Scientists in Florida have announced their intention to conduct a double-blind clinical trial into the use of renowned male hair loss drug finasteride on post-menopausal women with Androgenetic Alopecia.
Their goal is to recruit 50 women in the 60-plus age group who have been diagnosed with Female Pattern Hair Loss and split them into two groups. One will be treated with a mixed combination of 5% minoxidil and 200mg spironolactone for 12 months; the other will use 5mg finasteride. Some of this group will be treated with a placebo.
Higher dose than men
What makes the trial especially interesting is that the doctors will be using 5mg finasteride; this is five times the recommended dose for men with Male Pattern Baldness, who can take daily finasteride 1mg oral tablets from the age of 18. Finasteride, however, is not currently recommended for women due to safety concerns such as the potential for foetal abnormalities in those who are or become pregnant.
“This is a very interesting development indeed,” says Belgravia senior hair loss specialist, Leonora Doclis. “The original trial used 1 mg for post-menopausal women and the results were not satisfactory or not as effective, hence it was not licensed. Using 5 mg may control the androgens more effectively in women, resulting in better hair growth.”
“This will be very useful for women if it turns out to be a success due to the fact that the only effective treatment available is minoxidil. A lot of women ask if they can take finasteride but it is not currently licensed for women. What we need as well is a trial for pre-menopausal women to see if finasteride could be effective in both instances.”
The trial is being conducted by The University of Florida whose team will use the Savin-Ludwig scales to determine hair growth (or loss) on participants at four, eight and 12-month intervals. The results are expected to be of significant interest to hair loss experts because of the fact that so many women lose their hair after going through the menopause. Some experts believe that as many as 40 per cent will shed some hair at this already difficult point in their life.
The reason thinning hair is so common when women pass through the menopause is because of the part that hormones play in hair health; at a time of major changes within the body, the normal growth of hair can often be interrupted. Hormonal changes are a key factor in sparking the temporary hair loss condition Telogen Effluvium which can then, in turn, trigger Female Pattern Hair Loss in women with a pre-existing hereditary disposition.
Holistic approach to hair loss
Taking an holistic approach to each client, hair loss specialists tailor personalised plans featuring hair growth boosters alongside clinically-proven treatments to maximise their chances of regrowth. This is in addition to providing lifestyle, hair- and scalp-care advice to get the most out of the experience and Belgravia’s many years of experience.
One thing that Belgravia doesn’t provide is spironolactone. Though it is being used in the Florida trial, this anti-androgen which inhibits the effect of the male sex hormones is sometimes sold as a hair loss treatment, though it is not widely considered to be the most effective product on the market.
We will monitor this study and report back on its findings as soon as they become available. In the meantime please be advised that any female readers must not take finasteride for hair loss or any other reason unless prescribed by your GP or other medical professional, and men taking or starting finasteride 1mg for male pattern baldness must not increase their dosage.
The Belgravia Centre
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.