It can be devastating for men and women alike to lose their hair. Hair loss can lead to desperation in many people, who, unfortunately, fall prey to some of the many advertisements that claim to cure your hair loss. Some of these ads claim to use “scientific studies” to support their claims, but if the ads don’t mention which agency conducted the study, you should be skeptical, according to HairLossLibrary.com. Beware of the word “miracle” in ads, too. Although there are no miracle cures for hair loss, medicine has come a long way in providing treatment options for growing hair and to prevent its loss.
Propecia and Proscar for Men
Propecia and Proscar are the brand name drugs of finasteride, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves in treating male pattern baldness. Finasteride effectively treats the majority of men who use it, according to the American Hair Loss Association. Finasteride reduces the hormone dihydrotestosterone by 60 percent when taken daily. DHT is what leads to baldness.
Minoxidil for Men
Minoxidil was the first drug the FDA approved in treating male pattern baldness. Minoxidil has no effect on DHT, so it is not as effective as finasteride. It may grow some hair in varying degrees. The American Hair Loss Association recommends minoxidil if finasteride doesn’t work.
Minoxidil for Women
Minoxidil works better for women than it does for men, according to the American Hair Loss Association. Minoxidil comes in 2 percent and 5 percent strength. The FDA has only approved the 2 percent version. Some dermatologists will prescribe the 5 percent minoxidil if you use it under their supervision. Minoxidil can retain and re-grow hair in some women. Results are limited with minoxidil, so you should consult a hair loss specialist.
Aldactone for Women
Aldactone is a water pill that doctors prescribe to treat high blood pressure and swelling. It works by slowing down androgen production, which is a male hormone, and by blocking DHT.
Tagamet for Women
Tagamet is a histamine blocker that blocks the DHT hormone. It shows promising results, according to the American Hair Loss Association. Men cannot use Tagamet for hair loss because of sexual side effects.
Hormone Replace Therapy for Women
Estrogen and progesterone pills and creams can help with women’s hair loss.
Birth Control Pill for Women
Low androgen birth control pills decrease androgens in the ovaries. Take precaution if you are more than 35 years old and smoke. That combination along with birth control pills can put you at a higher risk for blood clots.
Nizoral Shampoo for Women
Nizoral shampoo contains Ketoconazole, which has anti-androgenic effects and can reduce testosterone production. You can buy 1 percent Nizoral over the counter, or you can buy the more effective 2 percent version with a prescription.
Propecia for Women
Propecia, while it reduces DHT by 60 percent, is not approved for use in all women. Only post-menopausal women can take Propecia because it can cause birth defects in male babies.
- Middle aged woman underneath a black hat. image by Brett Mulcahy from Fotolia.com