I am a 42 year old female with diffuse hair loss diagnosed as androgenic alopecia from a scalp biopsy. I am currently being treated with Yazmin, continuous active pill, spironolactone 200mg and Avodart since May 2006. I have had significant progress but some reaction (dry and itchy) to the spiro. I am considering trying a different protocol because I don’t like being on 3 meds especially when I am not gettin as much improvement as I would like, and some concerns about being on 3 medications. I looked in to a hair loss clinic that uses the following combination – 1. An herbal DHT blocker that includes many supplements I have read about for hair loss, 2. A topical treatment that include minoxidil in a carrier solution to neutralize the negative effects of etoh on the scalp, 3. Regular in clinic laser therapy that has 70 lasers (as opposed to 1 used in the comb) 4 A co-enzyme to stimulate hair growth. Do you think this regime is a viable alternative to the three medications? I know any of these treatments takes months to show effect so I am trying to make as informed a decision as possible since the prospect of counting 250 hairs in the shower again is very scary to me.
You are on several treatments and are considering more. Of those treatments, some are not proven effective for women with male pattern baldness and some have exclusive and limited indications. The DHT blocker finasteride has been studied in women with androgenetic alopecia. Although effective for men, this medication was not proven to be effective for women. Dutasteride (Avodart), another DHT blocker, has never been studied for this purpose in women.
Using lasers for treatment of hair loss has been controversial and although advertised extensively, is not yet (in my opinion) proven to be effective. If it helps at all, the benefit will be new hair growth in the 10% range. Application of spironolactone for treatment of alopecia is limited to some patients with elevated levels of androgen. Topical DHT blockers have a theoretical value in men, but they have not been studied and should be no better in women than systemic DHT blockers like finasteride.
You seem to be determined to fight the baldness, an admirable trait. The best thing you can do is to find a good dermatologist for a thorough evaluation to be assured that you do not have a medical cause of hair loss which is common in women. Using anecdotal modalities for treatment of your condition may be disappointing at the end, let alone the money and time that you lose.