When it comes to prescriptions, Propecia (finasteride) stands as the strongest oral option for treating balding. If used consistently, this hair-loss treatment stops the progression of pattern hair loss, caused by genetics, for most users -- no messy application necessary. Although the drug has yet to earn FDA approval for treatment of women, recent studies have shown that it is both safe and effective for female users. See our full review »
The most common kind of hair loss is pattern baldness. It happens when hair follicles shrink and stop working. The first sign is the appearance of strands that are thinner and more fragile. Then the scalp becomes more visible as fewer hairs grow to replace those that shed. That’s because the anagen phase becomes too short for the hair to grow out of the scalp. Plus, the hairs that remain aren’t securely anchored. And this condition happens to both men and women.

A commonly prescribed treatment for women is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). HRT is only prescribed to women with AGA during menopause or women who have low estrogen and/or progesterone for other reasons. These female hormones suppress male hormone production and seem to keep hair loss at bay. Physicians, however, do not recommend long periods of HRT treatment because of the increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease and stroke.


Reality is, if finasterise is so safe, why doesn’t merk market this drug as a vaccine for hair loss? For every man north of 18 to take this drug to prevent the possibility of balding? It’s safe, so why not? Truth is the science isn’t clear that either AR inhibition or DHT reduction is safe. All we know is that merk did a study and were able to publish data that suits their agenda.
Coming in at number 10 is a topical solution of 2{fb6dbafde8b07077c47190f01cc66a00f2a1889c1c1e7dc76005cbe93156625a} minoxidil. Minoxidil promotes the blood flow in the roots of the hair and promotes the regrowth of new and shiny strands of hair. Applied twice a day, the solution does have some good results. The formula is unscented and does not leave any residue so that you can confidently wear it while you are out and about as well.
With those pinned down, it wasn’t hard to determine which don’t actually work. Pretty much all the “active” ingredients listed in ineffective treatments — from biotin and zinc to emu oil and saw palmetto — have never been proven, and are instead marketed based on logical-seeming correlations. It would make sense that biotin, a B vitamin readily found in hair, skin, and nails, could help hair grow more quickly. And caffeine is a stimulant that works in coffee, so rubbing some on your scalp might wake some of those sleepy follicles… right?
Though, it is important to point out that a lot of these companies are developing procedures that involve implanting hair, which means there is a chance they will be expensive — as we mentioned before, traditional hair transplants are costly. But a few companies and products such as Follicum’s FOL-S-005 and Fidia Pharma’s Brotzu Lotion are being designed as topical treatments.
Cyproterone acetate is not available in the U.S. Doctors consider it one of the last resorts for treating female pattern hair loss because of its possible toxicity and long-term side effects. As with any drug, side effects other than those listed on the package may occur. Contact your doctor if you notice a side effect that is unusual or particularly bothersome.
2. Volumizing shampoos and treatments. Typically, these work by depositing ingredients, like wheat protein and keratin, that adhere to the hair shaft to a) thicken it and b) create spaces between hairs so you look like you have more of it. Try Kiehl’s Rice & Wheat Volumizing Shampoo ($18) with hydrolyzed wheat protein; Rogers likes Redken Cerafill Defy Shampoo and Conditioner ($20 each) with ceramides that bulk up hair.
Instead, you may want to add vitamin D (about $15) to your shopping cart. A vitamin D deficiency can exacerbate hair thinning and make it almost impossible for any over-the-counter product to reverse hair loss, says Dhaval Bhanusali, a dermatologist in New York City, who recommends taking 5,000 international units of D3 a day (and it’s generally beneficial for bone health in women over 40). “There’s also a link between low iron and zinc levels and temporary hair shedding, called [telogen] effluvium,” says Rogers.
"Despite some of the claims, a shampoo or conditioner won’t be able to stop or slow hair loss, nor help with a receding hairline or thicken hair that’s becoming thinner," says trichologist Anabel Kingsley from The Philip Kingsley Trichology Clinic in London. "At best, a thickening shampoo will make hair temporarily thicker for a short period of time, but they certainly won’t help with hair loss or thinning."
What's to know about alopecia areata? Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that usually results in unpredictable, patchy hair loss. Approximately 7 million people in the U.S. have alopecia areata, and it can affect anyone of any age or gender. There is no cure for alopecia areata although some treatments are available to help hair regrow more quickly. Read now

Oral supplements can also be effective if the result of the problem that causes the hair loss in the first place. For example, women with a lack of iron or zinc in their diet may have thinning hair. Or persons taking certain medications may not absorb enough nutrients from food to support healthy hair growth. Also, remedies like saw palmetto and Fo-Ti appear to block the production of DHT.
The test involves plucking about 50 hairs from the head, typically at the back of the scalp, so your dermatologist can look at them under a microscope and determine how much of the hair is in the resting, growth, and fall-out phases. Next, a vial of blood is sent to a lab to check hormone and nutrient levels ($100 and up, depending on insurance). If low levels of iron, or high levels of male hormones, like androgens, are contributing to your hair loss, for example, both can be treated through oral supplements or medication.
Part your hair in the area of hair thinning/loss. Follow the instructions below for using the dropper applicator and apply one mL 2 times a day directly onto the scalp in the hair loss area. Do not use more. Spread the liquid evenly over the hair loss area. If you use your fingers, wash hands with soap and water immediately. Each bottle should last about one month, if used as directed. Use a mild shampoo if you wash your scalp before applying minoxidil topical solution 2%.

I’m 33 years old. I’ve been using Finasteride (1mg) for over 3+ years now, and it really stopped my hair loss. I say I’m a living proof of the effectiveness of this drug. And yes it really lowered my libido. But then in these past days, I felt this pain around my testicles. Then my leg became partly numb. I tried to experiment on how to stop the pain and numbness by stopping Finasteride for a while. Sequentially, the pain and the numbness went away after stopping it. I’m afraid of coming back on drinking Finasteride again.

Yes. Hyperandrogenism, a medical condition characterized by excessive production of male hormones called androgens, can cause hair loss in affected women. The most common cause of hyperandrogenism in women is functional ovarian hyperandrogenism, also known as polycystic ovary syndrome. In addition to hair loss, other signs include obesity, acne, and irregular menstruation, and it is one of the most common causes of infertility.
As everyone ages, hair follicles begin to shrink, leading to thinning hair (or loss of hair density). Unlike hair loss shampoos or hair thickening products that temporarily plump hair from the outside, Rogaine 2% Minoxidil Solution penetrates into the scalp to reactivate shrunken hair follicles, allowing for new fuller, younger-looking hair to regrow. Rogaine is clinically proven to help regrow hair. No topical treatment works faster to grow fuller hair than Rogaine.

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This procedure can take several hours. First, surgeons remove an elliptical strip 3 to 4 inches long from the back of the scalp and trim the hairs short (A). The strip is then divided into 500 to 2,000 separate follicular units, each containing only a few hairs (). The units are then planted in an equivalent number of slits made in the scalp in the area of missing hair (C).
Many physicians recommend that patients engage in a combination therapy that includes minoxidil and Propecia (Est. $75 per 1-month supply) with prescription. Propecia is an oral medication with finasteride being the active ingredient. Finasteride was originally developed by Merck to treat enlarged prostate glands. Excess hair growth was a surprise side effect of the drug and led to the development of Propecia, which was approved by the FDA for treatment of male-pattern baldness in 1997. It has not been approved for women.
The comment about Dutasteride causing more side effects is not correct. All studies performed to this date actually sight that Dutasteride has lower side effects. Especially in regards to decreases in sex drive. The only time Dutasteride has been shown to have greater side effects is when the dosage of Finasteride was well below the recommended dosage of 1mg. In comparison 500mcg of Dutasteride has been shown to be more effective than 2.5mg of Finasteride and 1mg has shown to be more effective than 5mg of Finasteride, the dose used to treat BPH. The research has clearly shown that Dutasteride reduces serum DHT levels much faster and has much higher success rates.

Thanks for your response and awesome article! Do you recommend sticking with minoxidil for a period of time (i.e. 6 months) before starting finasteride or do it all at once? I would be on finasteride now if I wasn’t nervous about the potential side effects so my plan was to wait to see if minoxidal does anything for me over the next 3 months or so (at that point I will have been on it ~ 6 months). My shedding has certainly reduced so hopefully it is starting to work. I’m in the very early stages of hair loss. No one would notice (except me and my wife). Just looks my hair part on the top of my head even though it really is thinning. 
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