Hair loss is something that affects both men and women of all ages. In some cases, hair loss is a natural side effect of aging, or a temporary condition brought on by chemotherapy. In other cases, it is caused by underlying medical conditions, hormonal imbalances or nutrient deficiencies. Treating the underlying problem can often reverse the hair loss.
Male pattern baldness is perhaps the most well-known form of hair loss, and many men choose to accept that hair loss rather than pay for treatments that may not be effective. However, there are hair loss treatments available for men, and if you are deeply unhappy with your hair loss, or it is causing distress, then you may want to try a treatment.The two most effective hair loss treatments for men are finasteride and minoxidil. Finasteride is a dihydrotestosterone (DHT) blocker that works by preventing testosterone from being converted into DHT. The hormone DHT causes the hair follicles to shrink, but when production is slowed down the follicles return to their normal size. It can take several months for finasteride to produce noticeable results, and if you stop taking finasteride the balding process will typically resume within one year. The good news is that finasteride has relatively few side effects, although a very small number of men experience erectile dysfunction and loss of liido while taking this drug.
Minoxidil is a lotion that is applied to the scalp on a daily basis. It works by encouraging hair to regrow, but it does not treat the underlying cause of the hair loss. Both men and women can use minoxidil to treat baldness, and in general it has been found to be more effective for women than men. Just as with finasteride, minoxidil takes several months to take effect, and the balding process will resume if you stop applying the treatment for a long time. It is very rare for people to experience side effects while taking minoxidil.
Hair loss treatments for men can be quite expensive, and must be taken long term to have any effect. If you cannot commit to taking them in the long term you may be better off using a hairpiece, or simply changing your hair cut to mask the baldness. Talk to your doctor to find out what options are best for you, and to make sure that your hair loss is not being caused by a treatable medical condition.