Anti-androgens. Androgens include testosterone and other "male" hormones, which can accelerate hair loss in women. Some women who don't respond to minoxidil may benefit from the addition of the anti-androgen drug spironolactone (Aldactone) for treatment of androgenic alopecia. This is especially true for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) because they tend to make excess androgens. Doctors will usually prescribe spironolactone together with an oral contraceptive for women of reproductive age. (A woman taking one of these drugs should not become pregnant because they can cause genital abnormalities in a male fetus.) Possible side effects include weight gain, loss of libido, depression, and fatigue.
Over the months to follow, I lost hair every day, whether it was in the shower coming out in handfuls or waking up with it all over my pillow. My parents and I tried everything to stop it, injections, steroid creams, immunologists, trichologists, dermatologists… a never ending stream of appointments which always resulted with the same answer -I had Alopecia, no one knew why, what it was from or how I could stop it.
The psychology of hair thinning is a complex issue. Hair is considered an essential part of overall identity: especially for women, for whom it often represents femininity and attractiveness. Men typically associate a full head of hair with youth and vigor. Although they may be aware of pattern baldness in their family, many are uncomfortable talking about the issue. Hair thinning is therefore a sensitive issue for both sexes. For sufferers, it can represent a loss of control and feelings of isolation. People experiencing hair thinning often find themselves in a situation where their physical appearance is at odds with their own self-image and commonly worry that they appear older than they are or less attractive to others. Psychological problems due to baldness, if present, are typically most severe at the onset of symptoms.
After I had my first baby, I started getting post-partum hair shedding, which is totally normal. When you're pregnant you retain all your hair and it's shiny and thick and lovely, and then once you give birth it starts to shed. It can seem quite extreme because you haven't been shedding your hair naturally over time like you would when you're not pregnant, but it's totally normal.
One of the most common yet least talked about symptoms of menopause, hair loss can be devastating for the millions of women who suffer from it. Americans spend upwards of a billion dollars per year on hair loss treatments. According to the American Hair Loss Society, 99% of these treatments are unfortunately ineffective. Most women do not want to sit back and let their hair fall out slowly without taking action. Luckily, there are alternative solutions that are safe and effective for the multitudes of women experiencing hair loss.
Chris Deoudes has been a fitness writer since 2006, with articles published at Bodybuilding.com and Avant Labs. He is certified as a personal trainer by the American Council on Exercise and as a performance sport nutrition specialist by the International Sports Sciences Association. He has a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and business management from the University of Florida.