5 Options for Treating Female Hair Loss
As a woman, it can be distressing to discover your hair is thinning or falling out. Here’s what you can do to combat unwanted hair loss.
Find the Underlying Cause
Prior to starting any kind of treatment, visit a doctor who specializes in hair loss- not just transplants but understands the medical aspects of hair loss. Most hair loss is genetic and is known as androgenic alopecia, but it may also be caused by medical conditions.
Thyroid imbalances, skin disorders, anemia, and hormonal disruptions can all result in hair loss. If your doctor suspects a medical problem may be the cause, he or she will run tests to determine the best course of action and recommend treatment based on the results.
Try Over-the-Counter Treatments
Minoxidil, commonly known as Rogaine, is approved by the FDA for the treatment of hair loss in men and women. It works by prolonging the amount of time hair grows, allowing it to reach its full density.
In around 60 percent of women, this results in some thickening of the hair, but needs to be used once a day for as long as you want the hair to stick around. Also, because it is a chemical solution, there are potential side effects. Scalp irritation, a different color or texture in new hair growth or excessive hair growth in areas other than the scalp may occur.
Another option are vitamins, such as Viviscal Professional® and Nutrafol®, which contain biotin and other key elements.
Go Natural with Home Remedies
What you eat affects the health of your whole body, including your hair. If your diet is full of sugar, salt, fat and processed foods, try switching to more whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and beans.
Clean protein from beans and nuts provides fuel for healthy hair growth, as do both omega-3 fatty acids and zinc, found in seeds like flax and pumpkin, as well as healthy proteins like salmon.
The occasional person can have success by adding herbs like ginkgo biloba and saw palmetto to their health regimens, but be sure to test for any allergies prior to taking herbal supplements.
Use Laser Light, or Undergo Platelet Rich Plasma
Laser light is a device used at home three times a week, that in 60 percent of women can slow down or stop the hair loss, and can even result in some thickening of the existing hairs. PRP, or platelet rich plasma, is a treatment using your own body’s platelets which are full of growth factors, injecting them into your scalp. This treatment usually needs to be repeated every four months.
Get a Hair Transplant
Surgeons can take hundreds to thousands of follicles- each one called a graft- from a healthy area of the scalp and transplant them into areas of the scalp where hair loss has occurred.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is a popular technique used to accomplish this. This painless procedure involves obtaining the hairs one at a time, then transplanting them into recipient sites in the thinning scalp for optimal hair growth direction, pattern and angulation. Many hair restoration surgeons recommend hair transplants because it leads to permanent results, has a fast recovery period, and when paired with PRP can stimulate faster hair-regrowth.
If you find yourself pulling lots of hair out of your comb or brush, don’t panic. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Epstein to halt or reverse the course of hair loss and restore the health of your hair.