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Posted by Hisblue on 07/31/2020

Minoxidil for Hair Loss in Women - How effective is it?

Minoxidil for Hair Loss in Women - How effective is it?

The condition of your hair is a strong reflection of your overall health. While having a healthy diet is crucial for healthy and better-looking hair, it may not be the case every time. It is normal to lose 50-100 hair strands in a day. However, if you start losing an enormous amount of hair daily, you might be suffering from what is known as Androgenetic Alopecia. Also known as Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL), it begins with gradual thinning at the part line, followed by an increase in diffused hair loss on the top of the head. Hair loss in women can often raise questions on their personality and ultimately affect their emotional well-being and quality of life. Statistically speaking, about one-third of women experience hair loss at some point in their lives. But obviously! Everyone’s familiar with Male Pattern Baldness as men usually go bald which is not the case with women. Whatever it is, the good news is that there are multiple options available for the treatment of hair loss in women. Look upon the Internet and you’ll find an FDA-approved drug under the name Minoxidil for the treatment of hair loss in both men and women. Minoxidil is available as a topical solution that can be applied directly to the scalp and in the form of tablets that can be taken orally. But before we study how Minoxidil stops hair loss in women, it is important to understand the reasons that might be causing it in the first place.


How does Female Pattern Hair Loss occur?

Hair loss in women can occur due to various reasons. This can include medical conditions, nutritional deficiencies, medications, and physical or emotional stress. If you see any early signs of hair loss, it is important to reach out to a dermatologist who can help you determine the cause of the problem and provide a suitable treatment. 

Below are some of the reasons responsible for hair loss:


  1. Hormonal changes - Hormonal imbalances in the body can affect the thickness of hair and its overall health. If you use hormonal birth control medications, changing those can potentially increase the amount of hair fall.

  2. Pregnancy - While it’s a reversible form of hair loss, a majority of women shed a large amount of hair during pregnancy. These hairs grow back after giving birth to the baby. 

  3. Excess of Androgens - Androgenic alopecia is a result of the male sex hormone Androgen. An excess of androgens in a woman’s body can lead to gradual hair thinning, and ultimately hair loss.

  4. Stress - A traumatic experience in one’s life can affect a person both mentally and physically. If you are dealing with a lot of stress, chances are that the cause of hair loss is stress itself.

  5. Nutritional deficiencies - As mentioned earlier, a healthy diet is essential for better looking and healthy hair. A lack of iron, protein, biotin, and zinc in your diet can affect your hair health, and cause hair thinning.

  6. Medications - Certain medications such as antidepressants and cancer drugs can cause hair loss. This type of hair loss is generally reversible after the medications stop.

  7. Hairstyles - Hairstyles that put stress on your hair can weaken the hair follicles and damage your hair in the long term. This type of hair loss is generally seen in Afro-American women.


While these are some of the main reasons that contribute to hair loss, the list doesn’t end here. Your doctor will diagnose your condition properly to determine the root cause of the problem. 


How does Minoxidil Stop Hair Loss in Women?


In both men and women, hair follicles go through 3 different stages of hair growth - anagen, catagen, and telogen phase. Minoxidil is known to work by speeding up your hair growth cycle. It works by putting your hair follicles into the anagen phase, causing the hair follicles to go through the resting and shedding phase before hair regrowth. This results in a faster hair cycle. 

Depending upon what is the best solution for your problem, your doctor will advise you either a topical solution or oral tablets. Since Minoxidil is a vasodilator, it also increases the blood flow to the hair follicles, providing hair nourishment and strengthening them at the roots. While it is an effective treatment for hair loss in women, it may not be helpful if the cause of hair loss is a nutritional deficiency, stress, or certain medication.


Is There any other Medication that Can Help?

Finasteride is a medication that is widely used for the treatment of hair loss in men. While it hasn’t been approved for hair loss in women, several doctors suggest that it can be beneficial for female pattern hair loss as well. Finasteride works by blocking DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) at its receptors and promotes hair regrowth. Women having an excess of androgens (male hormone) can be benefited from the use of Finasteride. Finasteride comes in doses such as 1 mg and 5 mg and is sold under the names Finpecia 1 mg and Fincar 5 mg

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