Hair loss. Who should I see who will make proper diagnosis?

I am a 39 year old woman and my hair is thinning and I can see some bald spots. I recently saw a dermatologist and she just looked once (for a few seconds) and prescribed Rogaine for men. I am guessing I went to the wrong doctor. Who should I see who will make proper diagnosis?

Doctor Answers 5

Hair loss. Who should I see who will make proper diagnosis?

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Loss of hair is a natural process when it is between the limits that the body can restore them. When the capacity of the body to restore the hair loss is beaten by the excessive hair loss then we can name this situation something that should be treated. Women started to experience balding even more in the last 2 decades

A chemical mixture is used in the classical hair transplantation method in order to increase the volume of the scalp. This process helps surgeon to work comfortably however it was observed that these chemicals also harm the scalp tissue. This result in decreased viability of new transplanted hair grafts.

However a mixture containing adipose derived stem cells is injected to the scalp in the “Organic Hair Transplantation” for the same purposes. Injection of this mixture result in rejuvenation of the scalp without causing any harm. Surgeon can also work more comfortably after the injection of the mixture since the volume of the scalp is increased

Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Go to a doctor who specialize in hair

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Go to a doctor who specialize in hair.  Look up hair transplant or hair restoration surgeons on the Internet in your area.  Dermatologist are capable of examining your hair and making a diagnosis.  You may want to go back to your dermatologist and ask for the diagnosis and explanation.  It may be a communication issue.

Jae Pak, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Hair loss in women

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It's important to see a dermatologist who specializes in hair loss. Hair loss in women can sometimes be more challenging to diagnose than in men. Without seeing your scalp, and knowing more about your history I can't determine the cause of your thinning. 

If you indeed have genetic hair loss, the first step could be "Rogaine for Men" as you have stated. The ingredient in "Rogaine for Men" is minoxidil and minoxidil foam can be used for women - however it's once per day (for women) rather than twice per day (for men).   Nowadays, there is a Women's Rogaine that can be purchased but it's the same ingredient as the men's Rogaine. 

In other words, it could very well turn out the the advice given was the correct advice. If genetic hair loss is what you have, other options like low level laser therapy, PRP and spironolactone (all off label treatments) could be considered under the direction of your dermatologist.  Drugs like finasteride (Propecia) are not FDA approved for women and generally aren't used in premenopausal women if spironolactone wasn't tried first. 

All in all there are many treatments. Getting the proper diagnosis helps determine what treatments to use. 

Jeff Donovan, MD, PhD
Vancouver Dermatologist

Thinning Hair -- Rogaine, Propecia, Viviscal, Progesterone, PRP

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If you have thinning hair you really need an evaluation to see if it is genetic or from another cause like stress or autoimmune. If it is determined to be genetic there are many options and traditional treatments like rogaine foam and propecia pills can be used. I have great success in my practice using injectable progesterone and prp to the scalp. I suggest seeing a dermatologist with expertise in hair loss. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Hair loss at 39 years old

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Your biggest enemy is the progressive nature of balding that comes about from genetic male patterned hair loss. The best way to make this diagnosis is to get Bulk Measurements of your hair to determine where your present balding is now. This will make the diagnosis and then after you go on the medications like finasteride which is specific for male patterned genetic loss, such measurements will tell if the treatment is working when the test is repeated one year later. If you are developing a more advanced balding pattern which the Bulk Measurements will show over a one year time frame, then you and your doctor need to develop a MASTER PLAN on what to do about it..

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.