Hair loss medications
Hair loss can have a significant impact on one’s self confidence and can affect men and women of all ages. The appearance of thinning hair, hairline recession or significant hair loss often lead people to seek treatment for hair loss. For patients who have concerns about ongoing hair loss or are considering a hair transplant procedure, our experienced hair loss specialists, dermatologists and hair transplant surgeons can deliver the right treatment for you including highly effective hair loss medications.
At Centre for Surgery we have the full range of hair loss treatments from specialist hair loss medications all the way to hair transplant surgery using the most advanced techniques. The first step in the process is a thorough consultation with one of our hair loss specialists to identify the causes of hair loss, and provide recommendations on the correct treatment. Our hair transplant surgeons are some of the most experienced hair restoration surgeons in the UK and can treat both men and women with all types of hair including those with Afro-Caribbean hair.
Many patients will attempt to conceal the appearance of thinning hair by allowing the rest of their hair to grow longer, apply a wig, wear of hats both outdoors and indoors or even make use of hair extensions. In addition to having stressful lifestyles or an illness that may accentuate hair loss, it is also well known that having hair extensions can be a contributing cause to hair loss.
There are a number of over-the-counter treatments for hair loss including medicated shampoo use, lotions and specialised dietary supplements not all of which are effective or may take a long time to produce even modest improvements.
For patients who have only just noticed the development of hair thinning and are interested to receive customised advice from a hair loss professional on how to prevent ongoing her loss or perhaps you are already experiencing male pattern baldness and are considering having a hair transplant procedure, our experienced and expert team will be able to assess you in a holistic manner with a view to providing the most appropriate treatment for you.
The first stage of the process for the treatment of hair loss always begins with a face-to-face consultation with a hair loss professional which could be either a dermatologist or hair transplant surgeon. Hair loss can be commonly treated with specialist hair loss medications products. For those who are undergoing hair loss it is important to determine when to start treatment to reduce the rate of hair loss or stop hair loss completely. In general the sooner that hair loss is identified and properly diagnosed then this allows more effective treatment to be given leading to optimal results. It is important to bear in mind that medication is given for hair loss act to reduce or slow down the rate of hair loss but there is no currently available medication which will restore hair that has been lost or lead to the regrowth of hair.
Treatment options for hair loss
Patients who are experiencing hair loss in its early stages or those who have developed a condition which affects the health of the hair or scalp then we would recommend a consultation with one of our highly expert hair loss practitioners. At your consultation, the trichologist’s role is to try to identify possible causes of your hair loss before developing a treatment plan to reduce any further hair loss. Recommendations that could be given could be something as straightforward as dietary or nutritional advice or the use of specialised hair loss products to encourage growth of healthy hair.
For those who may have a medical condition affecting the hair or scalp are best seen by a specialist dermatologist who is an expert in the treatment of all types of medical conditions affecting the hair and underlying scalp. Your dermatologist will take a full medical history and perform a full physical examination. They may prescribe hair loss medication for the management of hair loss and to attempt to slow the rate of hair loss. Medication for hair loss is ideal for patients who are experiencing early signs of her loss or can be combined with a interventional procedure such as a hair transplant for those with more advanced stages of hair loss.
The two most common medications used for hair loss are Minoxidil and Finasteride (also known as Propecia) and these are the only two approved medicines for hair loss treatment. They each have a different mechanism of action. Minoxidil can be obtained without a prescription from a dermatologist and although its mechanism of action is not fully understood it is thought that it acts on blood vessels to dilate them which then facilitates the entry of more blood to the hair follicle with an increase in vital oxygen and nutritional factors to promote healthier hair follicles.
Finasteride also known as Propecia, is only available on a medical prescription from a doctor and is ideal for the treatment of male pattern baldness also known as androgenic alopecia. Finasteride works to prevent the formation of dihydrotestosterone from testosterone. Dihydrotestosterone or DHT is a hormone which can result in significant hair loss. The success rate of Finasteride can be up to 80 to 90% leading to a significant reduction or even elimination of further hair loss.
For patients who have tried hair loss medications and more conservative measures and have found no success then a hair transplant procedure may be the only effective option to treat areas of significant hair loss. At Centre for Surgery, our hair transplant surgeons are experienced in both follicular unit extraction (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT). Follicular unit extraction also known as FUE involves the extraction of individual hair follicles which are then transferred one follicle at a time to the area of hair loss and is a progression over the traditional FUT or strip method which results in a linear scar at the back of the head. The FUT or strip method still has its place for certain patients who desire increased hair density which appears natural.
Can hair loss be cured?With the correct treatment it is possible to either eliminate further hair loss or restore healthy hair to areas of the scalp which have undergone hair loss with a hair transplant procedure. The fundamental approach to hair loss involves identifying the cause of the hair loss and also the grade of hair loss whether it is mild, moderate or severe. When you have a consultation for hair loss at Centre for Surgery, you will be thoroughly assessed by one of our practitioners to identify the causes of hair loss and to give recommendations on the best treatment for you including hair loss medications.
What are the causes of hair loss in men?About a quarter of all men start to lose hair before the age of 30 and approximately 2/3 will start to lose hair before the age of 60.
The 3 most common causes of hair loss in men are androgenic alopecia, Alopecia areata, and Medical conditions of the scalp.
Androgenic alopecia is also known as male pattern baldness. This condition often begins with minor hairline recession at the front of the head followed by thinning of hair at the crown region of the head. Hair at the side of the head or at the back tends to be unaffected. (1) Hereditary factors. Patients who have a first-degree relative who also had male pattern hair loss are also at high risk of developing the condition although it is also possible that Patients may have only very minor hair loss features although their father may have been completely bald. (2) Hormonal factors - dihydrotestosterone is the hormone most commonly implicated in male pattern hair loss and acts to reduce the duration of the hair growth part of the cycle and with each subsequent cycle hair shafts become both weaker and smaller in diameter. (3) Ageing process - hair loss is also associated with increasing age as a result of continued and prolonged exposure of the hair follicles to the effects of dihydrotestosterone although the age of onset differs between people.
Alopecia areata Affects approximately 2% of the UK population and the majority of sufferers are younger people most commonly below the age of 40 although it can affect people across the full age spectrum. The condition can often present suddenly resulting in the appearance of well localised areas of complete hair loss which slowly in large with the passage of time. The condition can also affect the nails leading to a characteristic pitted appearance similar to nail involvement in psoriatic arthritis. The precise cause of alopecia areata is still incompletely understood, although it is thought the condition may have an autoimmune basis, or have a hereditary link. Patients who develop complete loss of hair on the scalp have a form of alopecia known as alopecia totalis and if hair loss is lost from the entire body, this is known as alopecia Universalis.
Medical conditions of the scalp can lead to hair loss. The most common underlying condition of the scalp involves an inflammatory process leading to shedding of hair and both eczema and psoriasis can affect the scalp.
Although there are a number of potential causes of hair loss in men, it is important to have a consultation with an experienced consultant dermatologist at Centre for Surgery for an early and accurate diagnosis followed by prompt and effective treatment.
What are the causes of hair loss in womenHair loss in women can lead to a significant impact on emotional well-being and confidence. Women who experience hair loss commonly develop mental health conditions including low mood and depression which can impact both personal and professional relationships. Unfortunately, hair loss in women is an increasingly prevalent condition. The proportion of women aged between the ages of 25 to 45 developing hair loss has increased over the last 20 years. Hey significant number of cases of female hair loss is due to hereditary factors and hormonal imbalance leading to increased levels of testosterone which is a male hormone. It is also common to experience hormonal changes with the oral contraceptive pill, during and after childbirth and the menopause. Women can also develop hair loss with a highly stressful lifestyle, polycystic ovarian syndrome and in rare cases in those who develop a tumour of the adrenal glands.
Can hair loss be prevented in men?The key to the treatment of hair loss is early diagnosis. For suitable candidates, the use of a prescription medication including minoxidil or finasteride can lead to a reduced rate or even a complete stop to further hair loss within a few months of starting treatment. These specialist medications function to prevent the action of dihydrotestosterone which is a potent cause of male hair loss on the infected hair follicle is and also to promote an increase in blood flow to the existing hair follicles which are at risk of being lost. Follicles that lack a good blood supply will eventually reduce in size and die.
Can hair loss be prevented in women?The influence of genetic factors leads to women having an increased propensity to form the hormone dihydrotestosterone from testosterone. Dihydrotestosterone also known as DHT acts in an adverse manner on the hair follicles of the scalp by causing them to reduce in size over each successive hair growth cycle leading to them becoming eventually thinner over time before they no longer grow at all. The principle of treatment is to block the action of DHT on the hair follicles and also to ensure that the blood supply to the hair follicles is as optimal as possible. The two gold standard medical treatments for female pattern hair loss are minoxidil and finasteride.
What are the benefits of hair transplant surgery?Many patients who have hair loss of varying severities may consider having a hair transplant and often the most common concern is whether results will be natural looking. Although it is common to find online many examples of hair transplant procedures which have not resulted in good outcomes, the key to optimal treatment outcomes is choosing the right surgeon and the right clinic. It is also important that surgeons follow the latest national guidelines on treatment protocols.
The two main techniques for hair transplants are follicular unit extraction and follicular unit transplant (FUT) also known as the strip technique. Modern hair transplant procedures are much less invasive compared with the older surgical techniques performed 20 years ago with very little downtime required after the procedure and with better and more natural looking results.
How much do hair loss medications cost?Treatment with minoxidil starts from £60 and the cost of other hair loss treatments will depend on a face-to-face clinical assessment.