ZocdocAnswersIs there anything I can do to slow down my hair loss?

Question

Is there anything I can do to slow down my hair loss?

I am a 41 year old man with a receding hair line. I would like to know if there's really anything I can do to slow down the inevitable of my hair loss or even reverse it. I do take good care of what I have and never wear hats. I've been told that speeds up the loss. Your reply is appreciated in advance.

Answer

It sounds like you have what we call androgenic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness. There are medications today which have shown positive results that are worth trying if you feel you would like to stop or even reverse your hair loss, they are worth trying. The first line therapy for male pattern baldness is a drug called finasteride (brand name Propecia). It acts to block the action of the hormone dihydrotestosterone which is thought to be responsible for baldness. In a short study, about 80% of people who took finasteride saw a reduction in their hair loss and about 50% of people actually saw regrowth of their hair. The other drug that has been shown to work is the topical drug minoxadil (Rogaine). This drug has also been shown to reduce hair loss, though its results are less impressive than Propecia. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. He or she will be able to examine your hair loss and make sure that it is the type of hair loss that will respond to today's medications. From there you can get a trial of either Propecia, Rogaine, or both. Chances are that you will see some positive results. Good luck.

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