Women and Propecia Side Effects – What the Research Says

A lot has been written about Propecia side effects when it comes to men. But what about women? We all know that women lose their hair as well, even though women typically experience it differently than men. Men tend to suffer from male pattern baldness at the upper temples and the crown of the head, while women tend to lose hair more uniformly across their entire scalp, in a gradual thinning. However it happens, hair loss is an issue for both males and females.

Originally created as a treatment for enlarged prostate and marketed as Proscar (generic name finasteride), Propecia is a hair-loss medication that many people turn to. And while the American Hair Loss Association lists this remedy as a medication that women can take, it should be noted that the FDA has yet to approve it for women because there’s not sufficient research. This means that the potential side effects for women are not sufficiently known either. Women are generally advised not to use the medication while pregnant or to get pregnant while using it, due to the risk posed to the developing fetus due to finasteride’s hormonal effects. But with so much unknown, how safe are women taking it?

Propecia for women
The role Propecia plays in female pattern hair loss is still controversial. The results are varying with some showing success and other failure.

Studies on Propecia Side Effects in Women

There have been a few studies focused on using Propecia for reversing hair loss in women, with different results. A yearlong study from 2000 did not find Propecia was effective for women, but did also not find any negative side effects. The study involved 137 postmenopausal women who received 1 mg Propecia daily.  More recent case studies have reached the conclusion that finasteride could be effective for female pattern hair loss if the dose was increased to between 2.5 mg and 5 mg daily.

A 2012 study designed to find the exact minimal effective dosage, used 1.25 mg daily for 28 weeks. This study concluded that while the treatment did show results, it was probably not the most efficient dosage. Patients showed increased hair density and hair loss stopped, but hair growth did not return. So while researchers have not found the optimal dosage, Propecia’s role in female pattern hair loss is still controversial.

While some women with female pattern hair loss might benefit from Propecia, a better understanding of the side-effects and ideal dosage are needed. Some of the known side effects for women that have been observed are heat flashes, increased body hair growth, and sweating—although the same effects were observed in women who received a placebo treatment, and could be related to menopause. The main concern is that Propecia can affect male fetuses, including signs of feminization and various birth defects. The drug is so potent that pregnant women are advised to not even touch crushed or broken tablets because Propecia can be absorbed through the skin.

How Does Propecia Work in Women?

Hair loss continues to be a common problem and is normally even more distressing and upsetting for women than for men. Our hair plays a huge part in our self-image and losing it prematurely and unwantedly is likely to affect our self-esteem. Women will twice as often as men become very-to-extremely upset when experiencing hair loss. This means there will always be a market for a hair loss treatment that works, and researchers are still hard at work trying to find it.

Different types of hair loss require different approaches. While male pattern baldness is primarily caused by sensitivity to testosterone, this is not the root cause of all female pattern hair loss. Women also produce a certain amount of testosterone, but only some women that suffer from hair loss display an elevated amount of the hormone.

Propecia, or finasteride, works by targeting the enzyme type II 5α-reductase. This enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone in our bodies to the more potent male hormone dihydrotestosterone, DHT, which causes hair loss. It was initially believed that finasteride would be effective in treating hair loss in women who had an elevated amount of testosterone, so called hyperandrogenism. But results from studies were inconsistent, and as mentioned above, success was not universal.

Still a Few Question Marks

In conclusion, there is no clear evidence either one way or the other, and Propecia may or may not work for you. Further research into what kind of woman is a good candidate for this medication must be conducted. Researchers also have little information on what the optimal dosage for women is. Any noticeable results may take at least 6 months, and in some cases even longer. And much like when men are using Propecia, the effects are not sustained without continued treatment.

What You Can Do Instead

Take a look at your habits. If you do not feel like risking anything and want another solution to your hair loss, start by treating the underlying problem. If it is not genetic, your hair loss could be caused by factors like stress, lack of sleep, lack of certain nutrients or an unhealthy lifestyle. Make sure you eat enough protein, since protein is the main building block of hair. Drinking enough water and exercising regularly also helps.

Check with your doctor. It could also be a thyroid disorder, hormonal imbalance or skin infection like scalp fungus. Getting a proper diagnosis is key to solving your individual issue.

Look over your medications. In some cases, sensitivity to a certain medication can contribute to and worsen hair loss. This even goes for common medications like Aleve, Motrin or antidepressants.

Take care of your hair. Avoid hairstyles that pull or tug on your hair like tight braids, cornrows or hair extensions. Do not wash your hair too often, and use a natural shampoo and conditioner – or even homemade ones. Skip the hairspray and other products with chemicals for a while.

Choose a natural supplement. Taking a supporting supplement or vitamins that you suspect you are deficient in could go a long way.

Going Bald? Fear Not, Scientists are Developing a New Cure for Baldness

new research and possible cure for for male baldness

There are definitely some people out there who can pull off “the bald look”, but if we are going to be really honest – most of us would prefer to have the choice between a lush mane and shaving it all off. Today between 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States experience complete or partial loss of hair, a condition that can cause feelings such as embarrassment, low self esteem and even stress.

Throughout history, hair has always played an important roll in a person’s self-image, but also the image they present to others. For men, a healthy head of hair has been equated with vigor and virility; for women it has represented femininity and beauty. Losing hair can greatly alter those impressions.

But due to a number of researchers who believe in the magic of stem cells, there is increasing hope that the regrowth of human hair will soon be possible – all thanks to a few optimistic researchers, and some laboratory mice.

Dr. Cheng-Ming Chuong, professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, California, is the senior investigator of a study published in August 2017, by the National Academy of Sciences and funded by the National Institutes of Health.

He and his team of researchers were researching a way in which hair follicles can be grown from skin cells reproduced in-vitro in the lab. In the study, the researchers outlined a step-by-step sequence of events in the production of hair follicles from skin. They were able to generate hair by uncovering the major molecular events that are needed for the growth of the skin. The discovery was made possible by testing the sequence on mice.

New research for male baldness
A team of researchers are discovering a way in which hair follicles can be grown from skin cells.

Many aging individuals do not grow hair well because cells lose their regenerative ability over time. With these new findings, the researchers were able to make adult mouse cells produce hair again, Dr. Chuong states in a press release.

The researchers at the lab cannot confirm when exactly human trials can begin, but they are optimistic that their findings can soon treat conditions such as alopecia and baldness. The procedure would use the patient’s own steam cells in order to grow skin that has hair follicles. This first step would happen in a lab, and afterwards the skin would be transplanted onto the bald areas of the scalp.

Lay the Groundwork for Healthier Hair by Taking a Supplement

The new stem cell research is very exciting, but this is not a procedure that will become an option for people with thinning hair today. By taking a supplement that works from within, strengthening the health of both your body and your hair, you can lay the groundwork today for future healthy hair growth! Nutrafol’s supplement is especially designed to provide the essential nutrients for growing hair as well as target the potential triggers of thinning hair. With thorough research, its team of doctors has been digging deeper to find the root causes of compromised hair health and uncover the underlying factors of hair thinning.

Nutrafol has been shown to raise levels of the body’s natural antioxidant defenses, combat aging, increase factors that support the follicles and boost the immune system. With this, the damaged follicles are given a chance to heal from within.

Balance is Key When It Comes to Healthy Hair

Each follicle has its own independent biological clock that ticks and signals the follicle to grow hair, lose hair or lay dormant. However, when it is out of balance, under attack, or its environment is altered, the process of hair production is disrupted.

New science proves how a multitude of internal and external triggers create an imbalance in the body’s immune system and metabolic pathways, making supplements a good future investment for your hair.

Dr. Cheng-Ming Chuong and his researchers are, like the doctors at Nutrafol, working hard to understand and combat hair loss. Take charge of your own hair health today by taking a supplement that provides essential nutrients to your hair and your body!

August is National Hair Loss Awareness Month – This is What You Can Do

August is National Hair Loss Awareness Month – This is What You Can Do

We are in the beginning of National Hair Loss Awareness Month, and experts say this time of year is about talking about the reality of suffering from hair loss. The focus should be on prevention and treatment.

Did you know that as many as two-thirds of American men will experience hair loss as early as at the age of 35? And although this problem is more associated with men, about 40 % of women experience visible hair thinning by the age of 40.

Dr. Alan Bauman of Bauman Medical, who is a leader in the field of hair treatments, has some advice on how to keep your hair healthy and avoid losing it. His cheat sheet for prevention of excessive hair loss is as follows:

Prevention

  1. Desire. Be aware of your hair and keep the desire to maintain its health. Your hair is a direct reflection of your health and vitality. Keep an eye on what it looks like, and if you start noticing signs of thinning, do not wait. Get help right away. Research shows that many people who begin treatment for their hair loss wish they had started sooner. The chance of treating the problem effectively also increases the earlier you seek help.
  2. August is National Hair Loss Awareness Month – This is What You Can Do
    Many women do not talk about their hair loss, but it is a common problem that many times is preventable.

    Detect, diagnose and measure early. Get yourself to a dermatologist, doctor or hair specialist to get diagnosed as soon as you notice something out of the ordinary.

  3. Identify risk factors. Hair thinning is hereditary, so any family history of lost hair will be of importance. But hair loss is also caused by outer factors. Some examples are smoking, over using styling tools, leading an unhealthy lifestyle or eating certain medications. Hormones are also very important. Many women experience hair loss or thinning during or after menopause.
  4. Early treatment. Once you are diagnosed, do not wait to take action. There are as many different treatments as there are reasons for hair loss, so make sure to discuss all aspects of your symptoms with your MD. For some, eating supplements could be enough, as lack of certain nutrients can contribute to thinning hair. For others, a change of lifestyle or even a medical procedure could be in order.
  5. Work with a credentialed specialist. Dr. Bauman advices to not trust people claiming to be a healer of some kind, or people who lack credentials. Base your decision in scientific research and check any practitioner’s reviews online.

Women Often Suffer From Hair Loss in Silence

As women’s hair loss is less talked about, women often feel like they cannot talk about their problems. But the issue often feels way worse if you believe you are totally alone in it. The fact is there are many specific types of hair loss that affect women primarily. They often have to do with stress, hormones, wearing the hair in too tight a style, or reactions to chemotherapy after breast cancer treatment.

During National Hair Loss Awareness Month it should be time to open up about women’s suffering from hair thinning. Women do make up 40 percent of American hair loss sufferers, and the toll it can take on a person’s self esteem and emotional wellbeing can be devastating. Bringing awareness to the problem to get rid of the stigma surrounding it is a first step towards allowing more women to seek help.