Androgenetic alopecia in women: Different treatment alternatives


What is androgenetic alopecia

Hereditary androgenetic alopecia (or seborrheic alopecia, or male pattern baldness) is the most common form of alopecia in men. It affects about 70% of men (about 15% of men at the age of 20, 30% at the age of 30 and one in two at the age of 50). It can affect both men and women. In men, it is characterised by a progressive reduction in hair volume, replaced by downy hair which tends to disappear completely over time, leading to baldness. In general, a little hair remains in the lower part of the skull near the nape of the neck.
It affects 2% to 5% of women by the age of 30 and almost 40% of women by the age of 70. Female pattern baldness does not develop in the same way as in men. In women, this type of alopecia is diffuse and the whole of the hair on the top of the head becomes increasingly thin.

What are the symptoms of androgenetic alopecia?

Male androgenetic alopecia usually follows the same pattern: the hair loss is localised. It starts in the temporal-frontal gulfs, causing baldness at the top of the forehead which gradually spreads to the back of the head. It is often accompanied by a thinning of the top of the skull (the vertex). It gradually leaves only a crown of hair at the temples and nape of the neck. Early hair loss develops into severe baldness over time. The advanced stage of this type of alopecia is baldness. Depending on the individual, baldness can be partial or total.
Although baldness is less common in women, even though it is rare, it is more difficult for women when it occurs. Female pattern baldness is a diffuse loss of hair that rarely leads to complete baldness, as it does in men.

Causes of androgenetic alopecia

There are many factors that lead to baldness.
– Hereditary, genetic factors: Heredity often plays a determining role in hair loss in almost 70% of cases. This can be caused by genes influenced not only by one’s own parents, often by the mother, but also by the genes of generations prior to the parents.
– Hormonal factors: In the presence of a favourable genetic background, the hair follicles of the forehead (the top of the head) are sensitive to androgens and especially to dihydrotestosterone, known as DHT or androstanolone (DCI). DHT is a male hormone derived from testosterone in men and androstenedione in women. Testosterone accelerates the life cycle of hair. Over time, hair becomes thinner and shorter and the hair follicles shrink and then stop working. This sensitivity to DHT disrupts the life cycle of the hair follicles, leading to severe hair loss and, in the long term, baldness.
Other hormonal factors can cause temporary or chronic alopecia, such as hormonal changes related to pregnancy, menopause or endocrine disorders.

Age-related factors: Ageing often leads to a decrease in the production of hormones, such as oestrogen, which tends to weaken the scalp. This is a completely normal and natural form of alopecia.
External factors: Stress, overwork, chronic fatigue, emotional shocks and the adoption of unsuitable hygiene for the scalp (shampoo, cream, lotion, etc.), can cause alopecia.
Medical factors: Taking certain medications, such as anabolic steroids, certain statins (anti-cholesterol drugs), migraine and epilepsy drugs, certain antidepressants and chemotherapy, causes hair loss.
Nutritional factors: Hair follicles need sufficient vitamins, trace elements and nutrients to ensure their development. Since they are not usually stored, these nutrients must be supplied to the body, and therefore to the scalp, on a continuous basis.
It is important to consult a good dermatologist as soon as you notice frequent and severe hair loss.

Can androgenetic alopecia be treated?

Hair loss is no longer a fatality. Effective treatments exist to help you forget your alopecia and, if necessary, your baldness. The first thing to do is not to panic and to consult a good dermatologist as soon as possible who will be able to meet your expectations.

A- Medicinal treatments

1- Minoxidil

Minoxidil is a local treatment for androgenetic alopecia that slows down hair loss by stimulating hair growth. Its effect is felt after three months of treatment. As it can irritate the skin, it is important to limit its use to the scalp. There are also other local treatments for androgenetic alopecia, such as Proscar and Alopexy, which give good results.

2- Finasteride (propiticia)

Finasteride is an oral treatment that blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) for men only. Finasteride reduces hair loss in men and may promote hair growth in small amounts in some areas in some individuals. However, it can cause a decrease in libido and erectile dysfunction.

3- The pill for women

When hormonal disorders are responsible for alopecia in women, the doctor may prescribe a contraceptive pill to reduce hormonal fluctuations.

4- Spironolactone for women

Spironolactone is generally used for the treatment of fluid retention caused by certain medical conditions such as liver disease and kidney disease.
It can also be used to treat androgenetic alopecia in women. By slowing down the production of androgens, Spironolactone can help to regrow hair in women. If necessary, it can be combined with Minoxidil.

B- Hair supplements

Partial or complete wigs: much less expensive than a hair transplant, with an immediate effect, they are made to measure to be placed on the bald or thinning area. They give a natural appearance to the hair.
Cosmetic products: this is a large market with a mixture of good and bad quality products. For example, Keratin-based hair powder is useful for incipient alopecia and helps camouflage the thinning area for the day. It is an inexpensive temporary solution.

C- Procedural treatments or hair transplantation

Scientific progress in the medical field has made it possible to find effective alternatives to traditional baldness treatments. Hair transplants or micro-transplants appear to be the salutary solution to androgenetic alopecia.

What is hair transplantation?

Hair transplantation is a surgical operation that consists of collecting hair, usually from the back of the head, and implanting it in the thinning areas of the skull in order to cover the entire head. The area where the hair is collected is called the donor area and the area that receives the hair is called the recipient area. The results of a hair transplant are usually permanent. Hair transplants are the ideal way to get your hair back.

D- PRP treatment.

What is PRP treatment?

PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma is obtained after a blood sample is taken during a routine blood test. Only the platelet-rich plasma is retained from the blood, which contains many growth factors and nutrients that improve hair strength and regrowth and help prevent hair loss by injecting PRP under the scalp with a fine needle. However, PRP does not prevent hair loss but helps it to grow back. It can be used in addition to Minoxidyl treatment.
As PRP comes from your own body, it is a 100% natural product that does not cause allergies or rejection.

How long does the PRP treatment last?

The PRP injection itself takes two minutes, but it takes about 8 minutes longer to draw blood and clot the solution.

What are the results of PRP treatment?

This treatment is a good option prior to capillary implants. In order to optimise hair growth and stabilise hair loss, it is recommended that four sessions be carried out at fortnightly intervals and one maintenance session per year.
The results are progressive but reliable. After the first session, the hair already looks shinier, silkier and thicker to the touch. By the third session, the hair starts to grow back and hair loss is slowed down. The use of the “Miltahead” helmet between each injection session can maximize the results.

Make an appointment…

If you notice any of the symptoms of androgenetic alopecia, don’t wait long. Don’t hesitate to call us to make an appointment at 514 400 3291. We will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with the help your situation requires.