Treatment for male pattern baldness
There are various treatments available which can help to reduce hair loss that is due to male pattern baldness. They include medications, supplements, vitamins, shampoos, and foams. There are also surgical options.
Hair loss medication
There are two main prescription medications available that can help to prevent and reduce male pattern baldness. These are Finasteride and Propecia. These treatments both work in the same way by stopping testosterone from turning into DHT, which causes hair loss. They are the same product, however Propecia costs more because it is a brand name, whereas Finasteride is a generic equivalent. Both products can slow down hair loss, and, in some cases, encourage regrowth, but this depends on the individual. Find out more about DHT blockers here.
Shampoos and foams
Shampoos and foams applied to the scalp can also help to thicken your hair and reduce or prevent hair loss. Alpecin is a shampoo which claims to help to thicken and strengthen hair, however this is only based on anecdotal accounts and not backed by clinical evidence. Minoxidil (also sold as Regaine) is a product applied directly to your scalp. It works by stimulating and prolonging hair growth, as well as thickening hair by widening the openings in your hair follicles.
Hair loss supplements and vitamins
If you are experiencing hair loss due to a vitamin deficiency, hair growth vitamins and supplements may help. However, if you have not been diagnosed with a vitamin deficiency, there is no evidence they will help.
Vitamins and supplements which are linked to hair growth include:
- vitamins A, B, D and E
- amino acids
- omega acids, especially omega-3 fatty acids
- Nourkin, a nutritional supplement derived from fish
- biotin, a water soluble B-vitamin
Although some of the above products can help reduce or prevent hair loss, and encourage regrowth, there are also alternatives like hair transplant surgery or low-level laser light therapy. These treatments come with risks attached including side effects and can be very costly.
Another option is called scalp micropigmentation. This involves artificially inserting pigment (colour) into the scalp with a needle to give the illusion of thicker hair growth.
Finally, hair pieces and wigs may be a good option for some people.
A note on male pattern baldness treatments
The success of male pattern baldness treatments can vary between individuals. Some can cause side effects or may not be suitable or effective. Always thoroughly check the patient information leaflet on any treatment product before taking it.