To fully understand hair loss in men, you must also understand how the hair grows. In a normal person, scalp hairs tend to live from one to three years, which is known as the anagen phase, or growth phase. The telogen phase, or resting phase/period of dormancy, occurs after the growth phase. The dormancy period lasts for around three months, and it is during this time that the root of the hair deteriorates, and falls out. About ten percent of all hairs is in the telogen phase at any one time.

The average person loses around 100 hairs each day, and even more on days that they shampoo because hairs become loosened and can fall out. Hairs that fall out are usually replaced by the body. When the body produces more hormones than is needed, these hormones form a residue that causes the hair to die – which in turn causes thinning hair and/or baldness.

Treatments for Hair Loss in Men

There are a ton of products on the market that claim to help re-grow hair; buyer beware, however. The myriad collection of shampoos, vitamins and supplements, and laser procedures that claim to restore your hair are harmless enough – but they don’t work for the most part.

From a medical standpoint, there are only two options available to men for the treatment of hair loss: Rogaine or Propecia.

  • Rogaine, also called minoxidil. Minoxidil is a topical treatment that is available over the counter without a prescription. Minoxidil works the best on the frontal regions of the head and the crown. The highest strength of concentration for Minoxidil is five percent, which is the recommended formulations. Minoxidil may help to grow a bit of hair in some men, but is most effective in allowing men to keep the hair that they have left. Rogaine/minoxidil is a bit daunting to use because it must be applied twice daily.
  • Propecia, also known as finasteride is an oral medication that helps to shrink the prostate and has the added benefit of helping to re-grow and thicken the hair to a certain extent while helping to hold on to the remaining hair on the head. Finasteride has been linked to impotence in some men, however. Finasteride/Propecia costs about $60 for a month’s supply.

Other Options for Dealing with Hair Loss in Men

There are other options to manage hair loss in men, including:

  • Hair piece. Hair pieces have come a long way since the days of the Three Stooges; in fact, many of them are so real-to-life that no one will know it is not your own hair but you.
  • Surgery to transplant hair. Many men elect to have hair transplantation, which involves removing hair from one area and redistributing it elsewhere.
Brian Johnson MD

Brian Johnson MD

Dr. Brian Johnson is a professor of dermatology. He has conducted numerous research studies about hair loss and it's effects on the human psyche. Dr. Johnson has written for Maclean's, Motherboard, the National Post, and the Huffington Post.
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