Hair loss service

Hair loss is a common condition affecting around 70% of men at some point in their lives. Hair loss treatments work by slowing or stopping hair loss and, in some cases, encouraging new growth.

  1. Complete a short medical questionnaire
  2. Highlight a preferred treatment
  3. Doctor reviews your answers and notes your preferred treatment
Available from £27.00

Important: If your preferred treatment is not clinically suitable, your doctor will offer an alternative or advise you on what to do next.

Hair loss treatments available

  • Finasteride
  • Propecia

About Hair Loss Treatment

Hair Loss Treatment for Men

Hair loss can be temporary or permanent. Temporary hair loss is often a result of a health condition. Once treated, the hair can regrow. It could also be genetic and permanent, or a sign of ageing.

There is no universal cure for hair loss. But, there are several hair loss treatments that can prevent it from happening.

Common signs of hair loss

Some of the common signs of hair loss can be:

  • thinning of hair
  • bald patches
  • a receding hairline

If you notice a mixture of these symptoms, you may want to try a hair loss treatment. If you have a health condition that has hair loss as a symptom, the problem may go away once you are successfully treated.

Hair loss treatment includes:

  • hair loss tablets (like Propecia and finasteride)
  • hair loss shampoo (like Regaine for men and women)

Where can I buy hair loss treatment?

Both prescription and over the counter hair loss treatments can be bought online or in stores. For prescription medication, you must visit your doctor or you can use our online service and fill out a short questionnaire to be reviewed by one of our doctors. Our doctor will be able to make a diagnosis and give a prescription for your preferred treatment.

Can I buy hair loss treatment online?

You can buy hair loss treatment online through Superdrug Online Doctor. You can consult with our doctors who will advise you on which treatment is best suited for your needs.

Can I get hair loss treatment on the NHS?

Most hair loss treatments are not available on the NHS. However, some hair loss treatments are available on the NHS if they are caused by medical conditions like Alopecia. You should speak with a doctor to see which hair loss treatments the NHS will give you.

Can I get hair loss treatment over the counter?

You will need a prescription for some hair loss treatments, such as Finasteride. There are some over the counter products available too, like shampoos. If you do buy any medication over the counter, it’s still best to speak with a doctor about potential side effects first.

Hair Loss Tablets

Hair loss tablets that have finasteride as an active ingredient block the production of DHT. Some forms of male pattern baldness are caused by high levels of DHT in the body, which is a by-product of testosterone. When DHT is at high levels, it causes the prostate to get bigger and hair follicles in the scalp to shrink. It does not affect hair on other parts of the body.

How do hair loss tablets work?

Propecia is the brand name of finasteride, while finasteride is a generic version. When this treatment is taken, DHT levels in the scalp will fall. This stops further damage to hair follicles and slows the progression of hair loss. It also allows for regrowth. This treatment is prescribed only for men. It helps restore hair to receding hairlines and to balding at the top of the head. It can also resolve hair thinning.

How quickly do hair loss tablets work?

Finasteride can take several months to provide visible results. In the first three months, there is often a stop to hair loss. Some may still see shedding as old hairs fall out to make room for new strands. By the end of a year, there should be clear signs of regrowth. Further improvement should be noticeable by the second year mark.

How do you take hair loss tablets?

Propecia and finasteride are available in 1mg tablets that are taken once a day. It should be taken at the same time every day. If there is a delay of up to 6 hours, you can take the missed dose and resume your normal schedule. If longer than 6 hours, skip the missed dose and continue with your normal routine.

Be consistent in taking the treatment as it can take several months to see results. If you stop, your DHT levels will rise and you will start losing your hair again.

Hair Loss Shampoo

Hair loss shampoos and topical creams are over the counter hair loss treatments. Their active ingredients are absorbed through the scalp when applied. Hair loss shampoos like Alpecin contain caffeine as the active ingredient. Caffeine boosts cell energy in hair follicles. It does this by causing an increase in certain protein growth factors that stimulate hair growth. Caffeine also potentially reverses the effect of DHT.

This shampoo can work together with prescription medications like Propecia to reduce hair loss. You should see visible results after about 3 months. The hair strands should appear thicker and stronger.

Topical solutions for hair loss

The best known topical solution is Regaine. Its active ingredient is minoxidil, which is a vasodilator. It stimulates blood flow to the scalp, delivering more nutrients and oxygen that promote hair growth, thickness, and density. It also boosts the production of enzymes that extend the life of hair follicles.

The product can be ordered as either a foam or solution that is applied and massaged into the scalp twice a day. It should not be washed out for at least four hours. Visible results should be seen within 2 to 3 months. It has proven helpful to those with hair disorders and is considered a safe and effective treatment.

What causes hair loss?

Hair loss is a normal biological process. We can lose up to 100 hairs a day. It is however a problem when the hairs are not replaced by new growth or exceed normal limits. Hair loss can be caused by many reasons.

Medical conditions

Hair loss can be caused by illness. When the illness is effectively treated, the hair should regrow. Hormonal changes can also often lead to temporary and permanent hair loss.

Cancer treatments

Treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy can also lead to hair loss. Once treatment ends, hair can begin to regrow, but the regrowth may not be the same as the hair before.


Hair loss may also be a hereditary condition. This means it runs in the family. Androgenic alopecia, male and female pattern baldness are often hereditary and permanent. The baldness usually comes on gradually, leaving bald spots, thinning, and a receding hairline.


Some treatments do have hair loss as a side effect. Some drugs used to treat high blood pressure, arthritis, heart disease and depression can have such an effect.


Hair loss can be a reaction to emotional or physical shock, or a prolonged stressful period. The hair may start falling out months after the event. The effect is normally temporary and hair later regrows on its own.


Certain hairstyles can cause pulling on hair follicles. This often leads to conditions like traction alopecia. Using chemical relaxers and hot oil treatments can also damage the scalp, leading to hair loss. Hair can recover when this habit is stopped, but once scarring has occurred the effect may be permanent.

Hair Loss Treatment Side Effects

Side effects of hair loss tablets

Propecia and finasteride are generally safe to take for hair loss, but they can still cause some side effects.

Uncommon side effects can include:

  • low sex drive
  • erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • unusual weight gains or loss
  • feelings of depression
  • problems with ejaculation

Other side effects can include:

  • allergic reactions such as hives and itching
  • heart palpitations
  • tender or swollen breasts and nipples
  • discharge from the nipples
  • lumps in the breast or underarm
  • testicular pain
  • anxiety
  • blood in semen
  • difficulties with erections or ejaculation, even after stopping medication

It is not known how often these other side effects occur. You must talk to a doctor right away if you notice a lump in your chest or breast. For a full list of side effects, see the leaflet that comes with your medication.

Some of these side effects may be temporary. They may be a result of the body adjusting to the treatment and will fade. Others may carry on even after you stop taking finasteride. If you are suffering side effects and want them to stop, your best option may be to stop taking finasteride. Note that this will cause your DHT levels to rise and you can start losing your hair again.

Side effects of hair loss shampoo

Alpecin is a caffeine shampoo that is safe to use for hair loss treatment. It can cause side effects like hair thinning and shedding, or hair discolouration. Hair falling out is often an allergic reaction to caffeine that irritates the scalp. People with such a reaction should avoid using this shampoo.

Other treatments for hair loss

These treatments have varying success and will not be right for everyone.

Laser therapy:. For this treatment, infrared laser light is used to penetrate the scalp and stimulate blood flow and hair follicles. This is meant to cause the growth of new hair and discourage the build up of DHT.

Steroid injections: Injections and creams with steroids in them are also used to treat people with hair loss. This is often used where an autoimmune disease is causing hair loss. Autoimmune diseases cause the immune system to attack healthy tissues like hair follicles. Corticosteroids can be used to counteract this effect and allow hair to regrow. These steroids can be applied topically or injected into the scalp, or taken by mouth.

Wigs: This is another option that can simply cover up hair loss. In some cases, the cost may be covered by the NHS. Human hair wigs have a more natural feel and look, but are more expensive and last longer. Man-made wigs have a shorter life but are more affordable.

Cosmetic surgery: Hair transplants can treat hair loss in some cases. It involves moving hair from where it is full, to where there is balding or thinning. The procedure is normally done under local anaesthesia.

There are two variations to this procedure:

The Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT): A narrow band of hair is taken from the rear of the head. The size of the strip depends on the number of follicles needed to be transplanted to balding areas. The strip is cut into smaller parts, with each one having about 1-4 hair follicles. They are then re-inserted to the balding area on the scalp. FUT is also known as the strip method.

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): Hair follicles are taken from the back of the head and reinserted in balding areas. This leaves many tiny scars at the back of the head, but is less painful and heals faster. The hair can also be taken from other parts of the body.

Available from £27.00


Alopecia – Information for GPs (March 2020) NHS [Accessed 12-August-2021]

Caffeine and its Pharmacological Benefits (July 2020) Karger [Accessed 28-July-2021]

Evaluation of long-term efficacy of finasteride (December 2018) Wiley Online Library [Accessed 28-July-2021]

Finasteride (August 2020) NHS [Accessed 28-July-2021]

Hair Loss (February 2021) NHS [Accessed 28-July-2021]

Hair transplant (August 2019) NHS [Accessed 28-July-2021]

Low-Level Laser (Light) Therapy (LLLT) for Treatment of Hair Loss (February 2015) National Institutes of Health [Accessed 28-July-2021]

Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders (August 2019) National Institutes of Health [Accessed 28-July-2021]

Treatment of severe alopecia areata with intralesional steroid injections (October 2009) ResearchGate [Accessed 28-July-2021]

Use of Finasteride in the Treatment of Men With Androgenetic Alopecia (June 2003) ScienceDirect [Accessed 28-July-2021]