Medical treatment of the scalp
- Minoxidil lotion stimulates hair growth by lengthening the duration of the anagen hair and increasing the size of “intermediate” or “miniaturized” hair. Minoxidil 2% for women and 5% for men stabilized and slowed hair loss in 30% of cases and initiated a slight regrowth in 10% of cases. Once started, this treatment must be continued for life because the positive effect stops with the interruption of treatment. There are no or few side effects (pruritus, eczema). Sometimes, in women, hair can grow on the face or body.
- Finasteride tablets are recommended for people who have no signs of any contraindications. This treatment is prescribed for life because its favorable hair effect ceases if the treatment is interrupted. It can give a slight improvement in about 30% of patients. Side effects are rare with the primary side effect being a lowered libido and erectile dysfunction.
- Hormonal treatments may be prescribed by gynecologists when the hair loss is substantial enough as a means to prevent immediate or future loss.
In young women
A hormonal treatment combines estrogen with antiandrogen and progestin. This treatment is effective only during the duration of its intake. Regular medical supervision by a gynecologist is necessary.
In menopausal women
Many drugs used for treating menopausal women experiencing hair loss are identical to those prescribed to young woman. When menopause begins, hormone replacement therapy may be prescribed. It should be noted that this treatment, which combines natural estrogen with non-androgenic progestin and anti-androgen, acts favorably throughout the body and the scalp. Its positive effect stops if treatment is interrupted.
Replacement therapy can only be considered after a rigorous medical and gynecological assessment to eliminate all contraindications.
Food supplements or vitamins
Dietary supplements may be useful for treating loss of hair in cases of early androgenetic alopecia or seasonal hair loss:
– Vitamins injected into muscle tissue: vitamins B5 or pantothenic acid or bepanthene, vitamin H or biotin
– Capsules containing, in addition to the previously mentioned vitamins, a mixture of methionine, cysteine, vitamins B2, B6, E, and iron.