As it is on the rise, hair loss has affected the male population of ages above 30 years. It was estimated in the year 2000 that approximately 6.5 million men were losing their hair due to a variety of reasons.
To find the root cause of hair loss, it is better to consult a doctor. A physical exam of the hair is the most common approach of the doctors to find its causes. On the doctor's part, it is important to find whether the person is taking any medicines, suffering from any disease, asking women about pregnancy, menstrual cycle or menopause. Blood tests or biopsy of the scalp may also prove to be helpful.
If the cause is hormonal imbalance, then treatment of that hormone level can reverse the hair fall. If it is due to an infection then recognition and treatment of that infection will terminate the loss. There are many medications that can cause hair loss, but this condition on drug withdrawal fades away. Medicines may also help slow or prevent the development of common baldness. As hair loss generally leads to baldness if untreated, it is better to prevent hair loss as well as re grow the hair as well. For this purpose there are some medications available in the market.
Two of the most important drug based treatments include minoxidil (rogaine) and finasteride (propecia) that the FDA has approved in the US so far. Minoxidil available as Rogaine, a 2% topical solution, is approved for both the males and females to treat pattern baldness and hair loss as an OTC drug. Originally it was used orally as a vasodilator for high blood pressure, Stock Hair Pieces
which later developed as a topical preparation when its users were observed to grow hair. It is applied on the scalp of the affected person.
Finasteride available as pills under the name of Propecia, is used to treat hair loss and male pattern baldness in males.
Propecia has not shown to be effective for treatment of hair loss in women. It was first used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It was approved in 1997 by FDA for treating male pattern baldness as a prescription only medicine. The treatment may take upto 6 months before showing signs of improvement.
Another drug, dutasteride is also used for hair loss treatment as an off label medicine for prescription use. Like Finasteride, it was primarily used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Different hairtyles, wigs, hairpieces, hair weaves or artificial hair replacement may be a better option for people whose hair loss treatment is not easily available or inadequate.
As a general rule it is accepted that exercise is good for health. It is also now known to affect hair growth and loss. Aerobic exercise is shown to help keep the androgens particularly testosterone levels to a lower level naturally possible. Regula exercise also will reduce the stress on the person, thus stress reductions will itself lower the incidence of hair loss. It is shown that Immunosuppressant's when applied to the scalp reverses alopecia areata, but with some objectionable side effects. These drugs are available as prescription only medicines. These are available in tablet, capsule, liquid, and injectable forms. Azathioprine (Imuran), Cyclosporine (Sandimmune) and Tacrolimus (Prograf) are the drugs that are available an fall in this category of drugs.