As a Scalp Micropigmentation Artist and fellow hair loss victim, I have gone through the ringer trying to keep my hair. For anyone losing their hair at a young age, you understand the devastating psychological effects this can have. Avoiding the pool, night clubs that do not allow hats, weddings, relationships, etc. Hair Loss can be crippling.
I wanted to touch on the few resources that I think truly work and what you can do to prevent further hair loss. There are many products out there but what actually works? I will list the options and pros and cons of each so you can be more informed and skip the false statements and avoid the marking traps.
When you start to notice you’re losing your hair and you don’t want to allow it to progress, the first thing you should do is go to your local grocery store and buy generic Minoxidil (Rogaine). I recommend buying the foam as this is much less greasy and messy. Use this before bed and each morning as part of your routine. The instructions state that this product only works on the crown; I recommend using this on the hairline and throughout the top of your scalp and temples as well. Minoxidil is a vasodilator (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15133413/) and helps improve blood flow to the hair follicles that are being affected by a hormone called DHT (Dihydrotestosteron)(https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/hair-loss/what-is-dht-baldness-and-how-to-treat-it). DHT suffocates your hair follicles and blocks the blood flow slowly killing the hair follicle. The likelihood of side effects are minimal. If you have a negative skin reaction this may not work for you. Also, being that Minoxidil is a vasodilator, potential cardiac or blood pressure concerns could arise although I have never heard of this happening to anyone. ( https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/minoxidil-topical-route/side-effects/drg-20068750?p=1)
Second, look into Finasteride AKA Propecia or Avodart: (https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1548-9167/finasteride-oral/finasteride-hair-growth-oral/details) Finasteride is a prescription medication that blocks the body’s testosterone from converting to DHT thus, helping stop the DHT from suffocating your hair follicles. Unfortunately with any medication or hormone manipulation, there can be side effects (https://www.rxlist.com/propecia-side-effects-drug-center.htm). There are topical Finasteride options that show a less likely chance of side effects. (www.forhims.com)
Minoxidil and Propcia (Finasteride) in combination should be all you need to prevent further hair loss and keep your hair. This is also the regimen I would recommend starting for anyone who has had a hair transplant. You must do everything you can to keep the rest of your hair after a hair transplant or you will end up losing the rest of your hair and only the transplanted grafts will remain.
Outside of these two options, there are a few other options you can explore, however I am not convinced that the ROI is worth your time and money.
Low Level Light Therapy is an FDA approved method for hair loss just as Minoxidil and Finasteride are. LLLT, works by improving blood flow to the hair follicles as does Minoxidil. The issue I have with this is, the laser devices are usually very expensive and you must adhere to a schedule that requires a lot of time spent under these lasers. This option would be good for someone who has any adverse skin reactions to minoxidil. (https://www.healthline.com/health/laser-treatment-for-hair-loss)
If you’re not an advocate of taking prescription medication, you may be able to substitute Saw Palmetto in place of Finasteride. There are no true studies that show Saw Palmetto truly blocks the body’s Testosterone from converting to DHT. But this is an option to look into. (https://www.healthline.com/health/saw-palmetto-hair-loss)
Platelet rich plasma for hair loss. This is a treatment performed by a Doctor that helps bring Platelet rich blood and inject into the scalp. Again, I am not convinced the ROI is there. (https://www.healthline.com/health/prp-for-hair-loss)
This article is meant to help folks who are just learning about hair loss options and hopefully help navigate through the BS. The FDA options as of now are Minoxidil (Rogaine), Finasteride (Propicia) and LLLT (Low Level Light Therapy)
In conclusion: If you use Minoxidil and Finasteride, you should be in good shape. If you experience side effects from the Finasteride, try the topical version and if all else fails, take Saw Palmetto in its place.