Medical Hair Treatment

Medical Hair Treatment involves the use of specially designed medications, such as Rogaine® and Propecia®, which promote hair growth.

Hair Restoration Drugs

Hair loss medications like minoxidil (used in Rogaine®) and finasteride (used in Propecia®) can slow or even stop hair loss, and in some cases, these non-surgical medical hair treatments can reverse hair loss.

Rogaine® (Minoxidil)

In the early 1980s, scientists determined that Minoxidil had the unique effect of stimulating new hair growth. It was later approved as a topical treatment for male pattern baldness and androgenetic alopecia (AGA, baldness in women).

Minoxidil likely works through opening potassium channels in the body, however, scientists have yet to determine why Minoxidil causes hair growth. With that said, scientists have found that Minxodil converts the fine, short body hairs (vellus hairs) that are present across most of the human body into fully developed hairs (terminal hairs). Minoxidil may also normalize hair follicles and boost the growth phase of the hair cycle.

80% of Minoxidil patients have seen a slowing (or complete stop) in hereditary hair loss. Some patients have also experienced new hair growth as a result of their medical hair treatment. And in rare cases, Minoxidil can restore lost hair in the crown area (back of the head).

Things to know about Rogaine®:

  • Rogaine® for Men Extra Strength starts to work in about 8 weeks of treatment;
  • Rogaine® for Men Regular Strength works after up to 4 months of treatment;
  • Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Rogaine®
  • Rogaine is typically applied topically on the scalp twice a day.
  • Once usage is discontinued the hair loss which had been inhibited will resume and the “re-growth” hair will most likely be lost.

Propecia® (Finasteride)

Finasteride is a medical hair treatment that patients can use to maintain existing hair. In one study 83% of men were able to maintain their original follicle count, and 64% experienced regrowth after 2 years of using Propecia® Finasteride.

Propecia saves existing hair by inhibiting the creation of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a naturally occurring hormone which assists with sexual development in males during fetal development (pregnancy) and puberty.

Typically sometime between the ages of 25-35 a man will begin going through a second “change of life” during which time DHT will likely start causing hair loss around the front, top, and crown areas of the scalp. This occurs as a result of DHT naturally limiting follicle growth. The hair cycle is long, and without a DHT inhibitor in the bloodstream (as is the case for most young adults) or applied locally to the scalp the follicle will slowly degrade until it eventually stops growing altogether.

Things to know about Propecia®:

  1. Propecia® requires a prescription;
  2. Propecia is not for women;
    • Women who are or may potentially be pregnant must not use PROPECIA® and should not handle crushed or broken PROPECIA® tablets because the active ingredient may cause abnormalities of a male baby’s sex organs.
    • If a woman who is pregnant comes into contact with the active ingredient in PROPECIA®, a doctor should be consulted.
    • PROPECIA® tablets are coated and will prevent contact with the active ingredient during normal handling, provided that the tablets are not broken or crushed.
  3. PROPECIA® is a daily medication. Patients may see results in 3 to 12 months.
  4. If use of PROPECIA® is discontinued, results will gradually go away over 12 months.
  5. In clinical studies for PROPECIA, a small number of men experienced certain sexual side effects, such as less desire for sex, difficulty in achieving an erection, or a decrease in the amount of semen.
    • Each of these side effects occurred in less than 2% of men and went away in men who stopped taking PROPECIA because of them.

Pros and Cons of Hair Restoration Medication

If you’re interested in starting a medical hair treatment such as Rogaine® and/or Propecia®, then please feel free to contact our office. We’re here to answer any questions you may have.