There are currently two FDA approved hair loss therapies on the market:
Minoxidil – available as a topical foam or solution shown to promote hair growth (1) and can be used by both men and women.
Finasteride – an oral medication for men over the age of 18 that has been shown to increase hair counts (2). Documented side-effects of finasteride include erectile dysfunction, diminished libido and reduced ejaculation however they have been reported by only a small percentage of patients (3).
A widely used technique whereby hair follicles are harvested from the back of the scalp and positioned in areas of hair loss, resulting in natural-looking hair growth (4). Innovations in transplant technology allow the donor area to remain virtually undetectable. Options are now available to individualize the procedure to patient’s needs including the strip method and the follicle unit extraction method.
A variety of concealing products are available as an alternative to medication or surgery. As the name suggests, these products will not restore hair loss but can conceal it effectively. Hair thickening fibers for instance are microscopic hair fibers which can be sprinkled onto target areas to cover hair thinning and loss. A great benefit to hair thickening fibers is their resistance to water, sweat and adverse weather but still wash out with normal shampooing. They can also be used in addition to medication.
Article by: Dr. J.L. Carviel, Mediprobe Research Inc.
- Gupta AK, Charrette A. Topical Minoxidil: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Its Efficacy in Androgenetic Alopecia. Skinmed. 2015 Jun;13(3):185–9.
- 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 Apr;25(2):156–61.
- Perez-Mora N, Velasco C, Bermüdez F. Oral Finasteride Presents With Sexual-Unrelated Withdrawal in Long-Term Treated Androgenic Alopecia in Men. Skinmed. 2015 Jun;13(3):179–83.
- Gho CG, Neumann HAM. Advances in Hair Transplantation: Longitudinal Partial Follicular Unit Transplantation. Curr Probl Dermatol. 2015 Feb;47:150–7.