MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR HAIR LOSS:
If hair loss is not permanent or significant, you may not need surgery at this stage. The hair loss can be slowed or even stopped by tested and approved medical treatments, following a discussion with our expert specialist. Currently, the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications for male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) are MINOXIDIL 2% or 5% Topical Spray/Foam and oral FINASTERIDE 1mg orally. There are low-level light therapy (LLLT) devices which are FDA approved for use in treating androgenetic alopecia. PRP (platelet-rich plasma) is also found to produce promising results.
This is available in foam or spray type and in two strengths 2% or 5% minoxidil. Foam formulation is generally better tolerated. It must be applied to dry hair at the affected area. It takes typically around 9 -12 months before any improvement in hair thickness is noticeable. Any regrowth of hair is likely to fall out on cessation of treatment and this will be discussed with you and any warnings will be highlighted our doctor.
Currently in the UK, there are no oral licensed treatments for Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL), Minoxidil 2% foam topically, at night may be beneficial however patients will only notice any improvement after 9-12 months. The best evidence base for treatment of FPHL in women support use of topical Minoxidil. Women under 45 may benefit from an anti-androgenic Oral Contraceptive Pill such as Yasmin or Dianette. It is important to exclude low ferritin or thyroid disease.
Finasteride is an inhibitor 5a reductase enzyme–which reduces the amount Dihydrotestosterone hormone (DHT) in the body. DHT hormone level in our body is thought to cause male pattern hair loss. Finasteride is prescribed as a daily dose of 1mg which needs to be taken orally. The current research has shown that Finasteride can slow down hair loss and promote regrowth, in 65-70% of men who used the medicine. As with minoxidil, loss of hair will occur upon cessation of therapy. Finasteride has a UK licence for use in treating male pattern hair loss.
Approximately 2% of men may experience erectile issues or loss of libido, usually reversible upon cessation of the drug therapy (pros and cons are discussed in detail by our doctor).
There are many supplements available in the market and consumed by many people, we would highly recommend you seek professional advice before consuming any supplements. Most supplements promise to provide the nutrients which are required for hair growth. There are a few clinical studies to support the use of NutraCeuticals to aid hair growth for example Viviscal Professional is a marine extract which in small studies has shown an increase in terminal hairs and an increase in the diameter of finer hair, as well as a reduction in shedding. There is little or no evidence of prolonged usage presenting any side effects.