For women, hair loss is a deeply emotional and often distressing experience. For many, hair symbolizes femininity and individuality and losing more strands of hair than usual can be a huge blow to a woman’s self-esteem. Dr. Cooley has helped countless women in and around Charlotte, North Carolina restore not just their hair, but also their confidence. At the Cooley Hair Center, we offer a range of solutions for treating women’s hair loss.
What Is Female Pattern Baldness?
Female pattern baldness, medically known as androgenetic alopecia, is the most common cause of hair loss in women. This condition typically presents as a general thinning of hair across the top of the head, while the hairline does not recede as it often does in men.
The thinning can be mild to severe and usually worsens with age. Genetics plays a significant role in female pattern baldness, with family history being a strong indicator of one’s likelihood of experiencing it.
DHT and Women’s Hair Loss
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone that’s believed to be a key factor in hair loss, for both men and women. In women, high levels of DHT can cause the hair follicles to shrink, resulting in the life cycle of hair becoming shorter and the hair strands becoming thinner and weaker.
Other factors that affect DHT levels in women include menopause, hormonal imbalances, and genetics. Many hair loss medications focus on reducing DHT levels to directly counteract its follicle-shrinking effects. Other hair medications and treatments work by dilating the blood vessels that deliver essential nutrients to the hair follicles so they can stay longer in the growth phase.
4 Best Nonsurgical Hair Loss Treatments for Women
While there are many causes of female hair loss, luckily, there are also a number of hair restoration options that women can choose from. Each treatment can be tailored to your unique needs and desires.
Rogaine (Topical Minoxidil)
Rogaine is the only FDA-approved treatment for female pattern hair loss and has been shown to be very effective in slowing hair loss and encouraging new hair growth in women. It works by enlarging the blood vessels that deliver oxygen and essential nutrients to the hair follicles and prolonging the growth phase of the hair cycle. With this kind of treatment, consistent application is key to seeing results, and it may take several months of use before improvements are noticeable.
PRP Treatment for Hair Loss
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy involves extracting the patient’s own blood, processing it to enhance the concentration of platelets, and then re-injecting it into the scalp. These platelets release growth factors that stimulate and rejuvenate dormant hair follicles, promoting hair growth. Many women favor PRP for its natural approach and minimal side effects.
ACell + PRP
ACell + PRP therapy takes PRP a step further by adding a regenerative medicine component, ACell, to the mix. ACell works by providing a scaffold that facilitates the body’s natural ability to repair and remodel tissue, including the hair follicles.
When combined with PRP, this treatment can lead to more significant hair regrowth results compared to PRP alone. At the Cooley Hair Center, women who opted for this combination have reported significant improvement in their hair loss 3 to 6 months after treatment.
Can Women Use Topical Finasteride?
Now that the topical version of finasteride is here, we get asked a lot of questions about using it for treating women’s hair loss at our clinic. Unlike its oral counterpart, topical finasteride is applied directly to the scalp and potentially reduces its systemic side effects. This localized application allows the medication to act directly on the affected hair follicles, increasing its effectiveness in promoting hair regrowth and reducing hair loss.
However, while topical has been used effectively in men, it has not been approved yet by the FDA for treating women’s hair loss. Finasteride can have some serious side effects on women, especially during pregnancy. Most of the research and clinical trials for finasteride have focused on men. This lack of adequate research means there’s less evidence regarding its safety, effectiveness, and appropriate dosage for female pattern hair loss.
When to Consider a Hair Transplant?
For women who have not seen satisfactory results with nonsurgical treatments, a hair transplant can be considered but it’s often done as a last resort. A hair transplant involves taking hair follicles from a part of the scalp with dense hair (usually the back or sides) and transplanting them to the thinning or balding areas.
There are two main techniques: Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). FUT involves removing a strip of scalp from the donor area (usually from the back or sides of the head) and transplanting the harvested follicular units to the thinning areas. On the other hand, FUE involves extracting hair grafts directly from the scalp using a punch device and transplanting them to the recipient areas.
Both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages so it’s important to talk to an experienced hair transplant surgeon to know which method will be the most appropriate for you.
Dr. Cooley’s Multi-Modal Approach to Treating Women’s Hair Loss
Dr. Cooley recognizes that hair loss in women is often caused by a lot of factors, including genetics, hormones, and lifestyle. Therefore, he recommends a holistic treatment plan that addresses these various elements simultaneously.
The multi-modal approach typically involves a combination of therapies including medicated products, PRP, and ACell, each targeting a different aspect of hair loss. Dr. Cooley and his team develop a unique plan for every patient, making sure that the treatments are tailored to their needs and goals.
Female Hair Loss Specialist Charlotte, NC
Treating women’s hair loss is different from treating baldness in men. For example, female hair transplant techniques require a more meticulous approach to avoid damaging the existing thin hair. The number of grafts that can be transplanted is typically fewer due to the reduced density of donor hair. Additionally, women often seek an increase in overall hair density and volume, rather than complete coverage of bald patches.
Dr. Cooley and his team understand the unique needs and challenges of female hair loss and the artistry required to restore a full head of hair that looks remarkably natural. If you’re looking for a female hair loss specialist in Charlotte, North Carolina, head to the Cooley Hair Center. Call us to schedule your consultation today. We serve patients in North Carolina, including Charlotte, Lancaster, Mint Hill, Matthews, Monroe, Gastonia, and surrounding areas.