Hair Loss in Men- Treatment Modalities

The hair loss of male-pattern baldness is permanent. As such no treatment is required if one is comfortable with the appearance.

Medications

There are two medications approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat male-pattern baldness, minoxidil and propecia (finasteride).

Minoxidil is used topically on the scalp. It may help hair to grow in 20 to 25% of the population, and in the majority it may slow the loss of hair. Treatment is expensive, however, costing about $600 per year for the recommended twice a day use. The higher concentration minoxidil works better. Hair loss recurs when its use is discontinued.

Propecia (Finasteride) is the only oral medication that is approved by FDA for male pattern baldness. It inhibits the production of the hormone that contributes to male pattern baldness. About 50% of the men who take this drug have increased hair growth in one year. In general, it is more effective than minoxidil. If hair growth is going to occur with the use of finasteride, it usually occurs after the medicine has been used for about 3 months and lasts only as long as the medicine continues to be used. The new hair will be lost within 1 year after finasteride treatment is stopped, though the rate of hair loss may not vary that much. It has no major effect on testosterone level in the body. Only about 1.8 percent of the men who take this drug may experience sexual dysfunction.

Other less common side effects of  finasteride include-

  • Abdominal pain
  • back pain
  • decreased libido (decreased interest in sex)
  • decreased volume of ejaculate (decreased amount of semen)
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • impotence (inability to have or keep an erection)
  • skin rash
  • swelling of lips
  • Testicular pain etc.

Hair Transplantation

Another treatment option is hair transplantation.

Hair transplants consist of removing tiny plugs of hair from areas where the hair is continuing to grow and placing them in areas that are balding. This can cause minor scarring in the donor areas, and carries a low risk for skin infection. The procedure usually requires multiple transplantation sessions and may be expensive.

Suturing of hairpieces to the scalp is not recommended as it can result in scars, infections, and abscess of the scalp or brain. The FDA banned the use of hair implants made of artificial fibers because of the high rate of infection.

Hair weaving, hairpieces, or change of hairstyle may disguise the hair loss. This is usually the less expensive and safer treatment for male-pattern baldness.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Hair Loss in Men- Treatment Modalities

  1. Zaid Khan

    I am losing my hairs . It only started since last six months. Doctor has advised Mintofort solution to apply on scalp. Advice me.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Are you suffering from any long standing illness? Sometimes, long sickness or severe nutritional deficiencies may lead to hair loss.

      Males are more prone to loss of hair. You may keep applying the medication given. Read above about other treatment modalities available for hair loss.

      Reply
  2. Joycelyn Hampton

    I have been taking fenugreek supplements to increase breast size and I noticed my hair was shedding. It wasn’t clumps of hair I lost but more than a strand or two. When I got my hair done, I had it deep conditioned and it stopped shedding like that. My question is did the fenugreek make my hair shed?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Fenugreek in itself is unlikely to have caused the hair fall. However, fenugreek is dry in nature. It is possible that your scalp is dry, and this supplement added to or aggravated this dryness.

      Dryness may have lead to hair fall. Try oiling your hair more often, particularly before hair wash.

      For best results, apply warm oil over the scalp with gentle massaging and let it stay for 8 to 10 hours. You may then wash it with a mild shampoo. Wrapping a towel around wet hair for some time after the hair wash helps.

      Reply
  3. july

    Serious flaking and I want to cure or medicine.
    I want an excellent knowledge of the type of hair dye Individual and cream.
    Is keratin protein good for hair or not?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      It’s better to see a dermatologist first. This is just to rule out ant chance of fungal infection or some skin condition, as psoriasis.

      In general, flakes go if you wash your hair frequently with a mild cleanser and keep it well moisturized.

      Reply