Treatment options for hair loss in women

July 30, 2012 4:05:25 AM PDT
Hair loss is a potentially devastating problem that one in every four women will have to face. But there's some new research and good news behind that statistic and the science of hair loss.

Stress is one of the top reasons for female hair loss, or telogen effluvium. In fact, new research shows the second strongest predictor of central hair loss in women is their marital status. Divorce or death of a spouse can actually thin your tresses.

Other reasons for hair loss include major surgery, weight loss or medications.

To treat it, try biotin or iron supplements, hormone replacement therapy, or Minoxidil. A good source of it is the popular male hair stimulator Rogaine.

"Rogaine definitely is worth using. It works better in women than in men," said hair transplant surgery specialist Dr. Marina Pizarro.

Another top hair loss factor? Excessive styling. A Cleveland Clinic study found 30 percent of middle-aged black women are balding due to everything from chemicals to tight braids and ponytails. To protect your locks, set your hair dryer on low, keep your styling tools at or below 347 degrees Fahrenheit, and heat your locks no more than two or three times a week. Avoid products with ammonia and styles that pull on the hair.

"It's like an internal clock that says at such age, you're going to start losing your hair, and it doesn't matter. It's a family trait," said Pizarro.

A new study from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine found that excessive drinking and smoking also boost the risk for hair loss in women.

Research shows the drug Minoxidil, found in Rogaine, is especially effective in younger women with hair loss.

Pizarro says the earlier you begin treating the condition causing the hair loss, the better chance you'll have at regrowing healthy hair.

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