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Dermatologists Can Help Women Win the Fight Against Common Forms of Hair Loss
Date:3/4/2010

r women, the first sign of hair loss that they often notice is a widening of their part or their ponytail is smaller," said Dr. Mercurio.

Minoxidil 2% is the only topical medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for female-pattern hair loss, and minoxidil 5% is only FDA-approved for male-pattern hair loss. However, Dr. Mercurio pointed out that minoxidil 5% has been shown to be very effective in women as well, but encourages women to consult a dermatologist before starting the treatment because it can sometimes increase facial hair growth in women. Both the 2% and 5% solutions are available over-the-counter in a liquid, and the 5% is also available in a foam. While minoxidil does not grow new hair, it works by prolonging the growth phase of hair – providing more time for hair to grow out to its full density. Dr. Mercurio stressed that women must be patient with this treatment, as noticeable results usually take three to four months and the product must be used twice a day.

Since there is no structural problem with the hair with female-pattern hair loss, women should continue their regular hair styling regimen. "Sometimes women experiencing hair loss think they should stop washing, coloring or perming their hair, but these things won't impact the course of hair loss or speed up the process," said Dr. Mercurio.

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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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