Hair Loss Medication
Rogaine (minoxidil), a topical hair loss medication, has a 2% solution that is approved for women. Although Propecia (finasteride), is not indicated for women, some female patients with hair loss may benefit from using the oral medication spironolactone (used mainly to control blood pressure). Oral contraceptives higher in estrogen can stimulate hair growth. Viviscal is a dietary supplement purported to boost hair growth in men and women.
Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a treatment for hair loss based on the principle of photo-biotherapy where a laser stimulates hair follicles on the scalp producing thicker hair shafts and a fuller appearance. LLLT is most useful in patients with diffuse hair loss (the most common pattern seen in women) although the benefits are generally modest. Two commonly use forms of laser treatment for hair loss are the Laser Comb and the Laser Cap. Both products can be used at home.
Since women’s hair loss is typically diffuse with a persistent frontal hairline, it is generally possible for women to be able to hide their thinning with creative styling and other camouflage techniques. Using cosmetic camouflage products may also help. A number of over the counter products are now available that can make the hair look thicker. They come in a variety of forms; powders, sprays, and creams. The main limitation of these products is that one must have enough hair to hold the cosmetics in place and unless it is applied properly, it may not look natural.
Surgical Hair Restoration
The development of surgical hair transplant techniques, particularly Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT), allows many women to have a completely natural hair restoration. When performed on a good candidate, hair transplantation can produce a dramatic change in a woman’s appearance. See the results below of a hair transplant in one of Bernstein Medical’s female patients.
Note: It is particularly important for any women considering a surgical solution, to have a careful physical examination to make sure that the diagnosis is correct and to determine that they have an adequate donor hair supply. For those women in whom surgical hair restoration is indicated, special surgical skills are required to achieve optimal results. It is a mistake for a surgeon to assume that hair loss in women can be treated the same way it is in men.
For women who have unwanted body or facial hair, Dr. Bernstein’s wife Shizuka is the owner of Shizuka New York; a well-known Manhattan day spa located adjacent to Rockefeller Center at 7 West 51st Street, New York, NY. The Spa offers full skin care services and hair removal.