It’s sometimes trickier to treat hair loss in women than it is in men. Many drugs work in some degree for some women, but doctors can be reluctant to prescribe them unless they know the exact cause of the hair loss, according to the American Hair Loss Association. When you do select a hair loss treatment, you get the best results when you start treatment as soon as you discover the problem. If hair follicles are already destroyed, the best you can do is to prevent more hair loss from occurring.
Minoxidil works better for women than it does for men, according to the American Hair Loss Association. Minoxidil comes in 2 percent and 5 percent strength. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves 2 percent for over-the-counter purchase, but not the 5 percent. You can get the 5 percent strength through a prescription by a dermatologist if you use it under his supervision. You rub minoxidil on your scalp twice a day to grow hair and prevent further loss. Once you discontinue minoxidil, you will lose any growth you achieved.
Women cannot take Propecia if they are of childbearing age, because this drug can cause serious birth defects in a male fetus. If you are past childbearing age, your doctor may prescribe it for you. Propecia stops the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that shrinks hair follicles, according to MayoClinic.com. When you stop taking Propecia, the benefits stop, too.
Monthly injections of cortisone into your scalp can treat hair loss. Sometimes, doctors prescribe pills, ointments or creams, but these are usually less effective than injections. Mesotherapy is a specific technique of using quick, prick-like injections to stimulate hair growth. Injections can be painful because patients typically need hundreds of them to cover the scalp, but the results may be worth it, says Dr. Alexander Kulick, a New York City internist, quoted in “Marie Claire” magazine.
Aldactone is in a class of drugs that are water pills. These drugs may work to prevent hair loss by blocking androgens–male hormones responsible for hair loss in women–and by preventing dihydrotestosterone from binding to an androgenetic receptor.
Tagamet is a histamine blocker used to treat ulcers. It could help in preventing hair loss because it has an anti-androgenic effect and blocks dihydrotestosterone.
Ketoconazole is an antifungal that can reduce testosterone and other androgens, according the American Hair Loss Association. You can find ketoconazole in Nizoral shampoo. You can buy a 1 percent version over-the-counter, or you can get a 2 percent version from a dermatologist.