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Jessica Turner

Do Dermatologists Treat Hair Loss? Know Which Doctor To Consult

If you’re experiencing hair loss and wondering about the best treatment, you probably want to know how to get started. As many hair loss solutions are based on prescriptions or custom formulas, which type of doctor do you visit to get those treatments? There’s no specific hair doctor in existence, right? 

 

Let’s take a look at the treatment process and type of specialist who can best help when your hair starts thinning. We’ll also cover how to see a professional in person, as well as online hair loss treatment options for men and women from brands like Hims, Hers, Keeps, Roman and more. 

 

What kind of doctor treats hair loss? 

 

Source: Hims

 

While any health care practitioner may be able to provide you with a general review of your hair loss causes and treatment options, dermatologists are the best type of specialist to see for hair loss if you want to get to the root of the problem (pun intended). A dermatologist’s sole focus is on the epidermis (i.e. skin) of the face and body, including the skin of the scalp, as well as hair and nails. Therefore, among other things, their specialized training includes how to diagnose and treat hair disorders. 

 

You can access a dermatologist in person by visiting a local dermatology office or hair loss clinic, such as HairClub. Dermatologists are also available online through the following services, each of which we’ve reviewed in-depth: 

 

 

During an in-person or telehealth visit, a dermatologist learns more about your medical history and your situation to determine likely causes of your hair loss such as scalp infection, scalp psoriasis, or simply hormonal imbalances or dandruff.  Based on that, the dermatologist decides upon the right treatment. If they believe the cause is due to an underlying medical condition that requires treatment, they may recommend additional testing or refer you to the right kind of doctor for the situation. 

 

In general, though, hair loss is common for men to experience as part of male pattern baldness, which increases in likelihood as you age. Many women experience hair loss as well. In these cases (and many more), a dermatologist is able to prescribe hair loss solutions if that is the right course of action for your needs and goals. 

 

What can dermatologists prescribe for hair loss?

 

There are common treatments that a dermatologist is likely to recommend for hair loss in men or women. Some need a prescription, while others are over-the-counter solutions. Common treatments include:

 

Finasteride for men

 

 

Finasteride is a prescription oral OR topical drug classed as a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, which treats hair loss by diminishing the actions of 5-alpha-reductase. This, in turn, prevents testosterone from being converted into DHT, the cause of male pattern baldness. As a result, this medication can provide excellent results for men suffering from male pattern baldness, but it is unfortunately not for those experiencing hair loss due to lifestyle factors or stress.

 

The standard dose is 1mg taken once every day, and you should see effects in 3 to 6 months.

 

To completely understand how well finasteride works, there is a lot of history and clinical trial data to dissect. Finasteride is mostly used to prevent additional hair loss rather than to promote hair growth. This makes it an excellent choice for men who want to take a proactive approach to hair loss treatment while maintaining their present head of hair. One thing to keep in mind; taking finasteride is a commitment. If you ever were to stop taking it, your body would begin to manufacture DHT again, and your hair follicles will shrink, causing hair loss to resume.

 

 

Minoxidil for men and women

 

 

Minoxidil is a non-prescription topical hair loss treatment that begins to show noticeable results in 6 to 12 months.

 

Minoxidil promotes hair growth because it is a vasodilator that opens blood vessels and increases circulation to the treated area. This can increase and reactivate dormant hair follicles, causing them to develop. Minoxidil is also suggested to extend the hair follicle development phase. These effects, when combined, can result in thicker, fuller hair.

 

This may be a way to experience the best of both worlds for people who are more interested in a minoxidil treatment due to concerns about the rare side effects of oral finasteride. You may achieve better results if you apply minoxidil to your scalp twice a day and take a 1mg finasteride pill once a day – but make sure to consult your dermatologist first.

 

 

Biotin vitamins and other supplements

 

 

Biotin, also known as Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H, can help prevent hair loss by increasing keratin production in the hair. Keratin is one of the most important proteins for the structure of your hair, nails, and skin and thus helps stimulate follicle development. 

 

It is found naturally in foods such as eggs, almonds, onions, and oats. If you don’t get enough biotin, hair loss or skin conditions could occur, but a deficit is uncommon. In most cases, the biotin you get from food is adequate to experience the health benefits.

 

Sometimes, dermatologists also recommend supplements containing natural active ingredients. Among them is Sensoril Ashwagandha, a hair follicle stimulant that can also help with stress reduction and has anti-inflammatory properties. Another common ingredient is Tocotrienol complex, which helps to reduce the inflammation that causes hair thinning.

 

Thickening shampoos

 

 

Sweat, debris, and styling products accumulate on your scalp every day, clogging your hair follicles. If not addressed, these frequent contaminants can harm or even destroy the follicles. Furthermore, if you have a scalp problem like dandruff or psoriasis, both of these conditions can cause or exacerbate hair loss.

 

Many thickening shampoos, such as the ones sold by Keeps and Hims, contain the anti-fungal medicine ketoconazole or natural DHT blockers like saw palmetto, which can help to slow hair loss by alleviating dandruff and psoriasis. Although thickening shampoo cannot address hair loss on its own, it can give your hair a fuller, healthier-looking appearance over time.

 

These products and their ingredients are the holy grail of the hair loss treatment market, with years of research reinforcing their efficacy. Hair loss solutions also include various other active ingredients and products, like the ones you see in the chart further down.

 

How to find a hair loss doctor near you

 

Dermatologists are available to visit in-person and are the most common professionals available for hair loss treatment. During these visits, dermatologists can treat your scalp and hair, both connected to hair loss. You can find these specialized physicians through local dermatology offices in your city or a nearby area. You may or may not need a referral from your primary care physician, depending on your health insurance plan and treatment needs. Should your dermatologist decide you need a prescription, local pharmacies are your tried and true method.

 

Are in-person hair restoration centers worth it?

 

Another option is to visit a local hair loss clinic to see a hair loss doctor, like HairClub or Bosley. HairClub has 120+ centers in North America and Bosley has 70+ centers.  These sites also treat any problems with their own branded products, which can generally be purchased a la carte. 

 

It is best to consult with a dermatologist as your hair loss expert when deciding which hair loss clinic treatment option is best for you. Quality hair loss clinics offer a wide range of hair loss treatments, as well as specialized practitioners who can administer them as needed.

 

The main advantage of hair loss clinics is the variety of products and services available to support your hair and scalps journey in a personalized manner. These range from minimally invasive, non-surgical procedures, to continuous scalp stimulation therapies, prescription medications, and more expensive surgical hair transplants. For men who are completely bald or have suffered irreversible hair loss, formally known as cicatricial alopecia (scarring with total and permanent hair loss), the latter treatment methods at hair loss clinics are the best fit.

 

Source: Bosley

 

Regrowth treatments, on the other hand, are the best place to start for anyone who is just noticing their hair thinning for the first time. You can use one or more regrowth treatments in conjunction or you can try each method separately to see what works best. Most hair regrowth treatments can be self-managed after an initial consultation with a hair loss dermatologist.

 

Aside from solutions applied directly to your scalp, laser hair therapy (FDA approved) is another popular regrowth treatment recommended by many hair loss clinics, including HairClub and Bosley. This uses safe, painless lasers to stimulate follicles and prevent further thinning on your head, typically through a cap or dome.

 

What are the best online dermatologists for hair loss? 

 

Instead of going through the hassles of visiting a hair loss specialist in person, you have the option to move your visit online, giving you access to a dermatologist, but virtually. Modern telehealth and direct-to-consumer companies make this not only possible, but extremely convenient.

 

This process skips the need for referrals, driving to and from visits, waiting in the doctor’s office and going to the pharmacy for your prescriptions on an ongoing basis. Instead, everything is conveniently handled online and your prescription is sent to your door. 

 

No matter who you are, if you’re facing thinning hair, you have numerous options for online dermatologists and hair loss treatments. For men, let’s compare Hims, Keeps, Roman, and Happy Head

 

Best online hair loss doctors for men

    
Hair loss treatmentsMinoxidil

DHT shampoo Biotin gummies
Minoxidil

Finasteride Ketoconazole Shampoo
Minoxidil

Finasteride
Custom Formulated Topical Finasteride with Minoxidil, Retinoic acid & Hydro-cortisone 
Access to licensed physicians and/or dermatologists to prescribe online?  
PricingDepends on the product and quantity:

$16 to $37/month
Depends on the product and quantity:

$10 to $25/month 
Depends on the product and quantity:

$16 to $35/month 
$79/month 
Free shipping ? ✅ $3 per shipment
ReviewHims hair loss reviewKeeps hair loss review Ro hair loss  reviewHappy Head hair loss review
Website

 

For women, we’ll compare several top online dermatologists that can help diagnose and prescribe hair loss medications, including: Hers, Musely for Women, HairClub, and Nutrafol. The following chart compares these options side by side to help you find the best for your needs.

 

Best online hair loss doctors for women

    
Hair loss treatments offeredOral Spirono-Lactone

Topical Spray with Finasteride & Minoxidil

Minoxidil Solution

Biotin Gummies
Topical Formula with Minoxidil, Finasteride, Tretinoin, Spironolactone & Ketoconazole

Oral Formula with Dutasteride & Spironolactone
Laser Hair Treatment

Xtrands (non-surgical process that ties in new hair fibers)

Xtrands + Hair Replacement (uses a medical-grade adhesive to blend new hair)

Extensions

Follicular Unit Extraction & Transplantation (outpatient surgical)

BioGraft (combines surgical and non-surgical solutions)

RestorInk Micropigmentation (non-surgical)
Nutraceutical Supplements

Topical Nutraceutical Serum
Licensed physician / dermatologist? ✅  (licensed naturopathic doctors)
PricingDepends on the product and quantity:

$15 to $50/month
Depends on the product and quantity:

$60 to $130 for 2 months supply 
Starts at $249/ month treatment package that includes:

Specialized care and products Salon services Progress tracking 

Restoration surgery starts at $8k
Depends on the product and quantity:

Starting at $79/month
Free shipping?
ReviewHers hair loss reviewComing soonHairclub hair loss reviewNutrafol hair loss review
Website

 

Why choose online dermatologists platforms for hair loss?

 

The slew of benefits of online access to dermatologists don’t just stop at convenience:

 

On-going care:

This is by far the most valuable advantage of online visits. For example, you can use the Hims app to ask your provider questions for free whenever you have them, with no message limit or additional charges. Going through front-desk receptionists to get ahold of your in-person doctor is not as easy of a process, as we all know.

 

Keeps also provides one year of free, unlimited 24/7 messaging after your first visit, followed by a $5 annual fee.

 

If you are new to finasteride or minoxidil use and are concerned about potential side effects, consult your doctor. Because most of these platforms offer free consultations, you may be able to consult with the prescribing doctor more freely once you begin treatment if noticing any side effects, etc.

 

Cost:

You can begin using various platforms for as little as $5, including the doctor’s visit, and unless you have fantastic health insurance, your physician’s visit copay will be much higher! Online dermatologist platforms generally source low-cost, generic medication, so your drug prices will be significantly lower.

 

Subscription:

Taking medications like finasteride on a regular basis is key – even a single missed dose can set you back. If you get these medications from your local pharmacy, you’ll end up spending a lot of time waiting in line, and that’s assuming you remember to pick them up in the first place. It’s so much easier to simply have the meds arrive on time every month.

 

Beyond hair loss: Online dermatology for skin care

 

Of course, dermatologists are better known for treating skin conditions, not just on the scalp. If you have any skin concerns including rashes, acne, signs of aging, etc., there are online dermatology sites that treat, diagnose, and prescribe medication for this. If you are experiencing more complicated or severe symptoms, you’ll likely still want to consult a skin doctor in person.  

 

The following chart compares the best online dermatologists for skin care – maybe in addition to hair loss treatment? 

 

Best online dermatologist for skin care

    
Skin concerns treatedAcne

Acne

Wrinkles

Dark spots

Other personal skin concerns

Acne

Oiliness

Wrinkles

Under eye circles or puffiness

Acne

Wrinkles

Dark spots

Skincare treatments and ingredients

Proactiv Solution:

benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid 

Proactiv+:

benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid

 

ProactivMD: retinoid, adapalene

Customized formulas:

clindamycin, azelaic acid, tretinoin, niacinamide, zinc pyrithione, tranexamic acid, metronidazole, ivermectin

Personalized regimens:

salicylic acid, retinol, kojic acid, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid

Acne cream:

tretinoin, clindamycin, niacinamide

Wrinkle firming cream:

tretinoin, azelaic acid, niacinamide

 

Hydroquinone cream: hydroquinone, vitamin C, niacinamide

Website

 

The verdict: What kind of doctor should you trust to diagnose and treat your hair loss?

 

Hopefully we’ve helped you see why a dermatologist is the right kind of medical specialist to see for hair loss, as they’ve gone through extensive schooling and training to understand the scalp and any corresponding hair concerns. They are the ideal solution to pick an online dermatologist because the process is convenient, affordable, and just as effective (in most cases) as going in person to see a specialist referred by your primary care physician. 

 

We recommend Keeps as the #1 option for men online, because they offer clinically proven prescription and over-the-counter hair loss treatments at an affordable price. We also love that you can save by buying finasteride and minoxidil in bulk from Keeps. 

 

For women, Hers is our top choice for online hair loss meds. They have specialized, clinically proven solutions for women’s hair concerns, including prescription medications and over-the-counter options, as well as personalized treatment plans for your needs.

 

If the thought of adding a synthetic pill into your daily routine makes you paranoid, or if you’re concerned about any possible long-term side effects, no matter how remote, Nutrafol for men and Nutrafol for women provide a natural alternative for hair loss. 

 

If you want to see a doctor for in-person treatment, we recommend Hairclub as the top in-person hair loss treatment. 

 

Do you have your favorite brand or online dermatologist? Let us know in the comments below!

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