Women who suffer from androgenetic alopecia, or female pattern baldness, may not be aware that there are options for treatment. Pattern baldness in women is usually experienced as diffuse thinning all over the scalp, sometimes starting at the part or on the crown of the head. This disease is hereditary and caused by the actions of hormones, specifically DHT, according to the American Hair Loss Association. There is no cure but treatments can prevent further hair loss
Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. There are other forms of alopecia, such as alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease; traction alopecia, which is trauma to the hair follicles caused by tight hairstyles; telogen effluvium, caused by severe stress; and anagen effluvium, chemically induced alopecia. Some of these are only temporary hair loss but not all of them.
Even anagen effluvium isn’t always temporary as expected. Some chemotherapy drugs such as Taxotere, used to treat many women with breast cancer, have been found to have the risk of permanent hair loss, damaging the hair follicles so that treatments cannot repair the damage that’s been done.
But treatment can benefit some women struggling with hair loss that hasn’t been caused by chemotherapy. Women with pattern baldness might benefit from using a dome laser device, which is one option for treatment. Results of a recent study of one such device published in Dermatologic Surgery looked promising — both safe and effective, according to Healio.
Researchers conducted a 17-week study of active laser treatment applied for 30 minutes a day every other day. They used a low-level diode laser dome, which has the appearance of a sports hat but is equipped with 272 5-mW diode lasers. Forty-four healthy women between the ages of 18 and 60 volunteered to participate in the study knowing they would either receive the laser treatment or a placebo. At the end of the 17 weeks of self treatment the researchers were able to analyse results of 40 of the patients, 19 from the active treatment group and 21 who had used the placebo, known as the “sham device.”
Healio reports that the researchers found no adverse events in either group and a 51 percent increase in hair counts in the group that received the low-level diode laser treatment compared to those who used the placebo.
“The study demonstrates that low-level laser treatment of the scalp every other day for 17 weeks using the dome laser device is a safe and effective treatment of androgenetic alopecia in healthy females between the ages of 18 to 60 with Fitzpatrick skin types I to IV and Ludwig-Savin Baldness Scale I-2 to II-2 baldness patterns,” the researchers concluded. “These results suggest that the emerging technology of low-level laser therapy may play a potentially significant role in health care providers’ armamentarium for the disease [androgenetic alopecia].”
American Hair Loss Association