There are many options for the treatment of hair loss. In fact, there are so many options that it can be confusing to choose among them. We’ll tell you about some of the more commonly recommended options for treating hair loss, including some natural hair loss treatments. Since the best treatment for you may depend on the cause of your hair loss as well as other factors, we suggest seeing a dermatologist (a doctor that specializes in disorders of the skin and also treats hair loss) if you have questions or need more information.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology(1), dermatologists frequently recommend a topical medication called minoxidil to treat hair loss. Minoxidil was originally developed as a medication for high blood pressure but researchers discovered that it worked better as a treatment for hair loss than for hypertension. Initially requiring a prescription from a doctor, minoxidil is now available over the counter. It’s one of the most frequently recommended treatments for hair loss because it’s effective, easy to use and affordable. It’s also safe for use in both men and women.
Dermatologists sometimes recommend a prescription drug called finasteride for men with hair loss, but finasteride is not safe for use in women due to the risk of severe birth defects. Finasteride is usually only recommended if minoxidil doesn’t work or can’t be used for some reason, because it carries a much greater risk of side effects.
Dermatologists sometimes recommend other forms of treatment for hair loss, such as laser treatments or hair transplantation, but these treatments are expensive. Hair transplant surgery is also painful and carries many risks of complications. For these reasons, minoxidil is often the first treatment tried. If it doesn’t work, dermatologists will move on to other, more invasive procedures and treatments.
Of course, you aren’t required to treat your hair loss at all. Some people decide to just embrace their baldness. You can discuss the pros and cons of treating your hair loss with your doctor. Many people do prefer to treat their hair loss, especially younger people and women, simply because they feel more comfortable and self-confident with normal-looking hair.
Sometimes people prefer to try natural treatment of hair loss before using medication, even over-the-counter medication like minoxidil. Natural treatments do work in some instances, but they are generally not very effective for many types of hair loss. People often believe natural treatments for hair loss will be safer and less likely to have unpleasant side effects than medical treatments, and sometimes that’s true. Even natural treatments can have side effects, though, and not all natural remedies are safe for everyone. Please talk with your doctor if you have questions about whether a particular remedy is safe or appropriate for you.
Nutritional supplements like vitamins are often used as natural remedies for hair loss. For instance, people often take biotin in an attempt to reverse hair loss. Biotin is a vitamin found in many foods, including meat, seafood, whole grains, and some fruits and vegetables. Biotin deficiency can cause hair loss, but biotin deficiency is very rare in the U.S. If you don’t have a biotin deficiency that is causing your hair loss, taking extra biotin won’t help your hair regrow.
Other nutritional supplements people sometimes use in an attempt to reverse hair loss include iron, zinc, and protein shakes or other protein supplements. While these are all nutrients necessary for good health, it’s possible to take too much of these things and if a nutritional deficiency isn’t causing your hair loss, taking them won’t help your hair grow back.
Some people try various herbal supplements to help hair regrow, including saw palmetto, rosemary, nettles and burdock. While herbs are often safe, they can interact with some medications and we recommend talking to your doctor or pharmacist before taking herbal supplements if you take any medications or have any health problems. We’ve been unable to find any studies showing whether or not these herbs actually work to treat hair loss.
Click here to learn more about home remedies for hair growth.
Our preferred treatment of hair loss is Rogaine. It’s a brand name product containing minoxidil, which is frequently recommended by dermatologists to treat hair loss. You don’t need a prescription from a doctor for Rogaine. It’s affordable, easy to use, and approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating hair loss in both men and women. To find out more about why we recommend Rogaine, just follow the link.
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(1) AAD: Hair Loss