Hair Loss Treatments For Women

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,780
    Dr. Matt Leavitt, President of the Hair Foundation, explains the most common hair loss treatments for women.

    Dr. Matt Leavitt: Hi my name is Dr. Matt Leavitt and I am the current president of the Hair Foundation. With me today is Danielle and Danielle came to me originally as somebody who was concerned that her lashes were thinning. There is only one FDA that is approved for making lashes look better which is Latisse.

    We see that the lashes become longer, we see that the lashes actually become thicker and we also see that that lashes restore some of their pigment which creates more of that contrast you are looking for that you would get when you have applied mascara for instance perfectly. Usually this product is working within the first eight weeks of application and then by 16 weeks we are actually seeing very significant changes.

    Unfortunately when you stop the product, those benefits of longer thicker, fuller lashes would disappear.

    When we take a look at Angie, we see that unlike in men, when we lose the temple hair and we lose the hair line, most women actually will have hair in their hair line and in their temple. We also see that the hair itself is getting thinner, finer and losing its pigment and you don't have that volume of hair that you are used to.

    Just looks like female pattern hair loss to me. There is about 21 million women who have cosmetically significant hair loss so it's very common and most even don't even start knowing that they are losing their hair until they have almost 50% loss, certainly as women get closer to menopause, we really see an increased amount of hair loss and that probably does correspond to changes in hormonal levels, but we also have women as early as believe it or not in high school who are coming to see us now.

    So there are many different things that we would want to rule out before we said this is just female pattern hair loss which is related to more genetics and hormones. Some of the things that are more common are thyroid disease; problems with absorption of iron or low iron and in certain types of medications such as birth control pills also cause hair loss.

    The wrong chemicals or too much chemicals in the hair can absolutely cause hair breakage and even some permanent hair loss, drying your hair with too much heat where actually the hair is wet, hot irons or other ways of delivering heat into the hair for extended periods of time will cause your hair to break and again will cause hair loss.

    Another type of hair loss that we frequently see patients for is related to pulling the hair too tight and this can be as simple as a pony tail that's pulled tightly everyday where we actually see breakage of the hair and something that we call traction alopecia, some significant stress certainly can contribute to hair loss.

    We also see problems in people who are going on a rapid diet to lose weight or they are gaining weight rapidly. Make sure that you are using a quality shampoo, one that is protein based; conditioning your hair on a fairly regular basis with perhaps even once in a month having a deep condition is very helpful.

    So you have female pattern hair loss. One of the non-surgical options that we can talk about is minoxidil. Minoxidil is an FDA product that's applied to the scalp twice a day, clear odorless solution that stimulates hairs to grow better and to last longer.

    It typically takes about four months or more to really start seeing benefit, so this isn't something you can put on your head one or two times and actually have a result. Unfortunately if you stop the product, you will eventually revert back to where you would have been, had you not been on the product, you are going to start losing hair again.

    One of the treatment options for you is hair transplantation. The hair transplantation is when we take hairs from areas that don't have a genetic-predisposition to be in lost, also usually on the back and the sides of the head and we actually inset those into areas where you have lost your hair and they won't fall out.

    So when we put in those hair cells, it usually takes about 3 months for them to start growing and then they will grow just like your natural hair and you really won't be able to tell any difference from what we transplanted to what wasn't transplanted before.

    For those of you, who are frustrated with hair loss, I encourage you to get help, there are many things that a qualified position can do to either slow down your hair loss or even help your to re-grow hair.