Hair loss treatment supplements and medication are used to restore, revitalize and rejuvenate hair in both men and women for both cosmetic, health and psychological reasons. There are a variety of reasons and disorders that may lead to hair loss.
Sometimes, they are temporary and sometimes, they are not. And it varies between women and men as to what the cause often is. For example, male pattern baldness isn’t uncommon in men over 50 years of age. It is an inherited trait that is often out of your control.
For women, hormonal changes may cause hair loss, such as from pregnancy or menopause. Nutritional deficiencies or certain medical conditions may also be contributing factors.
However, for both sexes, there are numerous hair loss treatment options. These hair loss treatments have a variety of benefits (and possibly side effects), which will explore below.
1Topical minoxidil prevents hair loss and promotes new hair growth. It’s applied directly to the hair or scalp daily. Studies have shown to have some impact on hair growth when compared to controlled groups.
A study published in 2004 examined its use in a 48-week trial for female pattern hair loss. 381 women were observed in the study. It was found the minoxidil formula was superior to the placebo group. The experimental group had a higher hair count than previously measured (1).
A second study used minoxidil to treat patients with alopecia areata – a disease that causes hair patches to fall out. Researchers observed hair growth within 2 months of treatment. However, upon termination of the treatment, the results were not maintained (2).
A 1999 study used hair weight and number as a measure as to whether minoxidil treatment worked or not. This particular study was done through 120 weeks. The group that was given minoxidil showed significantly improved hair weight and number when compared to the placebo and untreated group. After 96 weeks, increases continued making up 30% of the total end results. Again, after treatment stopped, the hair weight and count returned to previous levels (3).
2Spironolactone has shown to have some effects on female hair loss. Essentially, it is a hormone. It acts as an anti-androgen blocking testosterone production, which may explain why it’s only used in females and not for males. Many women have seen partial hair re-growth from this drug (4).
A 2005 study explored the effects and use of this oral antiandrogen therapy. In this study, 40 women received 200 mg of spironolactone daily – 44% of the women in the study experienced hair regrowth. The study concluded by citing that more research was necessary to prove the viable use of this drug for hair loss in women (5).
A clinical case study tested oral antiandrogen spironolactone when combined with minoxidil. The combination of the 2 showed hair regrowth. Yet, there was a plateau and its hard to say if spironolactone was a contributor (6).
3Finasteride slows hair loss and improves hair growth. Finasteride often requires a prescription. It is an oral pill that is frequently taken every day.
A study, originally presented at Dermatology 19th World Congress in Australia, explored the use of finasteride in males taken at a 1mg dosage per day. The results showed an increased hair count. Researchers also stated that the drug was well-tolerated by participants throughout the first year of the study (7).
It was also shown to help women with their hair loss issues. A study conducted in 2006 observed the use of oral finasteride in combination with an oral contraceptive containing drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol in premenopausal women experiencing hair loss. The women in the study were given 2.5 mg of finasteride per day. No adverse reactions were reported, and 62% of the women had improvements involving hair growth (8).
4Topical tretinoin is sometimes used in combination with other medications to aid in hair regrowth. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology compared the use of a solution containing 5% minoxidil and 0.01% tretinoin and another solution containing 5% topical minoxidil. 31 participants were split into 2 separate groups.
The first group applied the purely 5% topical minoxidil solution to their scalp twice a day. The second group applied the 5% minoxidil and 0.01% tretinoin solution once daily. The results showed increased hair count in both groups, indicating these 2 treatments to be equally effective (9).
Most other studies also appear to have used a combined approach when studying tretinoin. Further research is required to determine the exact use of tretinoin in hair regrowth (10).
Hair transplants may provide an option to solve the hair loss problem. However, procedures are somewhat invasive compared to other options. They also come with a hefty price tag.
Surgery often involves grafting of the skin as this is where the hair follicles grow. After surgery, final results aren’t normally seen until 5-6 months afterward (11).
5Corticosteroid injections may provide hair growth at different sites or patches. A 2001 study examined the use of corticosteroid injections combined with pulse therapy. After 4 weeks, it was found to be a potential treatment method for hair loss. Researchers also reported that participants tolerated the overall treatment well (12).
Another study used corticosteroids on 18 patients with hair loss. 7 patients saw satisfactory hair growth. However, once the therapy ended, hair density and count returned back to previous levels similar to other therapy options (13).
6Laser hair loss treatment may decrease inflammation around the hair follicles. Consequently, it may help hair regrowth.
In 2013, researchers explored low-level laser therapy and its impact on hair loss and growth. It was found to stimulate the growth of hair in both men and women. It was further determined to be very safe and effective. However, the study did state that an optimal wavelength and other parameters should be further examined (14).
Another set of researchers set out to find out if 810 nm diode laser treatment stimulated hair growth. Yet, this type of laser had no effect on hair growth or loss (15).
Low-level laser therapy was further supported in a 2014 study. Again, no adverse effects were reported by researchers or participants. And the laser therapy was effective in treating pattern hair loss in men and women (16).
7Anthralin is considered a safe and effective hair loss treatment option. Hair growth is often reported after about 2-3 months of use.
One study explored the use of anthralin via a cream. Anthralin was 0.5-1% of the cream. The study reported a cosmetic response and hair growth demonstrating its benefits (17).
An animal study conducted using mice showed full hair replacement and the restoration of hair lengths after anthralin ointment use for 10 weeks (18).
8Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a newer hair loss treatment, which involves the drawing of a person’s blood and then re-injection of that blood into their scalp. It often involves a more aggressive approach in the first 4-6 weeks, with regular maintenance following every 4-6 months.
Since it is fairly new, there isn’t as much research on PRP therapy. However, a notable 2014 study was able to examine the effects of PRP therapy over the course of a year. 20 patients were involved in the study. These patients were injected 3 times every 21 days. The results were surprising since hair loss was reduced, but after 3 months, hair density reached normal levels. This study showed that it has exceptional benefits for both males and females suffering from hair loss (19).
92% ketoconazole shampoo may help reduce testosterone in women that cause hair loss to occur. It is most well-known for its use in reducing dandruff and treating other dermatitis conditions.
A 2014 study took a look at the use of ketoconazole as a hair loss treatment method. The study did so via the use of 7-month year old mice. The solution was applied once every day for 3 weeks. Upon collecting results, researchers determined that ketoconazole may stimulate hair growth (20).
10Iron and zinc deficiencies may cause hair loss. Thus, many experts and doctors believe that ensuring you get enough iron and zinc may be a viable hair loss treatment option. However, studies and reviews state that supplementation should not be recommended unless advised by their doctor with proven blood tests showing a deficiency (21).
11Acupuncture has further been suggested as a hair loss treatment. Yet, there aren’t many studies to back up this claim. However, the theory is that the needles would stimulate blood flow and circulation to the scalp area. Thus, the hair follicles would be stimulated causing hair re-growth.
There is evidence supporting taking biotin for hair loss. It’s thought that a deficiency of biotin causes hair thinning and hair loss. Biotin can be found in many foods, such as sweet potatoes, eggs, and oats (22).
12Eclipta alba (or bhringraj) is a herb in the sunflower family and helps to promote hair growth. A 2009 study set out to examine these facts via the use of mice participants. Eclipta alba was applied topically to the mice. Follicle count and skin thickness were used as key indicators as to whether or not it worked. The results showed it could potentially be used as a hair growth stimulant. However, further research it necessary involving clinical studies with humans (23).
13Drinking green tea may impact hair growth. A 2005 study showed when mice were given an extract from green tea, they experienced significant hair growth in a 6 month time period. Again, clinical studies involving human participants has not been explored (24).
14Hibiscus may aid in hair loss treatment as well. Extract from the leaves and flowers of Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis were studied in relation to hair loss in rats. 1% extract in liquid form was applied to the shaved skin of the rats. The results showed that Hibiscus may have the potential to promote hair growth. As with other hair loss treatment methods, human trials have not been explored (25).
15RU58841 is a research chemical with promising hair regrowth potential. RU58841 is a non-steroidal experimental anti-androgen, which is intended for use as a topical acne treatment and androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness).
A 1994 study published in the Journal of Steroid Bio-Chemistry and Molecular Biology concluded the exceptionally high topical activity of RU58841 combined with unprecedented selectivity with respect to systemic effects suggest that this compound is a candidate of choice for the local treatment of androgenic alopecia (26).
While studies lack, many people have across the internet have used it with success and claim that RU58841 is a turn-key all in one hair loss prevention compound that blocks all DHT on the scalp, and can literally halt hair loss in its tracks.
1Minoxidil may cause more hair loss at first before new growth emerges. New growth may also appear to be thinner than previous hair.
2Minoxidil caused irritation in some participants in a few studies. It may further cause hair growth on other areas, such as the hands and face, when applying. And various sources claim that it may cause tachycardia.
3In rare cases, tretinoin may actually cause hair loss as opposed to helping with regrowth (27).
4The effects of a hair transplant may diminish over time (28).
5Hair transplant surgery comes with risks including bleeding and infection. Make sure you discuss these risks with your surgeon prior to surgery.
6Corticosteroid injections have a few adverse effects that could happen. These include skin atrophy and possible thinning of the hair, which might not be desirable when one is trying to achieve hair regrowth.
7Anthralin cream may cause skin irritations. This includes pruritus (severe skin itching), local erythema (redness), and scaling in some individuals (29).
8PRP therapy may cause injury to the blood vessels, nerve damage, infection, scar tissue, or calcification in the tissue where the blood was re-injected.
9In some cases, the hair loss treatment method may not work. Some studies noted that the above treatments did not work for the majority of participants, but did work for some.
Usage of minoxidil as a topical formulation in the concentration range of 2-5%, with 5% being slightly better than 2% at promoting hair growth. Although oral supplementation technically aids hair growth, it is not advised due to possible complications with blood pressure.
1mg doses of finasteride has been shown to be effective for cosmetic hair regrowth.
For hair loss, your doctor will likely prescribe a daily dose of 100 to 200 milligrams. However, they might recommend you start with 25 milligrams a day and slowly increase your dose to reduce your risk for side effects.
Experts recommend anyone aged 10 or older should get between 30 and 100 mcg per day of biotin.
RU58841 is incredibly potent and does what it’s supposed to do very well.
A standard RU58841 dose of 50mg applied all over the scalp in areas prone to male pattern baldness once per day should suffice, but some individuals may require more (this is dependent on a variety of individual-specific factors). Increasing it to 75mg or 100mg should be more than enough for almost every single individual and probably won’t even be necessary.
What is the best vitamin for hair loss? Biotin is a B-complex vitamin (also known as vitamin H) that strengthens the protein infrastructure in hair, skin, and nails.
Can you reverse hair thinning? Drugs like finasteride and minoxidil are clinically proven to treat male pattern baldness and even reverse hair loss with a majority of men, and they’re approved by the FDA.
Can DHT hair loss be reversed? In order to effectively reverse the miniaturization process, you must use a hair loss treatment that has the ability to lower DHT levels. Once DHT levels are lowered, hair follicles will have the ability to generate thicker, fuller and healthier hair.
What is the best treatment for female hair loss? Minoxidil (Rogaine) 5% is the only topical medication approved by the FDA for female-pattern hair loss. The once daily use foam treatment regrows hair in 81% of the women who try it. Liquid options of 2% and 5% solutions are available over the counter.
Why is so much of my hair falling out? Physical and psychological stress can cause hair loss. Surgery, high fevers, and blood loss can cause enough stress to result in excessive shedding. The causes of physical stress are often temporary, and the hair loss subsides as the body heals.
Will my hair grow back after taking vitamin D? Research is scarce on how long it will take for hair to grow back and if there is a significant amount of hair regrowth after upping your vitamin D intake and improving your levels. Anecdotal evidence, though, suggests hair may stop shedding and regenerate in as little as two months after treatment.
Can coconut oil help repair damaged hair? Coconut oil is, hands down, one of the most effective hair treatments for a very wide variety of hair issues and it is, without a doubt, the best oil for damaged hair. It works incredibly well for repairing damaged hair that’s over-processed, heat-damaged, or just naturally dry.
At what age does balding start? Both men and women tend to lose hair thickness and amount as they age. Inherited pattern baldness affects many more men than women. About twenty-five percent of men begin to bald by the time they are thirty years old, and about two-thirds are either bald or have a balding pattern by age sixty.
Hair loss treatments do exist with some evidently being more effective than others. It is further suggested by experts and healthcare provider to take care of your general health, especially if there is no definite or predetermined cause of your hair loss. They recommend eating a healthy and balanced diet, avoid smoking, finding ways to cope and reduce stress, as well as attending regular doctor check-ups.
Discuss your options with your doctor. And make sure you aware of any side effects if you are recommended medication for your hair loss.