitamins and nutrients that extend the hair growth cycle. Vitamins often included are A, B, and C, as well as omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, and collagen or biotin to boot. The right balance and amount of nutrients can impact healthy hair, and are one of the simplest proven hair loss solutions for women. A once daily supplement might just be the key, but there are other hair loss solutions.
Formulated specifically for androgenetic alopecia in women, Minoxidil is an FDA-approved drug treatment prescribed by doctors, or available over the counter. Originally marketed as a blood pressure medication, one unintended side effect was hair growth. And a new life for the drug was born!
You might know Minoxidil as Rogaine, a cream that’s used topically on the roots and scalp. Rogaine and other brands of this solution contain between 2 and 5% of Minoxidil. The 5% solution won’t be marketed to women, but you can buy it in the men’s box. In clinical trials, it has been shown to be a significantly better hair loss solution for women than the 2% solution. Somehow, women seem to respond to it better than men, as has been shown in the clinical trials. Minoxidil is safe, and, although it is absorbed into the bloodstream, side effects have proven minimal.
The biggest problem with this female hair loss solution for thinning hair is the convenience factor. Minoxidil should ideally be applied to your scalp twice per day. Unfortunately, one jarring side effect can be that it causes increased hair loss until the tide changes. This can take up to four months, and most women don’t want to wait that long for a hair loss solution. The other downside to Minoxidil is that discontinuing use often leads to an increased amount of hair loss. Once you pop, you shouldn’t stop.
Like Minoxidil, Nizoral – the active ingredient of which is Ketoconazole – is a topical solution in 1 and 2% solutions. It’s an antifungal treatment that controls microflora on the scalp. If your scalpe is the reason for your female hair loss, this might be your solution. It’s also often used in concert with other treatment methods. If you’re suffering from a hormonal imbalance, Ketoconazole will not be an effective female hair loss solution. You might want to try a densifying shampoo instead, which will support healthy hair follicles and lengthen the key phases of the hair growth cycle.
Aldactone is the most common name of this prescription hair loss solution for women. Spironolactone was traditionally used to treat high blood pressure and body swelling. It decreases the amount of fluid in your body, but doesn’t typically reduce your electrolyte or potassium levels. This means that if you’re on a Spironolactone treatment, you likely will not faint. It’s also become one of the best solutions for hair loss in women.
There are two key pieces of Spironolactone that make it a great drug to combat hair loss. First, it decreases the speed and frequency of androgen production in both the ovaries and adrenal glands. Second, and importantly, it prevents DHT from binding to its receptor. This means that DHT can’t hurt your hair when you’re taking this prescription drug. Most doctors will prescribe 100 to 200 mg per day of the drug, but it, too, must be used indefinitely.
Most commonly prescribed to treat stomach ulcers and associated heartburn, Cimetidine is a histamine blocker and in the family of drugs like Benadryl. You’ve probably seen it advertised as Tagamet. If you want to block DHT from binding to your hair follicles and increasing hair loss, Cimetidine is your go-to female hair loss solution. The only issue is its efficacy typically only works in high doses, but it is a proven hair loss solution for women with female pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia.
Another method of preventing androgen production that’s not typically used on its own for hair growth, oral contraceptives do impact your hormone and androgen levels. If you’re taking birth control and are concerned about hair loss solutions for women, insist on a low androgen index birth control.
Hair Loss and Hormone Safety
If you’re trying to get pregnant or think you may be pregnant, there’s no safe and proven solution for female hair loss. It’s not healthy to affect your hormones and levels if you are gestating or might become pregnant. If you’ve tried one of these female hair loss solutions for thinning hair and hair loss, make sure to consult a medical provider before trying to get pregnant. It’s important that you treat your whole body with as much care as you do your thinning hair. It’s the only one you’ve got!