The Advantages and Disadvantages of Hair Loss Therapy

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Hair Loss Therapy

With approximately 70% of men and 40% of women affected by pattern baldness1, a great deal of research has been invested into hair loss therapy. As a result, several options for treatment are now available from both topical and oral medication, surgical intervention and now the more futuristic sounding laser treatments. Moreover as fortunate as it is to have choice, that can sometimes make a tough decision even more difficult. Thus listed here are some considerations to keep in mind when electing for hair loss therapy.

Medications

There are two FDA-approved medications which have been shown to promote hair growth and prevent any further hair loss. Minoxidil is available as a topical solution while finasteride is an oral pill.

Minoxidil

Advantages

  • Minimal side effects
  • Clinical research to support its effectiveness2

Disadvantages

  • Time-consuming topical applications
  • More effective in earlier stages of hair loss
  • Continued application is required to maintain results, hair loss resumes once treatment is stopped

Finasteride

Advantages

  • Easy to use
  • Clinical research to support its effectiveness3 and may provide some of the best non-surgical results

Disadvantages

  • Not recommended for women
  • A prescription is required
  • More effective in earlier stages of hair loss
  • Currently under investigation for some serious sexual side-effects that have been reported in a small percentage of patients4
  • Continued application is required to maintain results, hair loss resumes once treatment is stopped

Hair Transplant

Advantages

  • Effective and long lasting
  • Natural hair growth

Disadvantages

  • More than one treatment may be necessary
  • Surgical procedure
  • Success depends on the skill of the surgeon
  • Price limiting

Low Level Laser Therapy

Advantages

  • Easy to use
  • Absence of side effects

Disadvantages

  • Efficacy may vary between individuals
  • Believed to stimulate present hair follicles but not bring back those which have been lost

Taken together, the best plan of action for hair loss treatment will vary with each individual. In many cases, a combination of treatments may be the most beneficial. Most importantly, talk with your physician or hair restoration expert prior to starting any of these treatments.

Article by: Dr. J.L. Carviel, PhD, Mediprobe Research Inc.

References

  1. Santos Z, Avci P, Hamblin MR. Drug discovery for alopecia: gone today, hair tomorrow. Expert Opin Drug Discov 2015;10:269–92.
  2. Gupta AK, Charrette A. Topical Minoxidil: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Its Efficacy in Androgenetic Alopecia. Skinmed 2015;13:185–9.
  3. Gupta AK, Charrette A. The efficacy and safety of 5α-reductase inhibitors in androgenetic alopecia: a network meta-analysis and benefit-risk assessment of finasteride and dutasteride. J Dermatol Treat 2014;25:156–61.
  4. Perez-Mora N, Velasco C, Bermüdez F. Oral Finasteride Presents With Sexual-Unrelated Withdrawal in Long-Term Treated Androgenic Alopecia in Men. Skinmed 2015;13:179–83.

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