Hair loss in female pattern baldness is permanent, if not treated. In most cases, hair loss is mild to moderate. You do not need treatment if you are comfortable with your appearance.
The only medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat female pattern baldness is minoxidil:
- It is applied to the scalp.
- For women, the 2% concentration is recommended.
- Minoxidil may help hair grow in about 1 in 4 or 5 of women. In most women, it may slow or stop hair loss.
- You must continue to use this medicine for a long time. Hair loss starts again when you stop using it.
If minoxidil does not work, your doctor may recommend other medicines, such as spironolactone, cimetidine, birth control pills, ketoconazole, among others. Your doctor can tell you more about these if needed.
During hair transplant, tiny plugs of hair are removed from areas where hair is thicker, and placed (transplanted) in areas that are balding. Minor scarring may occur where hair is removed. There is a slight risk of skin infection. You will likely need many transplants, which can be expensive. However, the results are often excellent and permanent.
Hair weaving, hairpieces, or a change in hairstyle can help hide hair loss and improve your appearance. This is often the least expensive and safest way to deal with female pattern baldness.