We found no systematic review. Several RCTs demonstrate that minoxidil 2% solution applied twice daily can increase test area hair counts and hair weights in women with AGA.16,27,28 Most trials were done for at least 1 year. When effective, minoxidil solution increased visible hair density within 6 months. After 6 months, no further increase should be expected. A large American multicentre study involved 308 women with AGA; 256 women completed the trial. In the minoxidil group, there was an increase of 23 non-vellus hairs in a 1 cm2 test area, compared with 11 hairs in the placebo group. By investigator assessment, no woman in the study had "dense" regrowth of hair; 13% of the minoxidil treated women had "moderate" regrowth of hair and 50% had "minimal" regrowth of hair, compared with 6% and 33% respectively, in the placebo group.27

Which topical or systemic treatment can stop further hair loss and increase hair density in women?

Figure 42.2 Typical female pattern hair loss in a 35-year-old patient.

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