Male Pattern Baldness Starting Treatment

The decision to begin hair loss treatment is a deeply personal choice. Hair loss treatment can be expensive and sometimes risky, so it’s important to think carefully before starting baldness treatment.

That being said, some of the best baldness treatment options involve halting hair loss and preserving existing hair, so there may be some benefit to starting baldness treatment early. There’s no such thing as a baldness cure, but medical science offers quite a bit of hope for keeping existing hair via hair loss treatments.

Starting Baldness Treatment: Medications

The two most common drugs approved by the FDA for hair loss treatment are minoxidil (Rogaine®) and finasteride (Propecia®). Minoxidil is a liquid or foam that is applied topically to the head and scalp, while finasteride is taken in pill form. These drugs are widely considered the best baldness treatment options because they don’t involve the kind of risk that surgery poses, and if they are causing negative side effects, you can stop taking them right away.

Neither drug is a baldness cure, but both have been shown to slow or halt hair loss in some men and, in some cases, help them re-grow some hair. Remember that hair may not begin to re-grow until several months after medical hair loss treatment begins. Since medication is best at preserving existing hair–as opposed to re-growing lost hair–men may want to begin taking these drugs as soon as they begin to exhibit permanent, steady hair loss.

Starting Baldness Treatment: Surgery

Surgical hair restoration treatments are expensive and carry the risk of pain, infection, scarring or unattractive, unnatural results. For these reasons, doctors typically recommend that surgical hair loss treatment is only tried after other options have been exhausted or the baldness is extensive.

Keep in mind that many hair restoration surgeries will require multiple visits, and it may be difficult to judge how well they worked until weeks or months after the fact.

Resources

Alai, N. and Rockoff, A. (2010). Hair loss in men and women. Retrieved March 1, 2011 from http://www.medicinenet.com/hair_loss/page6.htm

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2010). Hair loss. Retrieved March 3, 2011, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hair-loss/DS00278/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs