What Kinds of Drugs Are Prescribed to Treat Hair Loss?
If you’re experiencing hair loss, you’re not alone. Many men start to notice thinning hair in their 30’s and 40’s. The question is, what’s normal, and what’s not? Most humans shed about 50 to 100 strands of hair a day, and this is considered normal. However, genetics as well as overall health can play a big part in deciding if you will lose hair or not. For example, if the people on your father’s side of the family have thin hair or started balding early, you’re more susceptible to it yourself. Hair loss that comes as a part of aging tends to be irreversible. While there are some effective treatments for some types of hair loss, hair loss caused by aging is generally permanent. Other hair loss, such as patchy alopecia –caused by illness, hormones, trauma or stress — is temporary and will regrow within a year or so.
What Treatments Are Prescribed to Prevent balding?
Treatments for balding or thinning hair vary. It depends on the type of hair loss you are experiencing, your health status, and your personal preferences. Generally, a combination approach can include medications, surgery, laser therapy, creams or natural supplements.
The goals of treatment for hair loss are as follows: promote hair growth, slow hair loss, and supplement your hair loss in a way you feel comfortable, cosmetically. This may mean you use a prescription and wear a hairpiece. Or, you may want to try hair plug surgery and take natural supplements to promote hair growth.
There are really only two prescribed drug treatments for hair loss that your doctor may recommend to you. We’ll go over each of them below.
Using Minoxidil (Rogaine) for Hair Growth
Minoxidil is an over-the-counter cream, liquid or foam that you will apply to your scalp twice a day. It is available to be used by men and women. This treatment can help stimulate hair growth and slow hair loss. Usually, you will get the maximum benefit by your 16th week of applying it. You will need to continue applying it to retain the benefits, however.
Be careful when applying this liquid. If you accidentally get it on a body part and don’t clean up immediately, you may experience hair growth in places you may not want it. Minoxidil is available under many drug names, but most people are familiar with the brand name Rogaine.
Taking Finasteride (Propecia) for Hair Loss
If you are looking for a pill to keep from going bald, then Finasteride, also known commonly under the brand name Propecia, can be taken daily small doses. This pill actually can interfere with the cause of male pattern baldness. (Unfortunately, this drug is not available to women.) It works by lowering dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels, which are a byproduct of testosterone that essentially “choke” hair follicles to the point they can’t do their job anymore. Dermatologists recommend that men experiencing typical pattern baldness start taking this drug at the first signs of hair loss. In the first 5 years of usage, over 85% of users say they that have experienced less hair loss. Some hair regrowth is even possible if you start taking it early enough.
Like Rogaine, you must continue to take the drug to reap its benefits.
Choosing A Treatment for Thinning Hair
All drugs have side effects that may interact with other medications, so it’s best to seek the advice of a doctor before trying a treatment on your own. You may want to supplement your treatment with natural solutions as well, such as a biotin supplement or shampoo. It’s really up to you, your goals, and what you are comfortable with. There are many options available for hair loss and you’re sure to find the one that’s right for you on this website, so please read on!