Men and women are equally sensitive about hair loss, but living with receded hairline and profuse hair thinning is a more disquieting situation for women than men.
Hair loss medications may serve as the most viable resort to hair thinning, but it does not fix the problem. The only thing that can fix the problem is a successful hair restoration. However, due to the diffusive nature of female hair thinning, it is a challenge, most of the times impossible, to locate a definite donor reserve. Hence, the option of hair restoration for women has limited potential.
The two major hair loss drugs are Finasteride, and Minoxidil, both prescribed off-label. While finasteride is originally formulated for treatment of prostate enlargement, minoxidil is originally a medicine for hypertension.
Oral finasteride, or the popularly known trade names Proscar, Propecia etc. is a 5a reeducates inhibitor or anti-androgen that has high effectuality for preventing male androgenic alopecia. The drug is available over the counter in many regions and countries. However, finasteride is not always effective for women and neither indicated for use of women. Therefore, women may be prone to certain side effects and health risks with the over the counter availability and improper usage of this drug.
Minoxidil on the other hand, is indicated for topical application 5% in men and 2%in women. This is not an anti-androgen drug, it is an anti-hypertensive vasodilator that soothes hypertension. The drug has viable effectuality in strengthening hair follicles from any kind of inflammation due to hair damage, infections, and sometimes may respond to DHT inflammation as well.
There are many other drugs or agents that are available for the treatment of androgenic alopecia, but are indicated on prescribed use only. These include—
- Aldactone— it is a drug originally indicated as a diuretic drug. It is mainly composed of sprironolactone, which effects as an anti-androgen/ 5a reductase inhibitor. This drug is available for oral consumption, and safe for the use of women. However, its effectuality is not as high as the topical minoxidil.
- Nizoral— is the brand name of ketoconazol, which is originally an anti-fungal drug for treating fungal infections in the body with oral tablets; however, this use is discontinued in various regions. Ketoconazol also has antiandrogen properties that may have some potential for androgenic hair loss treatment; it is available as shampoo and topical cream formulations. This is useful for treating non-androgenic fungal infections in the scalp as well, including dandruff, any scalp infection causing scarring alopecia like scalp ringworm or tinea capitis.
Non- Androgenic Hair Loss Treatment In Women
The majority of hair loss medications concentrate on the androgens since is the main factor for the most common hair loss diagnosis. But there are other non-androgenic hair loss types like telogen effluvium, alopecia areata, traction alopecia, which in case of women are likely similarly common as androgenic alopecia.
For the treatment of non-androgenic hair loss, an anti-androgen drug is irrelevant. The core attribute is to find the actual cause of the hair loss through clinical diagnosis before using any drugs or supplements on over the counter availability.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy or Laser Hair Therapy may be viable alternates to the medications. These clinical treatments may be sought after at a hair transplant clinic, or hair specialist’s clinic.