PCOS related hair loss - more than one treatment needed

Multimodal treatments are usually necessary for PCOS. The ideal is usually a combination of minoxidil, oral contraceptives, spironolactone and low level laser. I always advise that patients see their dermatologist or endocrinologist for advice. Certainly, these treatments aren't appropriate for everyone. inoxidil helps 30 % of women with genetic hair loss, but not everyone. It helps halt loss and may improve hair density a bit. It can thicken hair a little bit and promote growth of dormant hair. As many are aware,  shedding is common in months 1 and 2. 

PCOS related thinning usually requires more than 1 treatment for most effective results. I like to add zinc (periodically) and selenium to my general recommendations as well. 

Razavi et al studied the effect of receiving either 200 μg selenium daily (n=32) or placebo (n=32) for 8 weeks. Jamilian et al studied the effect of  220 mg zinc sulfate (containing 50 mg zinc) (n = 24) or placebo (n = 24) for 8 weeks.  Although the short in duration, both studies showed an improvement in various clinical parameters and improved hair growth.



Razavi M, Jamilian M, Kashan ZF et al. Selenium supplementation and the effects on reproductive outcomes, biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.  Horm Metab Res. 2015 Aug 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Jamilian M, Foroozanfard F, Bahmani F et al. Effects of zinc sypplementation on endocrine outcomes in women with polcystic ovarian syndrome: a randomized, double-blind placebo controlled trial. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2015 Aug 28. 


Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887

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