How can I tell if I have female pattern hair loss?
It’s best to make an appointment to see a dermatologist. Dermatologists are the experts in diagnosing and treating hair loss. A dermatologist can tell you whether it’s FPHR or something else that is causing your hair loss. Other causes of hair loss can look like FPHL, so it’s important to rule out these causes.
What causes female pattern hair loss?
It’s hereditary. You inherit the genes from your mother, father, or both. Because FPHL is more common after menopause, hormones may also play a role.
How do dermatologists treat female pattern hair loss?
To give women optimal results, dermatologists may use more than one hair-loss treatment. For FPHL, treatment options include:
Minoxidil (meh-nox-eh-dil): Long used to treat male pattern hair loss, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved this non-prescription treatment for women. Today, it is the most-recommended treatment for FPHL. Products containing either 2% or 5% minoxidil have been approved to treat FPHL.
What should I know about using minoxidil? For the first 2 to 8 weeks, you may notice a temporary increase in hair loss. This stops when your hair begins to regrow.
A common side effect of minoxidil is an irritated scalp, which may cause dryness, scaling, itching, and/or redness on your scalp. If this happens, it’s best to stop using minoxidil and see your dermatologist.
Another possible side effect is to see hair growing in places other than your scalp, such as on your cheeks and forehead. If this happens, you can limit it by:
1. Trying to apply minoxidil only to your scalp and avoiding other areas
2. Washing your face after you apply minoxidil to your scalp
When will I see results? Hair grows slowly, so it takes time to see results. You’ll need to use minoxidil continuously for about 1 year before you know how well it will work for you.
If this medication works for you, you’ll need to use it every day to continue getting results.
When you stop, the hairs that grew because of minoxidil will fall out within 3 to 4 months, and your hair loss can continue.