There are many treatments claiming to work well for the hair – either in deterring hair fall or in promoting or enhancing hair growth or re-growth. How do the major players in this field play against each other? Learn from the following hair loss treatment reviews.
Finasteride (Propecia) is a drug usually prescribed by doctors to address the problems inherent in prostate enlargement. It blocks one of the couple of enzymes (the 5 alpha-reductase) responsible for the transformation of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT kills hair follicles by shrinking them and eventually eliminating them, thus causing hair fall or baldness. Finasteride serves to obstruct DHT; this action in effect assists in the prevention or slowing down of hair fall. When finasteride is taken when hair fall is just starting to occur, it may even help the hair grow back. Research indicates that this drug works ninety percent of the time.
There are adverse side effects. Although the occurrence may be generally rare, one has to take these into consideration. It may cause a man to become impotent. It may cause breast cancer in women. It is also likely to cause one to become unreasonably depressed or to suffer from mood swings. Women who are in their child-bearing stage are not advised to take this drug because birth-defects have been known to occur because of its use.
The cost of taking this treatment is estimated at $70 monthly. Depending on the intensity of the hair problem, some doctors may suggest that you take the drug less frequently, thus also reducing the cost, as well as the health hazards involved. Typically, a treatment should be taken for about twelve months before you can determine whether or not it is working in your own particular case.
Dutasteride (Avodart) works the same way as finasteride. However, it deters both DHT-transforming enzymes. Because of this, it may look like a stronger choice. To date, however, it has yet to receive FDA approval as a drug for hair loss.
Saw Palmetto is an herb, a blend of which is usually suggested for treating prostate enlargement in place of finasteride. Because of its similarity to the latter in terms of action, it is also perceived as a cure for hair loss. More in-depth research still has to bear out this perception, though.
Minoxidil is another scalp application to treat hair fall. It is believed to block DHT action, thus, safeguarding hair follicles. It is also said to ensure that the hair gets the necessary nutrients on which existing hair is dependent on for strength and vitality. It is also said to help hair grow back.
Minoxidil is believed to be far more effective on people who are just starting to experience hair fall and less so on those whose hair problem is severe or has been there for quite a while. Minoxidil needs to be applied two times a day for about a year before results can be ascertained. Monthly costs for the drug range from $15 to $50.
Some experts say that a Minoxidil-retinoic acid blend will heighten results on the hair. There is some data on the contrary, though, showing that the blend simply causes scalp-irritation.
There are also hair-transplant surgical procedures undertaken as hair loss treatment. The implants are not subject to DHT activity so they can be thought of as stable. However, your doctor is still likely to recommend medications so that the hairs which can be affected by DHT remain healthy. One of the main arguments against surgery as a method for hair treatment is the scar-formation. They can also be painful and presents some degree of risk to infections. The cost is no laughing matter either –around $15,000 initially. You need to budget for repeat-procedures as the remaining hairs not included in the transplant are still likely to thin out.
Hair loss treatment reviews are a good way to initially assess your options. You may have to further strengthen your choice by getting the advice of a hair loss expert.