Male pattern baldness or any other sort of hair loss is extremely common in most men and even many women. Everyone has the choice to live with their mature…
Male pattern baldness or any other sort of hair loss is extremely common in most men and even many women. Everyone has the choice to live with their mature hairline, but many want to do something about it. Rob Angelino, founder of HAIRLAB, a medical and natural hair restoration center located in Beverly Hills, California, explains the most effective hair loss treatments and how they work:
What’s the most effective method of regrowing hair?
A hair transplant is by far the most effective treatment to grow your own hair and have it last forever. As this is a complicated and expensive procedure, we always try to make it a last resort. We first see if some of the other treatments work before we move to surgery.
How effective are drugs on the market like Rogaine and Propecia?
Rogaine (also known as Minoxidil) has been around for 25 years and has been approved by FDA to be sold over the counter. It’s a vasodilator, which means it increases the blood flow to the areas where you rub it in. This increase in circulation promotes hair regrowth, but the hair you grow is mostly pretty thin and wispy hair. Most patients don’t like Rogaine because the actual substance is sticky and you have to apply it twice a day. While there is the new Rogaine Foam which is easier to apply, it is still not a be-all end-all solution. The non-FDA approved stuff out there works just as well too. Whenever we do a hair transplant, we do recommend using Rogaine for a week after we complete the procedure to increase blood flow to the scalp. We usually tell clients to go through one course of Rogaine about a week post-op, and if they want to, they can continue to use it afterward too.
Propecia, generically known as finasteride, is a synthetic drug you take orally via a 1 milligram pill. It blocks the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is the metabolite that causes baldness. While it was originally used for enlarged prostates, they found a side effect of the drug was it caused hair growth in bald men. It is a male-only drug and very effective. I have personally been on it for 8.5 years. Though there are a lot of negative rumors swirling about regarding Propecia, including risks of birth defects in children, I have never had any side effects nor seen any evidence of this. I fathered two healthy children while on it, so the rumors are totally untrue. You can find out more information at . On their site, they show twins with similar hair loss problems and the twin using Propecia clearly shows that he stopped losing and even regained his hair. It definitely works and here at HAIRLAB as we have written thousands of prescriptions for Propecia.
Are there any home remedies or preventative measures that work?
Natural supplements, Rogaine, and laser photo therapy all work. And you don’t need a prescription for any of those! You can get all sorts of different types of lasers that can be used in your own home. They are sold as standalone floor units or as hand-held. The standalone unit goes over your head and has 90 to 150 beams in it which bathes your scalp with red laser light. The lasers stimulate cell metabolism which allows scalp cells to repair and grow. The downside of hand-held unit is obviously that you have to hold it up to your head for 15 minutes, which can be annoying. Remember to be careful not to look up as staring into laser will cause vision damage. Always keep it unplugged and out of the reach of children.
If none of those alternatives work, we can always move to hair transplant surgery, but we try to provide alternatives before we decide to do such the more advanced and expensive procedure.
The information in the article is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.