Drug Trial To End Bad Hair Days For Bald Women

For men coping with baldness, the solution can be as simple as shaving their head. But for women the effects can be devastating. Losing their hair often means a loss of femininity and sense of self-esteem. With rates of anxiety and depression high among sufferers, some even resort to tattooing their heads to hide thinning patches on their scalps.

But a world-first trial at a Melbourne hospital is offering hope to the estimated 700,000 Australian women affected by severe hair loss.

Doctors at St Vincent’s aim to prove that a drug used to reduce excessive facial and body hair can stop hair loss on the scalp of women, as well as stimulate partial hair growth in up to a third of sufferers.

They hope that this evidence will encourage doctors — many of whom tell women there is no treatment for hair loss — to prescribe the tablets more widely.

Eventually the plan is to develop the drug in an implant form, which would allow women to receive treatment for up to three years at a time without the need for a daily tablet. A patch like those used by smokers trying to kick the habit would also be trialled.

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