Find A Coalition Physician Find A Coalition Physician

Hair Loss Treatments

How To Stop Hair Loss

If you google 'how to stop hair loss,' you will get a lot of articles giving you nonsense tips to 'stop hair loss.' Some of these tips include not washing your hair, or even worse, washing your hair with garlic. I would recommend washing your hair with garlic, but only if you live in Transylvania, and your neighbor is Count Dracula. In this article, we will be providing you with proven treatments to stop hair loss. 

#1 Propecia (finasteride)

Propecia was initially used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Merck, the manufacturers of the drug, used a drug called Proscar to treat BPH, users of the drug reported hair regrowth. Propecia, which is the brand name for finasteride, was approved by the FDA in 1997 to treat male pattern baldness. Propecia has been the most effective treatment for genetic hair loss. 

Finasteride is useful, but it is not without controversy. If you google it, you will see websites dedicated to warning users to stay away. Studies show that the drug is safe to use with side effects affecting a small percentage of men. Side effects include cognitive issues, sexual dysfunction, and gynecomastia. There is a divide on the internet, most users report no side effects, but the incidence of adverse reactions appear to be greater than what is in published studies.

#2 Rogaine (minoxidil) 

Initially, Rogaine was used to treat blood pressure. Users claimed to regrow hair after taking the medication. Rogaine was the first drug to be approved by the FDA for androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss). However, initially, minoxidil was an oral medication, but it is useful as a topical solution. Adverse reactions include dizziness, heart palpitations, scalp sensitivity, and skin flaking. 

Minoxidil isn't as effective as finasteride because it doesn't treat the root cause of hair loss. The hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the leading cause of hereditary hair loss. DHT is a by-product of testosterone. DHT binds to androgen receptors and gradually shrinks the hair follicles until they no longer grow. Minoxidil does not inhibit DHT. To date, the exact mechanism that causes minoxidil to work is still unknown. However, most believe that it works by prolonging the hair follicles' life cycle and improving the oxygen and blood supply on the scalp. 

#3 Avodart (Dutasteride)

Dutasteride is a 5a-reductase inhibitor like finasteride, except more powerful. The 5-alpha reductase enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone into DHT. Dutasteride can inhibit up to 90% of DHT in the body. Finasteride can only inhibit 70% and only one type of DHT. Dutasteride has not been approved by the FDA to treat male pattern baldness. The risk of developing side effects is higher than finasteride. 

The side effects are similar to finasteride, except studies show users report side effects more with dutasteride. It can be challenging to get dutasteride. There are a lot of bogus online pharmacies that sell fake or underdosed dutasteride and finasteride.

How To Get A Prescription

There's a lot of online pharmacies claiming to sell legit finasteride and dutasteride, but it's always a risk trusting these unknown sources. I recommend seeing a physician in person before taking any drug that will alter your hormones. Unfortunately, a lot of primary care physicians don't know anything about hair loss. 

You can consult with a pre-screened recommended surgeon in your area by clicking here. The surgeon will review your hair loss and will prescribe finasteride and dutasteride. You can also ask the surgeon to check your bloodwork before taking the medication. 

Conclusion

Drugs can prevent further hair loss, but only one method will regrow hair on a bald scalp. Surgical hair restoration is the only method that can regrow hair where no hair exists. It's important to note that hair transplant surgery does not prevent further hair loss. Hence, a combination of medication therapy and hair restoration is the best combination to preserve and regrow hair.