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The Pros and Cons of Medical Hair Restoration

Medical hair-restoration treatment is coming into focus as more and more men and women are realizing there are effective ways to manage hair loss and receding hairlines with oral and topical medication. It’s important to note, however, that only two non-surgical hair-restoration products have been approved by the FDA: Rogaine and Propecia.


Photos courtesy of NeoGraft

Rogaine (Minoxidil) is an over-the-counter topical solution that is most effective when used under the supervision of a hair-restoration specialist. The treatment is known to be effective at reducing hair loss among some men and women by reversing the miniaturization of the hair and improving the growth cycle. Rogaine only remains effective if the patient continues to use it regularly, which consists of applying the solution into the scalp.

Propecia (Finasteride) is a daily treatment administered orally in a pill form. Unlike Rogaine, this medication is available by prescription only and is not for women. It works to fight hair loss by inhibiting the hormone that causes hair loss. It is also known to help stimulate the growth of natural hair.

As these medical hair-restoration treatments become a trusted option in the industry, it prompts this question: What are the advantages of getting such treatments? Are they all equally effective? And are there any downsides to some of these therapies? A quick look at the pros and cons should help provide some basic knowledge about the medical hair-restoration options currently available.

What Makes the Case for Hair-Restoration Medication So Compelling?

Hair-restoration medication is an alternative that’s hugely popular with both men and women, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Simple: Hair-restoration medication is a convenient way to preserve your tresses and significantly slow down a receding hairline.
  • Affordable: Though some may argue that hair-restoration medication doesn’t come cheap, if you weigh it against the alternatives, which may be the slow natural progression of baldness, it puts relative cost into considerable perspective.
  • Non-surgical: Hair-loss medication is suitable for patients who may be adverse to the prospects of surgery.
  • Effective: Most medication like Propecia has gone through extensive research and tests, making the final product very effective. According to some studies, DHT levels – a factor behind male-pattern baldness – dropped by up to 60 percent for men who took Propecia daily. For the majority of men who took the medication, hair loss was reduced, with about two thirds finding significant regrowth.
  • Complementary: Medical hair restoration complements the results of hair restoration surgery. Transplanting new hair will provide much needed density of hair but will be an even better final result if neighboring hairs continue to grow and hair loss slows.

Know the Downsides

Medical hair restoration may not be effective for everyone. Some individual cases of hair loss may be better treated through transplant surgery.

Topical and oral medications require continual maintenance in order to be effective.

When you are on these medications, be sure you inform your doctor when you go in for any health checks or tests. That’s because some hair-loss treatment medication may interact with other treatments or cause certain test results to be altered.

For instance, prostate-specific antigen used to check for prostate cancer may be effected in someone taking Propecia. Quite rarely, in a very small percentage of cases, men may experience a decrease in libido or develop erectile dysfunction.

Keep in mind that these medications are usually only approved for use in adults and unsuitable if you have certain other health problems. Certain treatments are only recommended to treat hair loss in men.

As with any treatment, medical hair restoration has its shortcomings. Weigh your options and see if the advantages make the downside seem insignificant. If that’s the case and you feel the benefits far outweigh any of the downsides, enjoy this pain-free alternative. Contact our office to find out more from Dr. Kaufman.