More than 66% of men experience hair loss at some time in their life. For some men, hair loss can be experienced at a younger age. While it’s a natural process and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, it’s understandable to want to have control over your appearance. There are many hair loss treatments available to help combat hair loss. The two main types of treatment consist of topical solutions and orally taken tablets. But which is most effective, and what treatment type is best for you?
How and why do men experience hair loss?
Hair loss in men is also referred to as male androgenetic alopecia (MAA). It is the most common form of hair loss and is largely unavoidable due to its genetic predisposition. MAA causes receding and thinning hair on the scalp. The distinctive area of the scalp affected by MMA gives it another name of ‘male pattern baldness.’ Changes in the follicle growth life cycle are responsible for causing hair loss. The hair growth phase (anagen phase) decreases until the hair follicle length is insufficient to appear beyond the skin layer on the scalp. So, what hair loss treatments are available?
What are the different types of hair loss treatments?
Hair loss tablets
Orally taken tablets to treat hair loss are a popular method of reducing the rate of hair loss and, in some cases, can actually regrow hair. Finasteride is a widely recognized orally taken medication to counter hair loss. Finasteride works by blocking Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is the male hormone (androgen) and is particularly disruptive to hair growth. Finasteride prevents the enzyme 5a-Reductase from producing DHT.
Finasteride is regarded as one of the most effective hair loss treatment options. It has a short-term efficacy (effective within six months) of approximately 60% and long-term efficacy (effective within 12 months) of roughly 90% [1,2]. Finasteride must be taken consistently and continue to increase the likelihood of observing short term and long-term effects of the hair loss treatment.
Topical Solution Treatments
In addition to orally taken medication, hair loss topical treatments can be topically applied (applied directly to the scalp) to help increase blood flow and stimulate hair regrowth.
The two most popular topically applied products to promote hair regrowth are Regaine Foam and Regaine Solution. These treatments contain the active ingredient minoxidil, which works to stimulate the anagen hair growth phase. Regaine has been clinically proven to be up to 90% effective within eight weeks, emphasizing its short-term effectiveness .
Alpecin is another popular topically applied treatment. These products are available as a shampoo and solution. They contain caffeine, which has been suggested to help stimulate hair follicles to help promote hair strength and vitality.
Both orally taken medication and topically applied treatments can be found at Pharmica – the UK’s most trusted online pharmacy.
So which treatment should I use?
Each treatment is effective in its own way. Finasteride can yield promising long-term results, which is why it is recommended to use topically applied treatment and supplements in the short term to help promote hair regrowth alongside Finasteride. You can also use both orally taken treatment and topically applied treatments together as a strategy to enhance the likelihood of seeing results. Shampoo containing caffeine, such as Alpecin, should be used more as a secondary method of promoting hair health.
It’s important to keep an eye on progress and document results week by week to make sure that you are not experiencing any adverse side effects and that the treatments are working as intended. It is also important to keep in mind that results can take a couple of months to be observable, so patience is important.
While hair loss is largely an inevitable process, you don’t have to wait for it to take its course. Proactively seeking treatments such as orally taken medication and topically applied treatment can offer an effective means to prevent hair loss and promote hair regrowth.
- Inadomi, T., 2014. Efficacy of Finasteride for treating patients with androgenetic alopecia who are pileous in other areas: A pilot study in Japan. Indian journal of dermatology, 59(2), p.163.
- Shin, J.W., 2019. The evaluation of Finasteride’s long‐term efficacy in Korean men with androgenetic alopecia using the basic and specific classification system. The journal of dermatology, 46(2), pp.139-143.
- Regaine. https://www.regaine.co.uk/minoxidil/how-regaine-works
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