Female pattern hair loss or female pattern baldness in women is analogous to male pattern baldness in men. It is a result of a number of interrelated and connected factors such as genetic, hormonal and environmental. Female pattern baldness results in a characteristic pattern in the loss and thinning of hair on a woman’s scalp. A diffuse thinning of hair is seen all over the scalp, and more noticeable thinning on the crown area. Female pattern hair loss also known as androgenetic alopecia as an excess androgens or male hormones are believed to cause female pattern baldness.
Female pattern baldness is clinically diagnosed by looking at the specific hair loss pattern that is evident in patients who suffer from it. The most amount of hair loss occurs on the crown of the head and is evident when the hair is parted. A christmas tree shaped pattern of hair may also be noticeable in women with female pattern baldness. Female pattern baldness can be an agonizing condition due to presence of phases of acute, excessive hair fall which may alternate with periods of reduced hair fall.
Female pattern baldness treatment in India is claimed to be offered by every possible shampoo and hair oil. Unfortunately, hair thinning treatment is not as simple as this and requires the expert attention of a dermatologist, trichologist or cosmetic surgeon. Female pattern baldness treatment in India is offered as one of the following:
- Minoxidil – A solution of 2-5% minoxidil is prescribed as a treatment for female pattern baldness. Results may take almost 6-12 months to show, and sometimes, it is possible that no results are noticed.
- Androgen dependent medications – Spironolactone, flutamide and finasteride are anti-androgen drugs that can help in reducing the amount of free testosterone in the body, and thereby, reduce its conversion into dihydrotestosterone, which is responsible for the shrinkage of hair follicles. These medications can be helpful in hair thinning treatment in women.
- Hair transplantation – Female pattern baldness treatment in India is also offered in the form of hair transplantation. Although hair transplantation in female pattern baldness is not considered as often as in male pattern baldness, studies suggest that women suffering from female pattern baldness may experience very good results with hair transplantation.
Along with hair thinning treatment, female pattern baldness therapy should also include a psychological component. Female pattern hair loss is often a traumatising and anxiety-ridden problem for women. Proper counselling and psychological help can help them cope with the self-consciousness and social isolation caused by female pattern baldness better.
Female Pattern Hair Loss & Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS):
While many with PCOS grow thicker hair on their face and body, some experience hair thinning and hair loss, which is referred to as female pattern hair loss
The female body produces male hormones, also called androgens. This includes testosterone. Androgens play a role in triggering puberty and stimulating hair growth in the underarms and pubic areas. They have other important functions as well.
PCOS causes extra androgen production, resulting in virilization. This refers to the development of more masculine features, including excess hair in places where it doesn’t usually grow.
Therefore, hormonal tests are very important in women, so that PCOS can be diagnosed & appropriately treated.
Female Pattern Baldness , Hair Loss/ Fall Treatment for Women Before After Photos-
Effects of QR 678 in female pattern alopecia in comparison to topical minoxidil:
Existing medical therapy used in female pattern alopecia include the use of topical minoxidil and oral finasteride tablets.
The most important clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of minoxidil in androgenetic alopecia was performed in the USA – https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00151515
This clinical trial though was not neutral and was industry (Johnson & Johnson, manufacturer & patent holder for minoxidil) sponsored.
The primary purpose of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of a topical 5% minoxidil formulation in males for the treatment of male pattern hair loss. The secondary purpose was to evaluate the safety of a topical 5% minoxidil formulation in males when used twice daily for the treatment of pattern hair loss and to obtain the safety data on the investigational product when used twice daily for up to one year.
In August 1988, the US FDA finally approved minoxidil for treating baldness in men under the trade name “Rogaine”. The agency concluded that although “the product will not work for everyone”, 39% of the men studied had “moderate to dense hair growth on the crown of the head”. This medicine was then recommended for female pattern hair loss, as well.
Minoxidil is generally well tolerated, but common side effects include burning or irritation of the eye, itching, redness or irritation at the treated area, and unwanted hair growth elsewhere on the body. Dandruff is a common problem as is Temporary hair loss. Manufacturers note that minoxidil-induced hair loss is a common side effect and describe the process as “shedding”.
We believe that minoxidil works well to stop or reduce hair fall in a majority of people, but does not work as well at hair regrowth. Regular usage of minoxidil leads to compliance issues & most people do not use minoxidil in the recommended twice a day usage pattern, used in clinical trials.
As the QR678® has no real side effects & cause hair growth, especially in minoxidil resistant cases, it is an interesting alternative to minoxidil & is preferred by a large number of patients.
Effects of QR 678 in female pattern alopecia in comparison to oral finasteride:
Three double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase III studies of finasteride were conducted in 1879 men ages 18–41 years with mild to moderate AGA. Two of the studies enrolled men with predominantly vertex hair loss and one study enrolled men with predominantly frontal (anterior mid-scalp) hair loss. Finasteride 1 mg or matching placebo tablets were taken once daily for 24 months in the vertex studies and for 12 months in the frontal study. All three studies demonstrated that finasteride treatment led to a significant improvement in hair growth and slowing of further hair loss progression, while placebo-treated men showed significant hair loss.
The net improvement in hair count (finasteride vs. placebo) was 14% at 1 year and 16% at 2 years. Only 17% of men receiving finasteride lost hair based on hair count during the 2-year studies, compared with 72% of men receiving placebo. These data demonstrated that finasteride slowed the progression of hair loss.
The problem though was that drug-related adverse events reported by ≥1% of men receiving finasteride 1 mg in the first year were decreased libido (reported by 1.8% of men on finasteride vs. 1.3% on placebo), erectile dysfunction (reported by 1.3% of men on finasteride vs. 0.7% on placebo) and ejaculation disorder (1.2% of men on finasteride vs. 0.7% on placebo). Approximately 1% (1.2%) of men receiving finasteride discontinued treatment due to these adverse events (compared with 0.9% of men in the placebo group) with resolution occurring after discontinuation of drug.
This medicine was then recommended for female pattern hair loss, as well.
We believe that finasteride works well to stop or reduce hair fall in a majority of people, but does not work as well at hair regrowth. Regular usage of finasteride leads to compliance issues & most people do not use finasteride continuously, because of the side effects it has on sexuality.
As the QR678® has no real side effects & cause hair growth, especially in minoxidil & finasteride resistant cases, it is an interesting alternative to finasteride & is preferred by a large number of patients.
Synergistic use of QR 678® & minoxidil & finasteride in female pattern alopecia:
In patients with advanced hair fall & advanced alopecia, we have used the QR 678® in combination with topical minoxidil lotion & oral finasteride tablets and seen additive & synergistic effects.
Hair transplant in Female Pattern Alopecia & effects of QR 678®
Hair transplant therapy like Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) & Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) are used in advanced alopecia. But, hair transplants are invasive. The market for hair transplantation is dwarfed by the immense market for products that treat hair loss without surgery.
The major challenge for hair transplant is that only the occipital scalp hair (hair at back of scalp) is Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) resistant. This is the area from where donor hair is taken for the balding areas, in a hair transplant surgery. The problems with this approach are mainly two-fold:
- A limited amount of donor hair
- The continued falling of the hair located at the frontal & vertex areas of the scalp, as the female pattern alopecia progresses.
Resultantly, the hair transplants need repetition & supportive medical therapy (minoxidil & finasteride) to maintain the initial results.
While the QR 678® can assist to reduce the chances of hair transplantation in early alopecia by arresting hair fall & causing hair growth, the QR 678® also works well to support the existing hair & the transplanted hair post hair transplant surgery.
Best treatment for female pattern Alopecia
Combination therapy using the diagnosis & treatment of PCOS, hormonal therapy, anti-androgen treatment, QR 678® hair growth therapy, topical minoxidil, oral finasteride & hair transplant surgery where required may give the best results for female pattern alopecia & female pattern baldness.