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Alex Goldberg

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Hair Loss 101: What Every Man Should Know Before Going Bald

About the Author

Alex Goldberg

Alex worked at three early-stage startups before starting Fin vs Fin. Covering the rise of direct-to-consumer health, his mission is to help patients access better treatments online. He's also a husband, father, and UC Berkeley grad who enjoys golf, podcasts, live music, cooking, and home improvement.

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In this Article

In this Article

Alex Goldberg

Male Pattern Baldness, also called androgenetic alopecia, is one of the most common and typical forms of hair loss. And it impacts more people than you’d think – believe it or not, 2 out of 3 men will experience some kind of MPB by the time they’re 35. Even with today’s improvements in science, there’s still no, true “cure.” Thankfully for those of us who are starting to show signs of balding, there are now some legit, tried and tested treatments that can reduce the impact and even modestly improve a man’s hairline.

 

What causes hair loss for most men?

 

Genes are one of the most common root causes of hair loss. Lots of people have been told to blame their mother’s side of the family – but, more recent scientific studies are showing that it can just as likely be caused by your dad’s genetics. Dr. Dawn Davis of the Mayo Clinic says “patterns of baldness are inherited from many genes, which can come from both sides of the family. So, to assess your chances for hair loss, look at all relatives in your mother’s and father’s families.”

 

Variables beyond your genetics can additionally contribute to MPB. Chemical dyes as well as relaxers can aggravate balding, and “features” of a modern lifestyle like anxiety or a poor diet can also result in additional hair loss.

 

For an otherwise healthy male experiencing alopecia, the most likely cause is the hormone DHC (Dihydrotesteosterone). DHT can cause some men’s follicles to shrink, and eventually die. 

 

 

The best treatments on the market today either try to reduce DHT’s impact on the scalp, or try to bring additional nutrients to the follicles to make them stronger and larger.

 

What hair loss treatments are available?

 

If you see your doctor to ask about alopecia, you are likely to learn about the two most common drugs used to treat the condition. There are also some lifestyle changes that you can consider, which we’ll get to in a moment. However, the two main drugs – both FDA approved to treat MPB – are Finasteride and Minoxidil. Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend one or both of these treatments.

 

While there are various other choices around that variety from hair transplantation to DHT-blocking shampoos to vitamins, a technique that consists of finasteride and minoxidil is one of the most reliable option if you wish to keep the hair you have today (not to mention it’s budget-friendly as well as backed by scientific research).

 

1. Minoxidil (Rogaine)

 

Non-prescription (nonprescription) minoxidil comes in fluid, foam as well as shampoos. To be most effective, apply the item to the scalp skin daily for women and twice daily for males. Many individuals like the foam applied when the hair is damp, although Rogaine, the leading brand of Minoxidil, suggests waiting until your hair is dry before applying.

 

Products with minoxidil have been shown in many, many clinical trials to help people regrow their hair or slow down the price of hair loss or both. It can take two or more months before you’ll notice any improvement, and doctors typically recommend six months of therapy before you decide if it’s working or not. 

 

Possible negative effects include scalp irritability and also undesirable hair growth on the adjacent skin of the face as well as hands. The most common side effect is going to be irritated skin, which can often be treated with an anti-dandruff shampoo. 

 

2. Finasteride (Propecia)

 

 This is a prescription medication for men, FDA approved to treat alopecia. It’s taken as a daily pill. Many guys taking finasteride experience a reduction in the rate of their balding, and also some might show new hair development. It usually takes at least a couple of months to really see if it’s working. Like Minoxidil, you’ll need to take Finasteride more or less forever to keep seeing the results. 

 

It’s thought that this drug decreases DHT, making it less likely to reduce your hair follicles size. 

 

 

You can visit our Finasteride results page to see before and after photos of Finasteride.

 

Rare side effects of finasteride include diminished sex drive and sexual function as well as an increased threat of prostate cancer. Women should not use this drug nor should they touch the pills. There is also a new formulation of Fin available through the online hair loss providers – Topical Finasteride. While these formulations are not FDA approved (it’s only approved in the pill for