If your hair loss is not severe, treating with medicine may be another good option. No need to worry, medicines are perfectly safe when taken under a doctor’s supervision. So which one you should take?
The only FDA approved medicines for treating hair loss are oral Finasteride and topical Minoxidil. In order to understand how Finasteride works, you should first understand the underlying causes of hair loss. Androgenetic Alopecia caused by Male sex hormone or testosterone which is converted to DHT or Di-hydrotestosterone.
This DHT miniaturizes hair follicles. The main purpose of taking Finasteride is to inhibit the conversion of Testosterone to DHT. You will notice thicker hair and reduced hair fall within 2-3 months. The contraindication of this drug is during pregnancy because of its teratogenic effect. Individuals should stop using this medicine one month prior to donating blood.
Adverse effects from taking this medicine may include impotence, loss of libido which is found in only 2% of cases. Don’t worry !! If you are one of that 2%, those side effects will diminish after discontinuing use of the medicine. Moreover, reports from studies show that if you have those side effects and still continue taking the medicine, the adverse events will be resolved to the same level as placebo after one year. You should continue taking this medicine lifelong. Once you discontinue use, your hair will start falling again.
The next medication is Minoxidil. It can be used as a hypertensive drug. Its effect is to bring more nutrition and blood to the hair follicles which can longer the Anagen phase (the growing phase) and increase the volume of hair. These effects can be seen after three months of application. Side effects may include irritation, especially when you use higher concentration such as 5 or 10%, or hirsutism around the applied area. The oral form can cause general hirsutism.
Due to its anti-hypertensive property, oral minoxidil may have some cardiovascular effects. So, please consult your doctor when using it. Taking medications can be a safe and effective way to treat hair loss as long as you remember to consult a doctor first and use the medication under the careful supervision of a doctor.
*Individual results may vary.