ZocdocAnswersHow does one stop hair loss?

Question

How does one stop hair loss?

I'm only 28, but I've already noticed my hair thinning out at the crown of my head. Hair loss runs in my family (my dad and uncles all have it), so I'm kind of panicking. What can I do to stop further hair loss?

Answer

Obviously you are not alone. Baldness in men is a very common problem and unfortunately it is not unusual for it to start pretty early in life. There are different types of baldness and only your doctor can determine which type you are developing. If your primary care doctor isn't sure about what treatment is best for you, then he or she may refer to you a dermatologist. The most common type of baldness in males is androgenic alopecia (also known as male pattern baldness). Although the inheritance of androgenic alopecia is complex, it is thought to be mostly inherited from the mother's side. In other words you may be more susceptible to it if your uncles that are bald are brothers of your mother, not your father. While there is no absolute miracle cure for baldness, there are treatments which have had some success. The first drug is called finasteride (brand name Propecia). It acts by inhibiting the production of dihydrotestosterone, the hormone thought to be responsible for androgenic alopecia. I'm not going to quote the data exactly, but around 4/5 men see a stop in their hair loss, and roughly half experience hair re-growth. The second line drug is minoxidil (AKA Rogaine). Its results aren't as good, but there may be less side effects. Only your doctor can determine if either approach is right for you. Good luck.

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