Hair loss, resulting from any of several different causes, affects more than 50 million people world-wide, and more than 60% of men and women can be expected to experience some form of noticeable hair loss by the time they are sixty years old. While for many, hair restoration surgery is the best option for regaining a fuller, natural looking hair line, this is most definitely not the only option available. There are currently two medications that have been proven to slow or even reverse hair loss, minoxidil and finasteride. At The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research, we are devoted to exploring all avenues to treating hair loss, and feel privileged to have the opportunity to educate our patients about all of the options at their disposal.
Minoxidil, better known under the trade name Rogaine®, is a topically applied treatment designed to increase the size of shrunken hair follicles and can keep them in the growth phase longer. This slows the progression of hair loss and in some cases stimulates regrowth. An estimated 30-60% of patients see decreased hair loss or some amount of regrowth. At The Griffin Center, we can formulate special blends of prescription topical medications to specifically address individual patients’ particular needs. Because Rogaine® works by stimulating and enlarging existing hair follicles, it has proven to be most effective with those who are just beginning to lose their hair. In advanced cases where the hair cycle has halted, Rogaine doesn’t regrow much hair but can halt the progression of further loss.
Finasteride, on the other hand, works directly on the source of androgenetic alopecia, the most common form of hair loss in both men and women. By inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, the key to converting testosterone to the follicle-destroying dihydrotestosterone (DHT), finasteride has been clinically shown to successfully halt the progression of hair loss in 86% of men, with 65% of those experiencing a “substantial” increase in hair growth. Finasteride needs to be taken orally only once per day, making it potentially more convenient for patients than a topically applied remedy. However, finasteride is not approved for women, as it is unsafe for those who are pregnant or trying to conceive, and it may, in fewer than 2% of cases, cause some sexual side effects in men.
Both Rogaine® and Propecia® have been shown to be safe and effective methods for fighting hair loss, however, many hair loss patients have found the best results come from using both treatments together. In many cases, specially made compounds containing combinations of different medications work best. Non pharmacological treatments such as red light and PRP are other options as well. Ultimately, you should discuss your individual case with an experienced expert in the field of hair loss and restoration, like Dr. Edmond Griffin and Dr. Ashley Curtis, in order to determine what course of treatment is best suited to your specific needs.
If you have questions about hair loss or any of the hair restoration treatments we offer, please contact The Griffin Center to schedule a consultation. Be sure to also visit our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.