Male pattern hair loss is a common problem, and yet, there is new research, evidence, or treatment every day. The past years saw an increase in the developments about hair loss. The methods in hair transplant surgeries have improved over time. We now have advanced methods and treatments that stop, prevent, or slow down the hair loss.
Those who suffer from hair loss or other hair related problems should always look out for scams. There are many fake hair loss treatment products in the market. You might come across ads on the TV, and magazines. We have all met that salesperson, or person who knows someone who has used the magical hair product. In different cultures, there are also homemade remedies that are believed to solve all health issues.
When it comes to your hair and your health, it is best to be extra cautious, and do your research. Hairwiki currently approves only two medications that we will talk about in a bit. The same goes for the FDA. Most marketed products do not stop hair loss. Most of them do not grow back hair. It is also best to be careful if you are planning to have a hair transplant.
Let us look at the two treatments that FDA approve and recommend:
Proscar and Propecia go by the name Finasteride. Finasteride is their brand name.
The pharmaceutical company Merck developed Finasteride with the name Proscar, to treat enlarged prostate glands in the first place. While Proscar trials on men affected with prostate were ongoing, the researchers observed hair growth on the men with prostate problems as a side effect. FDA had already approved Proscar as a treatment for enlarged prostates. Merck started developing finasteride as a male pattern baldness (Androgenic Alopecia) treatment pill.
The FDA approved finasteride in 1997 in the treatment of male pattern baldness. 1mg daily dose of finasteride has been approved for the treatment of male pattern baldness since then. Finasteride can effectively treat baldness in men, particularly if started early – if the diagnosis of male pattern is made early, the results are more effective.
The Working Principle of Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar)
Proscar was the first medication to be effective in the treatment of male pattern baldness (Androgenic Alopecia). It is effective in the treatment of hair loss mainly because of the Type II 5-alpha-reductase (Also written as 5α-Reductase). Type II 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. Dihydrotestosterone is more potent than testosterone. Finasteride prevents Type II 5-alpha-reductace. 1 mg of daily dose of finasteride can lower dihydrotestosterone levels and prevent hair loss. It can lower it by 60%, and this stops the progression of baldness in men by 86%.
It also promotes hair growth. If you think you are starting to have male pattern baldness, keep in mind that the American Hair Loss Association approves the use of finasteride. It also recommends is.
Many medications come with some side effects. Propecia is often without major side effects. Although there are needed effects, there are also a few side effects such as:
Common and major side effects of Propecia
- Feeling weak
Minor side effects of Propecia:
- Loss of sexual drive and ability
- Swelling of the hands and feet, face, or other areas of the body
- Enlargement of the breasts
- Tenderness in breasts
- Runny nose
The sexual side effects such as erectile dysfunction, ejaculation disorder, and decreased libido can persist even after one stops taking Propecia. They often return to normal, and yet it is best to talk to the doctors if you have concerns.
Minoxidil (Rogaine, loniten)
The FDA approved Minoxidil (Rogaine, loniten) as a drug to treat male pattern baldness many years ago. It is the first drug approved medication.
The story of finasteride applies to minoxidil. The researchers discovered a useful side effect of minoxidil when they were trying it on patients. Researchers developed minoxidil to treat high blood pressure in the first place. And yet, patients taking minoxidil cases of unwanted hair growing on unusual spots such the cheeks, the back of their hands, and even the foreheads.
When you topically apply minoxidil on the balding areas, hair regrowth can be possible. Around 40% of men experience hair regrowth after using minoxidil. Both men and women can use minoxidil. The recommended dose is smaller in women.
Minoxidil can cause some side effects such as:
- Swelling of the face and hands
- Weight gain
- Burning on the application site
- Chest pain
In the cases where finasteride was not effective, doctors prescribe minoxidil. Both should be used under a doctor’s statement.