Like the long-suffering friend who inspired her to undergo the procedure, Ms. Telford quickly saw an improvement in her hair. New hair growth usually take at least four months, but at the two-month mark, she has already spotted some baby hairs. “Not a gazillion,” she said, “but it’s a start.” She’s planning to return for follow-up treatments every six months, and has high hopes of ditching the wigs and wearing her hair in a pixie.

Some treatments in development hold particular promise for women. Angela Christiano, a hair geneticist and Columbia University professor of dermatology, is hoping to begin clinical trials in a year or two on a procedure in which she dissects hair-follicle stem cells, grows them in the lab until she has several million, then injects them into the scalp, where, a very small study done with a human skin model has shown, they induce new hairs.
Not surprisingly, treatments with 5 percent minoxidil work better than treatments with 2 percent minoxidil. A randomized clinical trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology in 2002 found that, in men with androgenetic alopecia, “5 percent topical minoxidil was clearly superior to 2 percent topical minoxidil and placebo in increasing hair growth.” The difference was actually pretty astounding — after 48 weeks, the men who used 5 percent minoxidil experienced 45 percent more hair growth than the men who used the 2 percent treatment.
Oral supplements like Viviscal Extra Strength dietary supplements (Est. $50 per month) have also been proven to have a measurable effect on hair regrowth; a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that the nutritional supplement significantly increased hair growth among women with thinning hair.
You can also get a hair-loss kit from Hims, which comes with both minoxidil and finasteride. Keeps has one, as well. And though it might seem like overkill to take two different hair-loss treatments at once, this is one of those rare instances where more is actually better. McAndrews calls the combination of orally administered finasteride and topically applied minoxidil a “full-court press” against hair loss. “That’s doing the most you can for preventative medicine.” Rieder notes that taking both drugs together is more effective than taking either one alone.
From what I’ve seen and read they can be quite effective–but come with several risks (scarring and unnatural-looking hairline come to mind). I haven’t dwelled much into it, but basically got FUT (follicular unit transfer), FUE (follicular unit extraction) and DHI (direct hair implant)–which is the newest, similar to FUE, most costly and provides the best results in most cases.
This article is COMPREHENSIVE and sticks to the tried and tested (read scientifically proven) treatment methods. For me, if you’re suffering from pattern baldness, then the best chance you have is the Big Three. That said, it is worth potentially trying other, more natural, treatments if your hair loss isn’t aggressive and if you have an aversion to medicated products. I’m not talking about snake oil here. There are some treatments out there that, while not a primary treatment mode, can help to at least arrest hair loss in milder cases. As always with hair loss it’s a question of probabilities. I don’t think I’ve come across a product that works 100% of the time for 100% of the people. But the best chance undoubtedly comes with the FDA approved products to date. Also loved the future pipeline chart. Fantastic view of what will (hopefully) be more effective treatments in the future.
George Cotserelis, MD, is director of the University of Pennsylvania's Hair and Scalp Clinic. He agrees that there's no evidence these alternative hair loss treatments have any effect. "If any of it did work," he says, "I'd be very worried about using that product. The fact that it’s working would mean it's doing something to the testosterone and could be having adverse effects."
How to use minoxidil: Be sure that your hair and scalp are dry. Using the dropper or spray pump that's provided with the over-the-counter solution, apply it twice daily to every area where your hair is thinning. Gently massage it into the scalp with your fingers so it can reach the hair follicles. Then air-dry your hair, wash your hands thoroughly, and wash off any solution that has dripped onto your forehead or face. Don't shampoo for at least four hours afterwards.
It works. Im on my second three pak. At 6 weeks its scary. You will lose more hair. Then it will grow back. Thicker, in my case with more gray and darker. But lots of healthy shiny hair that is not 'shedding" or coming out in huge amounts. My widows peak has rescinded and my part looks great. Im starting my 5th month. People who know me (because my hair was so thin prior) tell me/ask me if Ive used it. (In a whisper, like its a bad thing. Im like HELL YEAH, cmon, cmon, pull it..it feels great) People who dont know me compliment my thick hair. Get a good haircut and give it three months. Very happy and the best beauty value at 15.00 a month that I can imagine.
During the trials on men with prostate problems, researchers noted an intriguing side effect: hair growth. Since finasteride had already been approved by the FDA to treat enlarged prostates in men, Merck decided to pursue the possibility of developing finasteride as the first pill to treat male pattern baldness. Minoxidil, a topical liquid solution, was already on the market (see below).
Alopecia areata: Researchers believe that this is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune means the body attacks itself. In this case, the body attacks its own hair. This causes smooth, round patches of hair loss on the scalp and other areas of the body. People with alopecia areata are often in excellent health. Most people see their hair re-grow. Dermatologists treat people with this disorder to help the hair re-grow more quickly.
The dermatologist also will carefully look at your scalp and hair. During an exam, the dermatologist may pull on your hair. Sometimes a dermatologist needs to pull out a hair to get the necessary evidence. And sometimes a dermatologist needs to look at the hair on the rest of your body to see whether there is too little or too much hair in other areas.

Beginning treatment as soon as possible after the hair loss begins gives the best results, because prolonged androgenetic alopecia may destroy many of the hair follicles. The use of anti-androgens after prolonged hair loss will help prevent further damage and encourage some hair regrowth from follicles that have been dormant but are still viable. Stopping treatment will result in the hair loss resuming if the androgens aren't kept in check in some other way. Maintaining your vitamin and mineral levels helps while you're on anti-androgen medications.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Topical treatments like Rogaine use the active ingredient minoxidil -- originally used to treat high blood pressure. After researchers discovered that it also promoted hair growth, it was the first drug approved by the FDA to treat male pattern baldness. It is used topically on the scalp, and the success of treatment is dependent on the user's extent of hair loss. Researchers at the AHLA find its efficacy to be marginal in the long run since it has no effect on the hormonal process. 
It works. Im on my second three pak. At 6 weeks its scary. You will lose more hair. Then it will grow back. Thicker, in my case with more gray and darker. But lots of healthy shiny hair that is not 'shedding" or coming out in huge amounts. My widows peak has rescinded and my part looks great. Im starting my 5th month. People who know me (because my hair was so thin prior) tell me/ask me if Ive used it. (In a whisper, like its a bad thing. Im like HELL YEAH, cmon, cmon, pull it..it feels great) People who dont know me compliment my thick hair. Get a good haircut and give it three months. Very happy and the best beauty value at 15.00 a month that I can imagine.

Hi, am not promoting any product, just sharing my experience honesty, I have always had fine, thin hair but just recently I’ve become very self-conscious about my scalp showing. I’m only 24 years old and thought this was not the age I should start balding! I’ve tried everything – Biotin, Minoxidil, many type of hair growth supplement. Yes, these supplements supported hair growth but they did not support hair re-growth like Kesha Vardhani did. I’ve been using Kesha Vardhani for six months and hope to continue it.
Viviscal is a natural hair-growth supplement that promotes hair growth in people with thinning hair. It contains a marine complex known as AminoMar C. This is made of minerals, vitamins, and shark and mollusk powder. These ingredients help to regenerate new cells and strengthen existing cells. You have to take the pills twice a day for at least six months in order to see results. Viviscal also makes a shampoo and conditioner.
Physicians are reluctant to prescribe systemic treatments (pills or other form of treatment that affects your entire system) because they can tamper with your body's own androgen levels (see Causes for an explanation of androgens). The doctor will first want to confirm that the hair loss is due to an excess of androgen (another name for male hormones) in the system or a sensitized "over-response" to normal amounts of androgen. Therefore, physicians often choose topical treatments, which are applied directly to the scalp.
According to practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, hair health is tied to two things: kidney energy and the blood, which nourish the hair. The solution: acupuncture and Chinese herbs. While there isn't a lot of hard science to back this up, Maureen Conant, a TCM practitioner at Full Bloom Acupuncture in Seattle, says that she's seen women's hair stop falling out and then gradually regenerate after a few months of weekly treatments.
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