HAIR LOSS PREVENTION AND MEDICATION FAQ’S
The Griffin Center of Hair Restoration and Research in Atlanta, GA provides answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about hair loss prevention and medications below. Contact us today for more information.
The hair loss prevention medications that I prescribe or suggest cannot promise overnight success, and patients should be leery of those products that do because of the time required by the natural hair growth cycle. Once you’ve started a hair loss prevention regimen, you will begin to notice a decrease in the amount and rate of hair loss in as early as 6 weeks. Therefore, you will begin to notice less hair on the pillowcase or after a shampoo by then, but it may take longer to see more fullness and regrowth. With consistent, daily usage of medications like Rogaine® and finasteride patients typically begin to see more hair on their scalp within 10 and 18 months.
Every hair loss case is unique, so without a proper consultation this is a difficult question to answer. In general, as soon as you are suspicious that you have androgenic balding (male or female pattern baldness), you should begin prevention. Some of our patients who expect to lose their hair due to genetic predisposition (pattern baldness) start hair loss prevention before they actually start noticing hair loss. Others start their hair loss prevention once their hair loss condition begins to bother them.
- If I discontinue my hair loss prevention medication, will it make my hair begin to fall out more rapidly or will all that I have gained be lost in a short time?
No, but your hair loss will start occurring at the same rate it did before you began your medication. This is a common misconception about hair loss prevention medication. We have had many patients postpone their preventative programs and their hair begins to fall out at the same rate as before. When they begin prevention again, they do not have to start back at square one.
Dr. Griffin strongly recommends that patients stay on hair loss prevention medications even after the hair transplant procedure. This is to ensure that the patient continues to hold on to their existing hair. The more existing hair you can retain, the less hair will need to be transplanted.
This health food has made many claims regarding prostate enlargement, and its benefits have been confirmed by medical studies. Its reduction of DHT has not been proven. At this point there have been no medical studies of its benefits for the prevention of hair loss. Until further information is available, Dr. Griffin recommends finesteride (Propecia®) with its proven record of improvement in balding patients.
Duteseride (Avodart® 0.5mg) has been FDA approved to treat prostate enlargement in men, but it is considered “off-label use” for hair loss. In the past, it was thought that one needed to use 2.5 mg daily, for effective prevention of hair loss.It was decided to be impractically expensive for the general public and therefore, abandoned as a practical hair loss prevention treatment. More recent studies have shown that Duteseride has a long half-life and is cumulative in the body, meaning a patient could take a lower dose over a longer time period and still get the benefits at a reasonable cost. Potential side effects are similar to those of Propecia®. Articles found in Drugs in Dermatology(August 2005) have shown that both men and women with androgenetic baldness benefit with the use of the 0.5 mg dosage on a daily basis. As with the start of any new medication, use and a treatment plan of Avodart® must be carefully discussed with your doctor.
Yes, it is safe for a man using Propecia® to have sex with his pregnant wife. The pregnant woman must not ingest the pills or even handle the actual pills or any liquid form of finasteride during her pregnancy because Propecia® is easily absorbed through the skin. Propecia® could potentially harm a male fetus, especially if taken during the third trimester of pregnancy when the sexual organs are developing. No birth defects have been identified from sexual intercourse when the man is taking oral Propecia®. The amount of finasteride (Propecia®) found in the semen of a male who is taking this medication is minute. It is estimated that over a pint of semen would be necessary daily during the third trimester to produce even the smallest chance of a sexual developmental problem. (This amount far exceeds the imagination, much less the probability!)
In 1997 the FDA approved the oral medication, finasteride, for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Propecia® is the brand name of the one-milligram daily oral dose used for the treatment of hair loss in men. Proscar® is the brand name of the oral, five-milligram dose commonly used in treatment of the prostate. In tests, of patients who used Propecia®, 30-40% experienced re-growth of hair. A higher percentage of patients experienced decreased fallout. It has also exhibited a high safety margin with less than 2% of patients showing signs of side effects, mainly sexual in nature. Propecia’s® effectiveness is also increased when used in combination with topical Minoxidil solution, especially the 5% formula. Retin-A® solution can also be added to topical solutions to aid in absorption. Propecia® requires at least six months of daily use before evaluating for any new hair.
Promising headlines about “miracle” hair tonics have enticed many people into buying lotions that only lead to disappointment. Despite extravagant claims, the aforementioned products have been proven time and time again to be useless. However, the first proven effective topical drug, Rogaine® (2% minoxidil) and Extra-Strength Rogaine® (5% minoxidil) helps to hold on to existing hair, and has actually restored hair in some patients.
Many people purchase these topical medications envisioning overnight success, but re-growth is a slow process that can take 6-12 months of consistent daily usage to see any results. Rogaine® has found its greatest effectiveness with those who are just beginning to lose their hair because it actually slows down the balding process. Continued regular application is required and can easily fit into a daily routine. With almost no side effects, it has become an effective treatment for many patients for the last several years.
Yes, based on the patient’s goals extent of hair loss, and the age and sex of the patient, several treatment options are now available for thinning hair. The two main provenmedications are oral Propecia® (finesteride) and topical Rogaine® (minoxidil). Both of which have proven records of hair growth and are approved by the FDA. Only Propecia® requires a prescription from a doctor. It is very important to note that when both medications are used in conjunction, they help to prevent further progression of androgenic loss. Prevention of further loss is the most important factor to slowing down the progression of hair loss. However, there are reports of many patients who have actually re-grown cosmetically acceptable hair where they were once bald. This re-growth is highly variable and is most often seen with those patients on Propecia®. Studies are now showing that certain types of medicated and zinc-based shampoos
On NBC’s Dateline, a study of 5 men used one of 5 different treatments for hair loss for one full year. At the end of a year of treatment, the 5 men were revisited to evaluate their results. The patient who fared the best, received the Hair Transplant surgery. Second, was the patient who took Propecia® by mouth, and applied topical Rogaine® to the scalp. Next, with only minimal changes were, the patient who used Rogaine® alone, and the patient who used an oral “Norwegian formula”. In last place was the patient who used a laser comb.