Female hair loss can happen for a variety of reasons, such as genetics, changing hormone levels, or as part of the natural aging process.
There are various treatment options for female hair loss, including topical medications, such as Rogaine. Other options include light therapy, hormone therapy, or in some cases, hair transplants.
Eating a nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also help keep hair healthy.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves Minoxidil to treat hair loss. Sold under the name Rogaine, as well as other generic brands, people can purchase topical Minoxidil over-the-counter (OTC). Minoxidil is safe for both males and females, and people report a high satisfaction rate after using it.
Minoxidil stimulates growth in the hairs and may increase their growth cycle. It can cause hairs to thicken and reduce the appearance of patchiness or a widening hair parting.
Minoxidil treatments are available in two concentrations: the 2% solution requires twice daily application for the best results, while the 5%Trusted Source solution or foam requires daily use.
While the instinct may be to choose the stronger solution, this is not necessary. Studies posted to the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology Trusted Source and the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology Trusted Source found that 2% minoxidil was effective for females with androgenetic alopecia, or pattern baldness.
If a person finds success with minoxidil, they should continue using it indefinitely. When a person stops using minoxidil, the hairs that depended on the drug to grow will likely fall out within 6 months Trusted Source.
Side effects from minoxidil are uncommonTrusted Source and generally mild. Some females may experience irritation or an allergic reaction to ingredients in the product, such as alcohol or propylene glycol. Switching formulas or trying different brands may alleviate symptoms.
Some females may also experience increased hair loss at first when using minoxidil. This typically stops after the first few months of treatment as the hair gets stronger.
Additionally, misapplying minoxidil or applying it to the forehead or too much of the neck may cause hair growth in these areas. Only apply minoxidil to the scalp to avoid these side effects.
2. Light therapy
Low-level light therapy may not be sufficient treatment for hair loss on its own, but it may act to amplify the effects of other hair loss treatments, such as minoxidil.
A trial posted to the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology found that compared to control groups, adding low light therapy to regular 5% minoxidil treatment for androgenetic alopecia helped improve the recovery of the hairs and the participants’ overall satisfaction with their treatment.
Researchers will need to carry out further research to help strengthen these results
The drug ketoconazole may help treat hair loss in some cases, such as androgenetic alopecia, where inflammationTrusted Source of the hair follicles often contributes to hair loss.
One review posted to the International Journal of Women’s DermatologyTrusted Source noted that topical ketoconazole might help reduce inflammation and improve the strength and look of the hair.
Ketoconazole is available as a shampoo. Nizoral is the best known brand and is available for purchase over the counter and online. Nizoral contains a low concentration of ketoconazole, but stronger concentrations will require a prescription from a doctor.
Some females may also respond to corticosteroid injections. Doctors use this treatment only when necessary, for conditions such as alopecia areata. Alopecia areata results in a person’s hair falling out in random patches.
According to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, injecting corticosteroids directly into the hairless patch may encourage new hair growth. However, this not may prevent other hair from falling out. Topical corticosteroids, which are available as creams, lotions, and other preparations, may also reduce hair loss.
5. Platelet-rich plasma
Early evidence suggests that injections of platelet-rich plasma may also help reduce hair loss. A plasma-rich injection involves a doctor drawing the person’s blood, separating the platelet-rich plasma from the blood, and injecting it back into the scalp at the affected areas. This helps speed up tissue repair.
A recent review posted to Aesthetic Plastic SurgeryTrusted Source noted that most studies suggest that this therapy reduces hair loss, increases hair density, and increases the diameter of each hair.
However, because most studies up until now have been very small, the review calls for more research using platelet-rich plasma for androgenic alopecia.
6. Hormone therapy
If hormone imbalances due to menopause, for example, cause hair loss, doctors may recommend some form of hormone therapy to correct them.
Some possible treatments include birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy for either estrogen or progesterone.
Other possibilities include antiandrogen medications, such as spironolactoneTrusted Source. Androgens are hormones that can speed up hair loss in some women, particularly those with polycystic ovary syndrome, who typically produce more androgens.
Antiandrogens can stop the production of androgens and prevent hair loss. These medications may cause side effects, so always talk to the doctor about what to expect and whether antiandrogens are suitable.
7. Hair transplant
In some cases where the person does not respond well to treatments, doctors may recommend hair transplantationTrusted Source. This involves taking small pieces of the scalp and adding them to the areas of baldness to increase the hair in the area naturally. Hair transplant therapy can be more costly than other treatments and is not suitable for everybody.
8. Use hair loss shampoos
Some minor hair loss may happen due to clogged pores on the scalp. Using medicated shampoos designed to clear the pores from dead skin cells may help promote healthy hair. This may help clear minor signs of hair loss.
9. Eat a nutritious diet
Eating a healthful diet may support normal hair growth, as well. Typically, a healthful diet will contain a wide variety of foods, including many different vegetables and fruits. These provide many essential nutrients and compounds that help keep skin and hair healthy.
10. Scalp massage
Massaging the scalp may increase circulation in the area and help clean away dandruff. This helps keep the scalp and hair follicles healthy.
Hair loss can affect both males and females. Hair loss in females may have a range of causes, though the most common is androgenetic alopecia.
There are a variety of treatments for hair loss for females, including OTC hair loss treatments, which are generally effective. Anyone experiencing hair loss should visit their doctor who can diagnose any underlying factors.
If a doctor suspects there is another underlying cause or the person does not respond well to OTC treatments, they will look into other treatment options.