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Do products that claim to regrow hair really work?

My friend says there's actually nothing that can be done about hair loss. Is this true? Do products like Rogaine really grow your hair back or do they prevent further hair loss? Do they even work at all?
Your friend is partly correct. There are dozens and dozens of creams and hair tonics that are marketed over the counter, on the internet, and in specialty shops as effective treatments for hair loss. In general, all of these treatments are expensive and have no demonstrated effect (other than costing you money, of course)! This includes laser or light therapy systems, which have never been show to have a substantial benefit. However, there are some prescription medications that can be of modest benefit, both for preventing further hair loss and for regrowing some hair. Some of these include prescription strength minoxidil, which is the active ingredient in Rogaine, as well as a few others. If you are interested in these medications, the best first step would be to set up a visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. They will be able to discuss all of the available medications with you and make a recommendation as to which ones might be effective in your case. In some cases that are resistant to these medications, it is possible to pursue further treatment with a plastic surgeon or a cosmetic surgeon. These surgical treatments would include hair transplants, for example. Although expensive and not for everyone, there are many people who have found them to be satisfactory.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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