Does Male Hair Loss Treatment Work (Facts and Myths)?
Did you know that about 85 percent of men experience a significant thinning hair in the age of 50s – according to AHLA (the American Hair Loss Association)? Even some can experience premature hair loss before the age of 21. This is the reason of why there are also a lot of male hair growth products and treatments. The problem is not all of these products work effectively. Furthermore, the cause of the problem often involves numerous different factors.
So, does male hair loss treatment work? The answer can vary from person to person. While some men find a specific treatment can be helpful enough to reduce their thinning hair problem, others don’t!
Hair loss both in men and women has been learned for a long time, but in fact the problem is not fully understood yet. However, a few improvements are found, which some may provide a hope of curing the problem.
As mentioned frequently on the previous post, the prognosis of the problem is closely related with the cause of the problem. If the problem has to do with a genetic trait or certain medical condition, medical intervention is usually necessary to fix the problem.
Unfortunately, most cases of male hair loss problem (about almost 95 percent) are categorized into a group ‘male-pattern baldness’ in which inherited-gene usually plays a role.
On the other hand if the problem is not related with a genetic trait or certain health condition, it may improve with lifestyle measures! For instance, if it is caused by stress or poor diet – it should reverse itself once you addressed the underlying cause.
In fact, not all products of hair loss can fulfill their claims as well as what they say in their advertisements.
In other words, not all of them are same in quality and effectiveness in helping improve hair growth. It’s much better to see a dermatologist so thus you will get a completely evaluation.
There are a lot of advertisements for hair loss treatments.Most of them often promise a miracle result. But you need to know that some could be a snake oil, not based on sound scientific research.
If you consider supplement products – most of them are also not approved by the FDA. To keep safe, choose hair-growth products with approval from AHLA and FDA.
Furthermore, early intervention in treating your hair loss is very important for the prognosis of the problem. If you choose the right one, you chance to have the expected results is much better than if you start the treatment with the wrong procedure.
In other words, it’s very critical and important to start your treatment with an effective and proper treatment as soon as you find the onset of your abnormal hair loss.
One of early signs of this hair loss problem is receding hairline. Over time, it may also affect the hair on top of the scalp which may lead to a bald spot. If left untreated, you may eventually have a horseshoe pattern.
Below is the helpful image (credit to The McGraw-Hill Companies ‘Color Atlas of Cosmetic Dermatology’):
This kind of medication is the first topical medication approved by the FDA for male pattern baldness. Side effects; it may cause hair growth in the unexpected areas such as on the back of hands, foreheads, and cheeks.
Its efficacy is usually not permanent and therefore you may need to use it continuously.
Additionally, although minoxidil is pretty common used for hair growth, the American Hair Loss Association suggests it for the second option of the initial treatment. Finasteride is more recommended for the first line of the treatment than minoxidil.
Again, this kind of hair-growth medicine is recommended as the first line treatment for androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness), according to AHLA.
This prescription medicine is actually the generic name of Proscar & Propecia – developed and made by Merck (a pharmaceutical company). Several years ago, finasteride was more focused to treat the problem of prostate (enlarged prostate glands). But in a clinical trial showed that this medicine also boosted hair growth.
For this reason, Merck made a decision to pursue the chance of developing finasteride as the first medication for male pattern baldness treatment. And finally it was approved by FDA in December 1997.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide permanent results. Your hair loss problem is more likely to return when you discontinue the medicine.
The effectiveness of finasteride for hair growth is due to its unique ability to help decrease the level of DHT (androgen dihydrotestosterone).
If you have excessive DHT, this may affect your hair life cycle, provoking hairs into dormant phase. As a result, you lose hair more than normal.
Finasteride can help inhibit 5-alpha-reductase (it is a kind of enzyme that can trigger the excessive production of DHT on the scalp). In a clinical trial (according to an article published on Mayo Clinic), 1 mg dose of finasteride decreased the level of DHT by as much as 60 percent.
Another option for male hair loss treatment is hair transplant. Unfortunately, this option is not affordable for anyone. The cost is closely dependent on the quantities of hairs that need to be transplanted.
Typically, it can take about $4,000 up to $15,000 – a big deal you need to pay for a small surgery on your scalp!
In the US, it was used since 1950s. It removes a hair-bearing scalp’s narrow strip from the back of the head, and then transplanted on areas where hair growth is expected.
In general, most people can return to work about 2-5 days after surgery. About 2-3 weeks afterwards, the transplanted hairs usually will fall out — but then you would see new hair growth a few months afterward.
Most people can have almost 60 percent of new hair growth about 6-9 months after the surgery – according to WebMD. To help improve your best chance of hair growth, Rogaine (minoxidil) may also be suggested.
Does a hair transplant last forever or provide permanent result? Yes, it would.
No, it doesn’t – it is not recommended for everyone! This is reasonable since there are also some side effects that may occur after surgery – as noted before.
Yes, there are some options. But these are only recommended for a complementary treatment.
A few anecdotal reports show that some natural remedies may help stimulate hair growth, though there’s no conclusive evidence on this.