Hair Loss Treatments: Ratings of Sources
This rigorously researched article discusses the wide array of topical treatments available for androgenetic alopecia, including: minoxidil, prostaglandins, fluridil, ketoconazole, spironolactone, melatonin and estrogen. Minoxidil receives the most attention, and the article cites numerous studies attesting to its efficacy.
Researchers successfully treat a girl born with temporal triangular alopecia (TTA) using 3 percent topical minoxidil. They conclude that minoxidil is a suitable solution to TTA; however, researchers note that each time they discontinue treatment the subject's hair loss returns.
This study, conducted at Seoul National University College of Medicine, compares 5 percent minoxidil therapy applied twice daily, to the combination of 5 percent minoxidil and 0.01 percent tretinoin applied once daily. The study included 31 men, between the ages of 28 and 45, with pattern baldness. Results show that combination therapy is just as effective as traditional therapy. Study length isn't listed.
A 48-week study conducted at the Duke Dermatopharmacology Study Center compares the effectiveness of 5 percent minoxidil solution to 2 percent minoxidil solution and a placebo. It includes 393 men with pattern baldness. At the end of the trial, the stronger 5 percent solution produced 49 percent more hair growth than the 2 percent solution with placebo. The study also showed that the higher concentration produced results sooner. In addition, the study revealed that irritation occurs more often with the 5 percent concentration, but most participants had no ill effects overall.
This study compares the effectiveness of a 5 percent minoxidil topical solution with that of a 1 mg oral dose of finasteride (the active ingredient in Propecia) in treating pattern baldness in men. At the end of the trial, both treatments are judged to be effective with relatively few side effects, but finasteride produced more hair growth over a 12-month period.
This 10-year follow-up study assesses the effectiveness of a daily dosage of 1 mg of finasteride in balding men. The scope and length of the study make it a valuable indicator of finasteride's efficacy over time. The majority of the patients maintained or improved the hair growth they achieved in the first year of treatment.
This study explores the safety and efficacy of finasteride in women, as the drug has yet to receive FDA approval for female patients with AGA. The study lasted 18 months, and researchers took data at six months, 12 months and 18 months. The majority of test subjects displayed significant improvement, and most didn't have any side effects, although older patients were more prone to a negative response to the drug.
Duke University Medical Center studies the effects of dutasteride, in various dosages, on male pattern hair loss. Results are compared to those of finasteride (Propecia) and a placebo on 416 men between the ages of 21 and 45. Results show that dutasteride is an effective treatment for male pattern hair loss and that the 2.5 mg dosage produces more growth than finasteride at both 12 and 25 weeks of use.
This study enrolled healthy women with thinning hair between the ages of 21 and 75 to assess the efficacy of an oral dietary supplement on hair regrowth. Some of the patients were given a placebo. The study concluded, "The daily administration of a proprietary nutritional supplement significantly increased hair growth after 90 and 180 days. Self-perceived improvements after 90 days were increased after 180 days of additional treatment, suggesting continued improvements may occur with ongoing treatment …."
The American Hair Loss Association provides lots of information about hair loss, its various causes and treatment options. This particular article discusses several treatment options for female pattern hair loss. There is only one FDA-approved treatment for female pattern hair loss (minoxidil 2 percent solution), but this article discusses several common off-label treatments as well.
This in-depth article (reviewed by Paul J. McAndrews, MD) discusses the scientific basics of hair transplant surgery and answers some frequently asked questions about transplants and visual considerations. The American Hair Loss Association also details the best candidates for hair transplant surgery. In addition, the website links to helpful articles about how to find a qualified physician.
In this article, editors of the American Hair Loss Association discuss the anticipated next step for hair-loss surgery: hair cloning. The article delves into a scientific explanation of why the duplication of human hair follicles is so difficult.
Three dermatologists discuss hair loss and possible treatments with USA Today. They have differing opinions of HairMax, a laser comb that recently received marketing clearance from the FDA. Doctors say the only proven treatments are Propecia, Rogaine and hair transplant surgery. They agree that the latter treatment is the most effective, but don't usually recommend it as a first choice.
This article on surgical hair transplants discusses the types of hair transplant techniques, the best candidates for such a procedure, safety information, questions to ask the surgeon before treatment, and how to find a reputable practitioner.
In an effort to clear up which hair-loss remedies actually work, Holly C. Corbett consults Frederick Joyce, MD, founder of Rejuvenate! Med Spa and member of the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery. She discusses the effects of good nutrition, Nioxin shampoo, laser light therapy, hair replacement surgery, Propecia, and minoxidil on men with alopecia. Transplant surgery, Propecia and minoxidil are recommended as the most effective options, but Corbett warns of the side effects of each.
Consumers can read and post reviews for products sold at Drugstore.com, which include several personal care items. Most of the hair regrowth products listed are only reviewed a few times, if any, but a few of them are reviewed upwards of 15 times and provide some insight into their efficacy.
Amazon.com posts user reviews along with average user ratings for consumer products, including several hair-loss products. Minoxidil products are reviewed most often and generally receive positive comments. Most complaints are based on the strong odor of the product or the messy application.