Hair Loss (cont.)

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What about pregnancy hair loss?

Pregnancy may cause many changes in the scalp hair. As the hormones fluctuate during pregnancy, a large number of women feel their hair thickens and becomes fuller. This may be related to change in the number of hairs cycling in the growth phase of hair growth, but the exact reason is unknown. Quite often, there may be a loss of hair after delivery or a few months later. Prevention of this often, natural post pregnancy hair loss is unknown. It is also not known if this loss is just a return to the pre-pregnancy volume of hair.

What specific treatments are there for hair loss in women?

Female hair loss treatments include minoxidil (Rogaine), hair transplants, hair-powder fibers like Toppik, wigs, hair extensions, and weaves. Non-FDA-approved and off-label use of Propecia may be discussed with your doctor.

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine) is available over the counter and available in 2%, 4%, and 5% concentrations. It may be something of a nuisance to apply twice daily, but it has been shown to help conserve hair and may even grow some. Minoxidil tends to grow very fine small hairs wherever it is applied. It is important to avoid running the liquid onto the face or neck where it can also grow hair. It is marketed for women at the 2% concentration but may be used in higher strengths as directed by a doctor.
  • Propecia is a drug that is currently FDA approved only in men for help in hair loss. It has undergone extensive safety testing on women and it was found to be safe in postmenopausal women. It is unsafe for women of childbearing to take this drug or even handle tablets. (It is, however, safe for their husbands to take it while they are trying to become pregnant.) Propecia may be used as an off-label use in women who are not pregnant or planning to become pregnant while taking the medication. Studies have been inconclusive with effectiveness of Propecia in some women and not in others. Although it is not consistently effective, it may be a good option for postmenopausal women or women who are not pregnant or considering pregnancy. Newer studies suggest that Propecia may be somewhat helpful and worth considering in treatment of women's hair loss.
  • Surgical procedures like hair transplants can be useful for some women as well as men to "fill in" thinned-out areas.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/24/2014

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Hair Loss - Treatments Question: What hair loss treatments have worked well for you?
Hair Loss - Age and Pattern Question: How old were you when you first experienced hair loss? How would you describe or classify the pattern?
Hair Loss - Vitamins Question: What vitamins do you take for hair loss? Have you noticed an improvement since taking them?
Hair Loss - Options Question: What optional treatments have you tried for your hair loss? Are you happy with the results?
Hair Loss - Telogen Effuvium Question: Describe your experience with telogen effuvium, including the suspected cause for your "sudden" hair loss.
Hair Loss - Women Question: If you are a woman, describe your experience with hair loss, including any treatments.