There is no “cure” for hair loss, but a prescription from your dermatologist may be on the horizon. An observational study in the International Journal of Dermatology suggests that taking low doses of both spironolactone (a drug typically used to treat high blood pressure and acne) and oral minoxidil (the active ingredient in Rogaine) can help combat female-pattern hair loss. 100 testers popped a combo pill once daily for 12 months.
It’s science, not magic. When ingested together in this one pill, the two drugs act synergistically and tackle different problems associated with thinning hair. Spironolactone stops hair shedding by inhibiting the effects of androgens (like testosterone) that combine with a particular enzyme to create a hormone that causes hair loss, explains study author Rodney Sinclair, a dermatologist in Australia. Minoxidil, on the other hand, works to widen the hair fibers and stimulates growth.
When taking this pill over a period of one year, testers across a wide age range (they were between the ages of 18 and 80) saw a fuller head of hair and decreased fallout. They started seeing results within three to six months, and were shedding approximately three times less by the end of the trial. As expected, some experienced a few side effects, including hair growth in unexpected places (i.e. their faces) — which is nothing a wax or some tweezers can’t fix. Some saw urticaria (itchy, raised skin or hives) and low blood pressure, and those who saw these side effects were asked to cease use of the pill.
So what does this mean for future? For those suffering female-pattern baldness, with a few tweaks and clinical trials, there could be a treatment that can drastically alter the state of their scalps. There is potential for a little pill to be the answer to female-pattern hair loss. So sure, it is science, but it could be a little magic too.
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