As the name suggests, androgenetic alopecia involves the action of the hormones called androgens, which are essential for normal male sexual development and have other important functions in both sexes, including sex drive and regulation of hair growth. The condition may be inherited and involve several different genes. It can also result from an underlying endocrine condition, such as overproduction of androgen or an androgen-secreting tumor on the ovary, pituitary, or adrenal gland. In either case, the alopecia is likely related to increased androgen activity. But unlike androgenetic alopecia in men, in women the precise role of androgens is harder to determine. On the chance that an androgen-secreting tumor is involved, it's important to measure androgen levels in women with clear female pattern hair loss.

Triamcinolone acetonide (Kenalog), 0.1 mL diluted in sterile saline to 10 mg per mL, is injected intradermally at multiple sites within the area to a maximum dosage of 2 mL per visit.6 The main side effect, atrophy, can be minimized by not injecting too superficially and by limiting the volume per site and the frequency of injection (no more often than every four to six weeks).6 Because spontaneous resolution often occurs in patients with alopecia areata, assessing treatment response can be difficult. Intralesional steroids should be discontinued after six months if no improvement has been noted.
And though this treatment appears to be safe and somewhat effective, it’s hard to tell who will react well to this low-level light therapy, which is why the doctors I spoke with were hesitant to fully endorse it. “We’re not sure what the optimal power is, what the optimal wavelength is, we don’t even really know the mechanism of action of how this is working,” says Rieder. Plus, it doesn’t work on everyone. “There are subpopulations of patients who do respond to low-level laser light, but this is not easily predictable,” explains McMichael, though she adds that the risk of using the LaserComb is low.
Too much stress is bad for health and beauty, but did you know there’s a known connection between stress and hair loss, too? Constant stress can cause cortisol levels to spike, which can contribute to increased hair shedding. To relieve stress and its damaging effects on your hair, try meditation, regular exercise, keeping a regular sleep schedule, or any other activity that helps you decompress.
Spironolactone, an aldosterone antagonist with antiandrogenic effects, works well as a treatment for hirsutism and may slow hair loss in women with AGA, but it does not stimulate hair regrowth. Estrogen may help to maintain hair status in women with AGA, but it also does not help with regrowth. Few controlled studies have examined the many non–FDA-approved hair growth agents such as cyproterone acetate (not available in the United States), progesterone, cimetidine (Tagamet), and multiple non-prescription and herbal products. A full discussion of approved and unapproved treatments for AGA can be found elsewhere.6,7 In all forms of alopecia, hairpieces and surgical transplants can produce satisfactory results but are expensive.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.


Duke’s dermatologists diagnose and treat hair disorders, such as hair loss (alopecia), excessive hairiness (hirsutism), and abnormal hair growth (hypertrichosis). We understand that abnormal hair growth can be distressing and affect your self confidence. We work closely with you to diagnose the cause of your condition, and develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your medical needs, improves your condition, and helps you regain a positive self-image.

again, she found my testosterone level a tad high, in the 50’s. she initially wanted me to start on both metformin and spironolactone. i am not a diabetic, but apparently the metformin stops testosterone production and the spironolactone inhibits testosterone from absorbing…or something to that nature. she didn’t come out and say that my elevated level was the cause of my hair loss, but she did say elevated levels “could” be the culprit, but that either way she wanted my levels to normalize. makes sense. she listened to me patiently and spent a good amount of time, medically, with me. she ordered labs: not anemic, good iron, good protein, no thyroid problems. the metformin made me sick. she told me to start slowly with each med and that she’d increase it with time, based on my body’s reaction. with spiro you need to have your potassium checked within two weeks of starting it. sadly, i didn’t follow through with the meds because they made me feel so sick and i couldn’t go back to her since i lost my insurance. but after reading all of these posts, i have scheduled another appt with her in a few weeks and will ask her to put me on spiro only and will see if this helps.
Try and find a doctor that seems to care about women’s hair loss, and understands the emotional devastation it causes. I don’t want my doctor to dismiss my hair loss, and I don’t want him/her to tell me it’s no big deal. It is a big deal and if your doctor makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, they he/she is not for you. If possible try and speak with the doctor by phone (believe it or not some doctors will talk to you on the phone first) and if the rules of the office don’t permit this then try and ask as many questions to the receptionist, such as, does Dr. X see a lot of women for hair loss? Does he order blood work? What does he usually prescribe for treatment? The reality of that last question is that their is no “usual treatment” every woman is different and hopefully the receptionist tells you something to that effect. I don’t want to see a doctor that prescribes Rogaine as his/her first line of defense even before making a proper diagnosis with blood work or any other necessary tests. I firmly believe you should not be walking out with a bottle of Rogaine the first day of your appointment. Sure the doctor can probably be able to tell if your hair is experiencing miniaturization, but what about the blood work to determine the causes? Rogaine may be the right treatment for you, but I’d like to know why.

Rogaine’s foam squirts out just like hair mousse and is applied with “cool, dry hands.” Applying means working the foam down to the scalp where you want to see thicker growth — for it to work, “it has to get into your scalp,” Dr. Wolfeld explains. “If it sits on your hair, it’s not really as effective.” Once massaged, it dissolves into a watery liquid that leaves a tingly sensation, “but no burning!” one of our balding testers was happy to discover.
Please help. My hair has always been my pride and joy. I figured since it is pretty damn healthy, it could deal with some bleach damage. And I figured the master stylist who did all the color-corrections would know how much would be too much. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my hair or touch it. I just don't know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been shorter than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?

The scalp pain has not gone away. I have tried 100 things prescribed by 100 doctors. Dermatologists have told me to add zinc supplements to my diet, use a cream with “clobetasol propionate” on my scalp, improve the quality of my scalp by getting rid of any flakiness – hundreds of options. Trichodynia – pain of the scalp – is a poorly understood subject. I don’t know if it is hormonally related, and exacerbated by the stress (of losing so much hair) – I cannot answer you.


Interesting. After reading these posts, I called a dermatologist in the Houston, TX area asking for an appt. and whether he prescribes medication for hair loss in women. I mentioned Spironolactone. He told the nurse that he does not, and that it can actually cause hair loss. This is exactly the frustration we all experience. You hear a different opinion from each Dr. and don’t know what the right answer is. If anyone knows of a good endocrinologist in Houston, please let me know. I’ve been losing hair for about 5 yrs (now 39 yrs) and have to use hair-loc extensions just to feel confidence when in public. I did not see much about Propecia in these posts. Have any women taken it w/ much success?
One more disease that causes hair loss is male pattern baldness. About two out of three men, experience hair loss by their age of 60 and most of the time, the hair loss is because of male pattern baldness. Such type of hair loss, caused by a combo of genes and male sex hormones, usually follow a classic pattern where the hair recedes at the temples, thus leaving an M-shaped hairline.
Honestly, for female pattern baldness (what I have) I don’t think there really is any effective treatment — the only hope is learning to cope psychologically. (Just my humble opinion) So I don’t totally “hate” him for not being able to help me medically regarding the hair — but he was such a let down. I really expected more. (he’s an excellent dermatologist, for skin things at least)

I have had thin, fine and ugly hair since I had a hysterectomy in my 20’s. I am 73 now. My mother had very sad hair as did my grandmother. My hair was thick and good until my surgery. I went to 3 dermatologists and they seemed almost embarrassed to look at my hair. I have tried men’s Rogaine but do not see any improvement. I take lots of vitamins and health aids but they don’t seem to help. I also take Premarin and blood pressure meds which may add to the problem. I wear a hair piece which clips into my hair and the lower back and sides and bangs are my real hair. It all mixes together. It is human hair and has a mono scalp which has a part and looks real. It is not a perfect solution but helps me go in public. As you can tell I have pretty much given up on a good solution and from reading what everyone has to say I am afraid that some of us are just destined to have bad hair.
There’s no cure for baldness, but there are ways to hold on to what you've got. The six dermatologists and the clinical studies point to three methods: minoxidil, laser treatments, and prescription finasteride. The key is finding the combination and hair loss regimen that works for you. A doctor is your best bet for that kind of guidance — but we found a few trustworthy products that will work for most people.
I”m sitting here reading all your letters hoping that you’ve helped someone and hoping that you can help me, too. I’m 48 and all my life I’ve been told how beautiful my hair was. I now live in S Florida and within the last couple of years I stopped styling my hair because of the heat and the humidity. I usually wear it in a ponytail (never tight – I’m sure that’s not the problem). About a year ago I noticed athat a lot of hair was on the back of my car seat.I mean A LOT.When I went home to NY I tried to style my hair like I used to and it didn’t work. It just layed there.The more I looked I noticed how thin it was. I came back to Fl and went to a dermatologist who barely looked at me and told me to try rogaine.
Not surprisingly, treatments with 5 percent minoxidil work better than treatments with 2 percent minoxidil. A randomized clinical trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology in 2002 found that, in men with androgenetic alopecia, “5 percent topical minoxidil was clearly superior to 2 percent topical minoxidil and placebo in increasing hair growth.” The difference was actually pretty astounding — after 48 weeks, the men who used 5 percent minoxidil experienced 45 percent more hair growth than the men who used the 2 percent treatment.
Harklinikken (“hair clinic” in Danish) inspires great loyalty. Four out of five users come as referrals from satisfied customers, said Lars Skjoth, the company’s founder and chief scientist. The results are certainly compelling. After four months of daily application — that is, working the tea-colored tonic into the hair section by section, then letting it sit on the scalp for six hours — most users regain at least 30 percent of lost density, and some as much as 60 percent, according to company figures. 
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