Treating hair loss
Existing therapies for female pattern and male pattern baldness include a topical Minoxidil.
Dr. Amy McMichael is a professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina.
“Minoxidil is FDA-approved in all forms for men and in the 2-percent solution and 5-percent foam for women,” McMichael told Healthline. “Oral Finasteride in a 1-milligram dose is also approved for men. In terms of off-label therapies, oral Finasteride is also used for female pattern baldness as is oral Spironolactone or oral Flutamide.”
“Oral Minoxidil in low doses is another recent addition to the treatment paradigm for both men and women as an off-label treatment,” she added. “In procedural treatments, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is making a major splash as is surgical hair restoration.”
Many of these therapies can be successful in keeping hair on the head or increasing density, especially in combination, McMichael said.
She added it’s important to be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist to make sure that the correct therapies are offered and monitored in the appropriate way to get the best outcome.
Not all therapies are for every person, she said.
“Some of the off-label therapies can be quite expensive and medical therapy may be best,” she said. “In other cases, we don’t have markers for who will respond well and who will not.”
Dr. Nicole Rogers is a board-certified dermatologist and hair transplant surgeon who treats hair loss at Hair Restoration of the South in Louisiana.
“There is interest in regulators like DKK2 to possibly treat male- and female-pattern hair loss,” Rogers told Healthline. “However, FDA-approved treatments are currently limited to topical Minoxidil for men and women, and oral Finasteride for men only.”
“There also are a wide variety of low-level light therapy devices that have FDA clearance for hair loss. I conservatively prescribe a variety of other off-label treatments on a case-by-case basis — Spironolactone, Finasteride for women, and PRP,” she noted. “There is even interest in using oral Minoxidil for patients. Hair transplantation can also achieve a permanent and dramatic effect for many patients.”
Millar said she and her team hope their continued research will reveal new ways to improve wound healing and hair growth.
“Our research is still at a very early stage,” she said. “We still need to do a lot of work before we could think about testing potential new therapies in human patients.”
Treating hair loss