Choose Hair Restoration Treatments Carefully

Androgenetic alopecia (the scientific term for male-pattern baldness) is an extremely common progessive hair loss disorder affecting both men and women. It is hereditary , and can start as early as adolescence. According to the American Hair Loss Association, the vast majority of men — 85 per cent — have significantly thinner hair than they used to by age of 50. Thankfully, recent medical advances, drugs or otherwise, offer a lot of hope in both treating and preventing different types of baldness.

Medical Treatments Available To Treat Male-Pattern Baldness

There are pharmaceutical, surgical and non-surgical solutions available to treat hair loss. The three common medications used to stave off baldness are: minoxidil (sold under the brand name Rogaine), dutasteride (Avodart), and finasteride (Proscar and Propecia). Non pharmaceutical solutions include hair transplant surgery and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections.
PRP hair restoration treatment for baldness handsome in Vancouver

Available Drugs For Hair Loss

These drugs are not a cure for male-pattern baldness, but they can help slow it down.

  • Minoxidil (Rogaine)
    Over-the-counter (nonprescription) minoxidil comes in liquid, foam and shampoo forms. To be most effective, the product is applied to the scalp skin once daily for women and twice daily for men. Products with minoxidil may help many people regrow their hair or slow the rate of hair loss or both.
  • Dutasteride (Avodart)
    Dutasteride is mainly used to fight hair fall, however it can also be used to regrow hair. It works by blocking the formation of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which manifests in high levels in those suffering from male-pattern baldness. When the drug performs this task, hair loss is reduced significantly.
  • Finasteride (Proscar and Propecia)
    Proscar and Propecia are the brand names of Finasteride based hair loss medications. Propecia contains 1 mg of Finasteride while Proscar contains 5 mg. Both work by lowering the levels of DHT in the scalp, thus helping to reverse the balding process.

Non-Pharmaceutical Solutions For Hair Loss

  • Hair Transplant Surgery
    Hair transplants work by removing hair from areas of the scalp that have active hair growth and transplanting them to thinning or balding areas of the scalp. The main advantage of a hair transplant is that the result looks more natural and permanent.
  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
    Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, is derived from the bloodstream and has been used for years as a successful treatment method in orthopedics, plastic surgery, and sports medicine. Platelets are one of four primary components of blood that promote cell growth and regeneration. The procedure consists of drawing the patient’s own blood, usually from the arm, spinning it down into three layers in a centrifuge, and injecting only the platelet rich plasma into the scalp through micro needling.

Side Effects Of Hair Loss Treatments

Although all the available hair restoration treatments may be effective to help stop hair loss, it is always prudent to be educated of their possible long term side effects.

Disadvantages And Long Term Effects of Hair Loss Treatment Drugs

All the drugs for hair loss share one common main disadvantage: in order to see and maintain results, they have to be taken indefinitely. It can be cost prohibitive and harmful to your overall health to continuously take drugs in order not to lose previously gained hair.

A known side effect of Rogaine (minoxidil) is that it can affect your heart, especially if you have heart problems. While hormone-altering drugs like Propecia, Proscar and Dutasteride may cause multiple severe side effects , several of them sexual, including loss of sexual arousal, inability to keep an erection, and problems with ejaculation. It may also cause headaches, backaches, diarrhea, and dizziness. Furthermore, along with finasteride, Health Canada says that dutasteride may increase the risk of high grade prostate cancer.

Considerations for Non-Drug Treatments

Hair Transplants
A hair transplant is the most invasive and expensive treatment for hair loss. As with any kind of surgery, transplants have some risks, including bleeding and infection. There’s also the chance for scarring and unnatural-looking new hair growth. It is also very costly. The price of a hair transplant will depend largely on the amount of hair being moved, but it generally ranges from $4,000 to $15,000.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
Since PRP therapy uses the patient’s own blood, there’s very little chance that it could manifest in any severe side effects for the patient. Furthermore, PRP serums are naturally autologous and biocompatible with the patient, so there’s little risk of the body rejecting the treatment outright. This can also give PRP hair treatments a high rate of success with making the desired changes in the patient without the side effects and the ongoing cost of continuously taking drugs.

Making Your Choice

It is imperative that someone looking for a solution for hair loss should weigh all the pros and cons before choosing the treatment most suitable for one’s condition. 

Suffice to say, a treatment that causes the least long term side effects and does not involve life long commitment of drug taking would be the wise choice for most.

Telogen effluvium treatment women losing hair fullness balding platelet rich plasma in Vancouver