Effective medical treatment for common baldness in women

    C. H. Mortimer, H. Gil Rushton, Kenneth James
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    TLDR Antiandrogen therapy helped increase hair growth in women with hormonal imbalances related to baldness.
    In a 1984 study, 19 women aged 18-43 with common baldness underwent endocrine evaluations, revealing hormonal imbalances. Three women with diffuse scalp hair loss and a family history of balding were treated with cyclical antiandrogen therapy (CAT) for 52 weeks. These women experienced increased hair density, a higher number of thicker hairs, and a greater percentage of hairs in the anagen phase, while three untreated control patients saw no improvement. CAT also led to higher plasma sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels and lower plasma testosterone. One patient with severe depression related to hair loss showed significant improvement without psychotropic drugs. The treatment involved cyproterone acetate and ethinyl oestradiol, which increased plasma SHBG, decreased testosterone, and suppressed ovarian function. Hair density increased from 118/cm² to 155/cm² after 26 and 52 weeks, and the number of thicker hairs also increased. The study concluded that CAT is effective in halting hair loss and promoting hair growth in women with certain endocrine profiles, and it may also offer psychological benefits. Further research was suggested to determine the optimal treatment duration and the efficacy of topical antiandrogens.
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