Study published in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Efficacy of finasteride in postmenopausal women with androgenetic alopec (Androgenetic Alopcia (AGA) Female Pattern)
Finasterid is a type II 5-alpha reductase (5AR), 1mg finasteride is marketed under the brand name Propecia for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Finasteride works by inhibiting 5AR, an enzyme that is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to DHT. DHT is commonly suggested as the main reason for male pattern baldness.
The effect of finasteride in women with androgenetic alopecia AGA is largely unknown.
Finasteride is generally not recommended for women with pattern baldness. One of the main reasons is because finasteride may cause birth defects.
Some doctors, however, may consider prescribing finasteride to women, but only if they are post menopausal.
In a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 137 postmenopausal women who were also experiencing AGA were involved in a 1 year study, double-blind, placebo-controlled. It was a randomized, multicenter trial involving test subjects between the age of 41 to 60 years old.
The test subjects were given either 1 mg finasteride daily or the placebo.
The efficacy was evaluated by performing scalp hair counts, patient and investigator assessments, assessment of global photographs by a blinded expert panel as well as analysis of scalp biopsy specimens.
The following results and conclusion were reported in the Journal:
After 1 year of therapy, there was no significant difference in the change in hair count between the finasteride and placebo groups. … did not demonstrate any improvement in slowing hair thinning, increasing hair growth, or improving the appearance of the hair in finasteride-treated subjects compared with the placebo group. Finasteride was generally well tolerated.
In postmenopausal women with AGA, finasteride 1 mg/day taken for 12 months did not not increase hair growth or slow the progression of hair thinning."