Male Pattern Baldness: Your Options Explained
Men have a strong tendency to become attached to their own hair. It’s been on their head for as long as they can remember, and when they begin to lose it, it can elicit feelings of deep sadness and even panic. But as march of technology moves ever forward, the treatments for male pattern baldness become more and more effective, and with several options now available, complete shaving one’s own head is a last resort.
Propecia and Other Hair Loss Meds
Propecia (finasteride) is a medication taken in pill form that is designed to reduce your dihydrotestosterone levels. The idea is that by retarding the presence of this hormone, it also retards the rate at which hair loss occurs. The pill has shown to be effective in 85% of cases, and will even help regrow old hair that was once lost, but one you’re on the pill, you have to stay on it or risk losing all the hair that was regrown while you were on it. In a small number of cases it can reduce libido and cause sexual side effects. There is a window during which Propecia will be effective, and after that passes, you’ll be stuck with a different method, so the earlier you decide to opt for Propecia, the better it will likely work.
Liquid Hair Loss Treatments
Rogaine, aka minoxidil, was one of the first FDA approved hair loss treatments and was marketed widely throughout the 90s. The idea is that you rub the solution into your scalp twice daily to stimulate hair growth, but the results are not as effective as most other kinds of available treatments.
Surgical Hair Transplants
There are now three different procedures for surgically restoring your hair, and each of these involve using hair from the back of your head, which is the last to go, and the least likely to fall off, and grafting it to parts of your scalp that have suffered from hair loss. The technology for these procedures keeps getting better and better, the latest employing a robotic system to identify and extract the best candidates for transplant. While the procedure is expensive, it has an amazing success rate, and the transplanted hair grows just like any old hair would.
“Hair transplant surgery represents the cutting edge in the treatment process for male pattern baldness,” says one doctor from Palo Alto. “In the past decade, that’s where all the innovation has taken place.”
Toupees are mostly vestiges of a bygone era. The idea of putting a foreign object on the top of your head really doesn’t require medical intervention. The majority of people who do opt for toupees, end up dissatisfied with the experience and then opt for more strategies when applicable, but the ability to make the toupees look realistic has improved since the 70s. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for ‘hair in a spray can’.
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