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What To Take For Women’s Hair Loss

How We Ranked The Best Hair Regrowth Products For Women

Mayo Clinic Minute: Treatment for hair loss in women


Many of the products on this list contain natural ingredients, like vitamin C, coconut oil, jojoba oil, rosemary oil, and botanical extracts. These compounds work with your body instead of against it. The wholesome formula allows you to bolster your hair and scalp health while minimizing side effects.

Of course, there are hair loss treatments on our list that contain medications like minoxidil. We chose these products because they have FDA approval. That means the Food and Drug Administration reviewed the formula and found that the benefits outweigh the potential risks.


Dose optimization involves giving patients a once-daily medication as opposed to multiple pills per day. The simplified approach lets users treat their hair loss one time per day without sacrificing potency. It also saves healthcare companies money while boosting patient compliance and lower out-of-pocket costs.

We gave bonus points to hair loss products with optimized dosages. We understand that your life can be demanding and hectic and that adding a complicated hair growth routine to your schedule may feel excessive. Optimized dosage allows you to achieve hair growth without skipping a beat.


Your safety and well-being are the top priority. There’s no point in using a hair or scalp treatment if it gives you an itchy scalp or a rash. We try to prioritize treatments that promote hair growth without nasty known side effects.



How Long Does It Take To Work

Spironolactone takes a while to start working for hair loss, so dont be discouraged if you dont see improvement right away.

Most people need to take it for at least six months before they start seeing results. Others might not notice any benefits until theyve taken it for at least a year.

Follow up with your doctor after taking spironolactone for six months. Depending on your results, they might increase your dosage or prescribe a different medication to take with or instead of spironolactone.

Hair Loss Treatment Options

Whether the cause of your hair loss is determined to be androgenic alopecia or another condition, there are a variety of topical and oral medications that can reduce, halt or reverse thinning in your scalp.

Some are better and safer than others.

Finasteride is one of the oral medications that fights the effects of androgenic alopecia, though its typically prescribed for men for a variety of safety reasons.

It does this by balancing your levels of the hormone DHT. Studies show finasteride is effective for men.

For women, its not such a safe bet.

While the efficacy of finasteride for women is less clear than for men, the most important concern is that finasteride can also carry serious risks for pregnant women, as it can cause a male fetus to develop ambiguous genitalia.

Even if youre not pregnant, side effects can include sexual dysfunction and cancer risks.

Antiandrogens like spironolactone or cyproterone acetate are a better and safer bet for most women, though a healthcare professional will help you make the final decision.

Perhaps most commonly used in women is topical minoxidil, which is believed to increase blood flow to hair follicles to encourage hair growth.

A study of men using minoxidil over a 48-week period showed up to an 18 percent increase in hair growth and women can expect similarly effective results.

Aside from traditional medications, there are herbal options to consider, including saw palmetto: a popular shampoo ingredient for fighting DHT.

Also Check: How To Help Prevent Hair Loss

Interactions With Other Medications

An interaction is when a substances changes the way a drug is intended to work. It can be harmful or prevent the drug from working at all. To help prevent interactions, it is best to speak with your doctor prior to taking any medications, vitamins or herbs.

To find out how finasteride oral tablet might interact with something you are currently taking, tal to your doctor of pharmacist.

Shampoos For Hair Loss

Use if you are experiencing hair loss, thinning hair ...

Shampoos that moisturize the scalp can create a healthy environment for hair regrowth. Anti-dandruff shampoos like Head & Shoulders and Dove Dermacare Scalp contain zinc pyrithione , an ingredient that removes dead skin cells that could be preventing growth. Plus, all of that itching and scratching from a dry scalp can lead to excess shedding.

Whats more, hair thinning can also stem from a hormone called DHT . DHT signals hairs to shrink and become vellus hairs , says Caroling Chang, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Rhode Island Hospital and member of the Prevention Medical Review Board. It does this by changing the hair cycles and causing a shortening of the growth phase and increase in the resting phase, she explains. In this case, consider a DHT-blocking shampoo like Alterna Haircare.

Read Also: Does Fatty Liver Cause Hair Loss

Mechanism Of Finasteride In Female Pattern Hair Loss

Because FPHL is a complex disease, the mechanism by which finasteride improves hair loss is not well established. A study in mice proposed that DHT may downgrade insulin-like growth factor-1 expression by inhibiting the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide that interacts with the androgen receptors, thereby preventing hair growth. These findings suggested that finasteride might be associated with increasing IGF-1 production in the dermal papillae by decreasing DHT levels. Rushton et al found that finasteride administration resulted in increased mean hair density without insignificant changes of vellus hair counts. The observed hair regrowth in FPHL may be supported by reactivating telogen/kenogen follicles into anagen follicles rather than vellus-to-terminal hair transformation. Further studies are needed to determine the mechanism of finasteride in FPHL. Concerning contradictory efficacy in pre-existing literatures, oral finasteride may be served as an alternative modality in FPHL patients who fail minoxidil treatment. We suggest using finasteride in postmenopausal women to avoid potential teratogenic effects.

Can Thinning Hair Grow Back

Thinning hair can grow back depending on what caused it to thin in the first place. Individuals who experience thinning hair due to nutrient deficiencies, stress, pregnancy, and other non-genetic reasons could experience regrowth.

If youre experiencing new hair loss or hair thinning, its best to consult your doctor. Some medical conditions can be associated with thinning hair.

Read Also: Why Am I Having Extreme Hair Loss

Are There Other Treatment Options For Fphl

Women want innovative treatments for FPHL. To meet this need, researchers continue to look for new ways to stimulate hair growth and stop hair breakage. Other treatments that you may find for FPHL include the following.

Lasers for at-home use: The FDA has approved laser combs, helmets, and other devices, which are available without a prescription, to treat hair loss at home. These devices emit a low level of laser light that may help stimulate new hair growth. A few studies show that this can be effective for treating FPHL.

As with minoxidil and prescription medicines, you must continue using an at-home laser device to see results. We still do not know whether these devices are safe for long-term use or if they can continue to produce new hair growth.

Platelet-rich plasma therapy:

It is believed the platelets help stimulate your cells to grow hair.

Researchers are just beginning to study this therapy as a treatment for hair loss. The early findings show promise, but more studies are needed to know whether this is a safe and effective treatment for FPHL.

Stem cells: Using stem cells to treat FPHL is still in the experimental stages. Like platelet-rich plasma therapy, more studies are needed to know whether stem cells are a safe and effective treatment for FPHL.

Hair loss shampoos: These shampoos tend to do one of the following.

  • Help your hair hold moisture, which makes hair look fuller and thicker

  • Lessen breakage, which can reduce thinning

Low Light Laser Therapy

Minoxidil for Hair Loss

LLLT treatment can be administered at home or in a hair salon thats certified for LLLT. This treatment can be done in the form of a comb or a funny looking hard hat contraption. Basically the low-level laser omits waves that are said to stimulate hair growth.

A 2014 research review found LLLT helped hair growth in mice as well as men and women in controlled clinical trials.

Also Check: How To Treat Female Hair Loss

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

PRP therapy involves having your blood drawn and put into a centrifuge to retrieve plasma. This plasma is then injected directly into your dome for 3 months, and then every 3 to 4 months for 2 years.

A 2017 study found injections of non-activated PRP increased hair count and total hair density in participants.

PRP therapy sounds fancy , and thats because it is. The cost of PRP therapy ranges from $500 to $1,000 per session.

What Are The Different Types Of Female Hair Loss

Engelman explains how the hair cycle is a four phase process: Anagen , Catagen , Telogen , and Exogen . Each hair follicle goes through this process at different times, otherwise we would lose all of our hair at the same time before it started to grow again. There is no exact normal number of hairs shed per dayit depends on the individual. But if your normal seems to have changed, and youre finding extra hairs on your pillows, clothing, and even falling into your food, it could mean your hair growth cycle has been disrupted.

According to Joshua Zeichner MD, Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, female pattern hair loss, or FPHL, is polygenic, meaning that its likely caused by a combination of genetic factors from both your mom and your dad, though other factors can contribute to hair loss. It is important to understand whether hair loss is caused by genetics alone or whether there are contributing medical factors involved, Zeichner adds. Medical factors might include hormonal changes that occur during perimenopause, menopause and post-partum, as well as stress, illness, weight loss, and even gut health.

Stress can play a big role in female hair thinning and loss. The Mayo clinic describes

Recommended Reading: What Helps Thin Hair Get Thicker

Why Almost Every Man Should Take Saw Palmetto

Four good reasons why every man should use saw palmetto. Most of the reasons men should add saw palmetto to their dietary supplements have to do with the areas below the waist. This includes positive effects on your prostate and your . 1 palm saw can help maintain prostate health. An enlarged prostate is the most common condition that occurs with age in men in the United States.

Combining Finasteride With Other Treatments

Use if you are experiencing thinning hair, hair loss ...

Some studies have shown that finasteride works in treating female pattern hair loss, but theres some controversy.

Theres some evidence that suggest that it only works well for men and is less effective in women, so you may want to discuss other treatment options with your physician. The good news is that there are other ways for you to deal with hair loss. Finasteride may be an effective treatment option for hair loss in women, but can consider using it in combination with other solutions as part of a comprehensive hair regrowth regimen.

Interested in other products besides Finasteride? Check out our reviewed products page here.

Do you have any experience with finasteride? Please comment below.

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What Is The Prognosis/outlook For Women With Hair Loss

Your diagnosis determines the prognosis:

  • Anagen and telogen shedding may stop with time.
  • Treat any diseases associated with hair loss.
  • Disguise or cover your hair loss using a wig or hat.
  • Early treatment of alopecia may reduce the speed of thinning and may promote regrowth.

While hair loss is not itself dangerous, women with hair loss tend to be very upset by the changes to their appearance. These negative feelings can affect self-esteem and social lives. Recent studies suggest that FPHL can be associated with conditions that include metabolic syndrome, endocrine disorders and diabetes.

How Is Female Hair Loss Treated

Minoxidil 5% is the only topical medication approved by the FDA for female-pattern hair loss. The once daily use foam treatment regrows hair in 81% of the women who try it.

Liquid options of 2% and 5% solutions are available over the counter. Minoxidil works by prolonging the growth phase of hair — providing more time for hair to grow out to its full density.

You have to be patient, as noticeable results usually take three to four months and the product must be used once a day. It tends to work better if started early.

I put some on my forearm and got a big thick patch of hair. When I stopped, it went away.

Doctors may also test for levels of ferritin . New research suggests levels may be low in women with hair loss. Iron supplements may help.

Also new is the HairMax Laser Comb. It’s a red light therapy hairbrush-like device that increases circulation and the biological march that makes hair. It’s only approved in men and in my experience, is not as good as minoxidil. But in one study, 45% of users reported improvement after eight weeks, and 90% saw improvement after 16 weeks.

In some cases, a hormonal abnormality, such as excess male hormones known as androgens, may be responsible for hair loss in women. One clue that hormones are involved is if the hair loss pattern resembles that of a manâs hair loss. This can be treated with prescription medications such as spironolactone or oral contraceptives.

Recommended Reading: How To Fix Hair Loss Due To Stress

How To Cover Minor Hair Loss

Once youve spoken to your doctor about a plan thats right for you, it will still take time to see noticeable regrowth. In the meantime, you may be interested in covering up any balding or hair thinning.

Luckily, root sprays exist that blend in with your hair color to conceal your scalp. Though it may not match your hair color perfectly, its a great quick fix.

If your hair loss is more pronounced, consider making an appointment for a wig consultation. Makers like Noah Scott create beautiful units with a natural-looking hairline.

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What Types Of Health Conditions Can Lead To Hair Loss

Treatment of Hair Loss in Women – Finasteride

Hair loss itself is sometimes treated as a diagnosis, but it is often asymptom of something bigger. “Hair loss can be a sign of an underlying health issue and act as an early warning system,” says Richard Firshein, an expert in integrative and precision-based medicine and founder of the Firshein Center. “The health of hair follicles is directly related to health and the functioning of our endocrine system.”

For conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome , which is often difficult to diagnose, hair thinning is often one of the first tell-tale signs along with acne and body hair caused by the increased levels of testosterone. “Patients with PCOS can have overall elevated testosterone leading to androgenetic alopecia,” explains Henry. Talking about it openly with your dermatologist, OB-GYN, or general health provider can help get you to a diagnosis and treatment plan earlier.

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