Non-Surgical (Medical) Hair Loss Options
How to Choose Among the Range of Treatments
Hair transplant surgery is certainly not the only option for individuals experiencing baldness, nor is it used to the exclusion of other types of male hair loss treatment. For many patients, a combination of hair restoration surgery and prescription medication can produce the best results.
Many physicians now recommend that medical treatment of significant hair loss begin as soon as a problem is evident. Two medications are frequently prescribed for male hair loss treatment. Both of these prescriptions must be used continually in order to work. Individuals who stop using the medication will experience hair thinning once again.
- Finasteride (Propecia®) is an oral prescription used alone or in tandem with hair transplant surgery. Finasteride can regrow hair in some men and stop hair loss in an even higher percentage of men. It helps slow or reverse baldness by decreasing the production of DHT, the hormone chiefly responsible for male pattern hair loss. It has been proven safe and effective and does not reduce testosterone in men.
- Minoxidil (Rogaine®) is a topical solution that has been in existence for over 15 years, and it is used by both men and women who experience significant hair loss. It helps to slow down hair loss but is less effective at stimulating new hair growth. Men can use the stronger solution (5%), but women must use a less concentrated formula (2%), because higher concentrations can stimulate facial hair.
Some men choose non-medical means to camouflage hair loss. Various colored creams, powders and sprays are available to help minimize the appearance of thinning hair. Other men purchase hairpieces that are attached through weaves, clips, or adhesives.
These options, however, do not provide the desirable, natural look and feel of hair restoration surgery.