Hair Loss Medications: A Comprehensive Guide & Key Comparisons

Hair Loss Medications A Comprehensive Guide & Key Comparisons

Some hair loss is considered normal, but other symptoms may be a cause of concern. When losing hair is not the sign of a health condition, it can certainly affect your appearance and confidence. If you are experiencing conditions like male- or female-pattern baldness, acute hair loss, or thinning hair, you are probably wondering what you can do to reverse the issues. Better yet, you want a remedy that can help you to grow thicker, more beautiful locks so you can enjoy healthier hair.

Know that there are a variety of options available to you, including procedures, at-home therapies, and medications. The strategies that you choose will depend on your personal reasons for hair loss. It is also a good idea to consider your health history, your treatment preferences, and your lifestyle. Some people are searching for the fastest or most effective option, while others are looking for natural solutions for hair regrowth like what to eat for healthy hair. If you are open to using medications, it is important to know what is available and how to use them safely.

The following guide will explain which hair loss medications are available, as well as how they compare and contrast with each other. You will also learn who is not eligible to take these medicines, which side effects to watch out for, and how to use them in conjunction with treatments like laser therapy. After reviewing the information and each of your options, you will have a better idea of how to grow healthier hair. You will also know which questions to ask your doctor.

What Are Hair Loss Medications?

Hair loss medications come in two types. The first kind is available over the counter (OTC) as an oral or topical medicine. The second is a prescription from your doctor designed to treat symptoms of hair loss or thinning, all while encouraging healthy hair regrowth. Some of these products are available online or in stores. Others are prescribed by your doctor and filled by your pharmacist.

woman taking hair loss pill

There are a few different ways that these medicines work in the body or on the scalp. Some formulas are designed to lower levels of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is known to contribute to the shrinking of hair follicles. According to WebMD, others work to improve the health of strands and keep them on your scalp. There are even medications that are known to work, but the reason is unknown.

Since there are several options that work differently, consider talking to your doctor about the right one for you. If you are choosing an OTC product, be sure that it is specifically created for your needs or your hair loss condition before you put it in your body or apply it to your scalp. Using the wrong remedy may further delay the growth of thicker, healthier hair. It can even affect your overall wellness, so it is always important to do your research and read instructions carefully.

Which Medications Are Available?

Now you know what hair medications are and how they work. Next, you will discover which products are available to you both OTC and by prescription. Read each description carefully, and then learn more about these options. Doing more research online, at the store, or in your physician’s office can help you to narrow down your choices. If you would like, you can also bring this list with you to your doctor so they can review it with you.

Hair Loss Medicines and How They Work

There are a few different ways that these medicines work in the body or on the scalp. Some formulas are designed to lower levels of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is known to contribute to the shrinking of hair follicles. According to WebMD, others work to improve the health of strands and keep them on your scalp. There are even medications that are known to work, but the reason is unknown.

Since there are several options that work differently, consider talking to your doctor about the right one for you. If you are choosing an OTC product, be sure that it is specifically created for your needs or your hair loss condition before you put it in your body or apply it to your scalp. Using the wrong remedy may further delay the growth of thicker, healthier hair. It can even affect your overall wellness, so it is always important to do your research and read instructions carefully.

Which Medications Are Available?

Now you know what hair medications are and how they work. Next, you will discover which products are available to you both OTC and by prescription. Read each description carefully, and then learn more about these options. Doing more research online, at the store, or in your physician’s office can help you to narrow down your choices. If you would like, you can also bring this list with you to your doctor so they can review it with you.

mature woman brush corncerned about hair loss

Finasteride

This OTC drug is also referred to as Propecia and Proscar. Finasteride is different from Minoxidil in that it is an oral medication. It works by decreasing the natural amount of the hormone DHT in the body. Men use it to treat male-pattern baldness also known as androgenetic alopecia, in the middle of the scalp, as well as the crown. This drug is only for adult men with hair loss. It should not be used by women or children for female hair loss. Pregnant women should avoid touching this medication to avoid birth defects in their babies.

Propecia is sometimes prescribed “off-label” to women, at a provider’s discretion. Despite this trend, women should consider the potential risks and side effects of using this oral drug. Both men and women can benefit from having a conversation about finasteride with their doctors since it is also possible that it increases the risk of developing a serious form of prostate cancer.

Other Options

Similar to finasteride for women’s hair loss, some other medications are not approved for the condition. However, they are still tried for symptoms of thinning hair. Discuss each of these options carefully with your doctor.

According to Drugs.com, these include dutasteride, which is sometimes prescribed for physicians to try for androgenetic alopecia. Some providers will recommend low-androgen oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy for female-pattern hair loss. Alopecia areata may be treated with corticosteroids or an immunosuppressive drug known as cyclosporine, although it is not the safest choice for treatment.

before choosing a treatment

How Do I Choose the Right One?

The most important things you can do before choosing a treatment are to understand your hair loss condition, read product instructions carefully, and talk to your doctor. There are also other ways you can ensure you make the right choice. Think about your lifestyle and preferences.

To Choose the Right Hair Loss Medication:

  • Decide on Oral or Topical: Would you rather take an oral medication or apply a topical treatment to your scalp? If you already take pills or do not mind setting a daily reminder, it may suit you to take medicine by mouth. When you go this route, be sure that these medications do not interact with any of your other capsules or tablets. You can use your topical solutions after you wash your hair, though it is not necessary. With this option, you should be willing to massage your scalp. This is because you apply the product to your head and not your hair. Be sure to wash your hands immediately after use.
  • Choose Between RX & OTC: Some people like the convenience of OTC medications. Others like them because being on the shelves makes them seem safe for most consumers. Even if a medicine is OTC, it is important to take it safely. The benefit of prescription medication is that it is approved by your doctor. You can also ask questions about how to use it, as well as potential side effects. Even if you end up going with an OTC medicine, your physician’s approval can help to make you feel more comfortable with the treatment of your choice. Have a discussion with them about the pros and cons of both possibilities.
  • Double-Check Your Options:If you are not comfortable with the side effects or applications of some of these medications, you may be interested in other options for hair regrowth. Patients who take multiple medicines or have a chronic health condition can use a non-drug remedy like laser therapy. You can also try avoiding chemical hair treatments, reducing stress in your life, and preventing everyday hair loss from brushing and washing your hair more gently. Experiment to find out what works for you. You can always add or subtract treatments and therapies within your regimen.

What Else Should I Know?

In addition to the above alternative treatments for hair regrowth, you can also explore options like hair transplants and hair accessories. Hair transplants are surgical procedures that remove healthy hair follicles from one part of the scalp to another. Most candidates have male-pattern baldness, though they may be recommended for other conditions. While they are expensive, some people find success.

If you are looking for something less permanent and more affordable, accessories such as hairpieces, weaves, and hair coverings can make you feel more confident and stylish. Order a few online or consult with a hairstylist. Mix and match to suit your mood. Some weaves and pieces are placed in the hair for a more extended period of time, so you can keep the same style for as long as you want.

Laser therapy

Combining Medications with Laser Therapy

While medications are an option for different types of hair loss, you may not have a condition like androgenetic alopecia or alopecia areata. Instead, you may be searching for a way to grow thicker hair or a treatment that can complement your other treatments for hair regrowth. Laser therapy is not only helpful for treating male-pattern baldness but can also assist in growing thicker, healthier hair in women, people who are experiencing chronic stress, and those who have lost hair due to a treatment like chemotherapy or a poor hairstyle.

No matter your situation, a Capillus® laser therapy cap is worth a second look. Each device uses a cutting-edge technology known as photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), which has often been referred to as low-level laser therapy (LLLT). As one of the newest non-surgical approaches to hair loss treatment, PBMT can help to promote healthier hair in people who have a receding hairline without the use of pharmaceutical drugs. It can also help to regrow thinning hair and prevent further progression of hair loss due to male-pattern baldness, with no known side effects.

Using Laser Therapy at Home for Hair Loss

Wearing one of our laser therapy caps for just six minutes per day allows you to reap the benefits of PBMT in the comfort of your home. With the help of the cap’s safe, low-level lasers, you can stimulate, energize, and renew cells within your hair follicles. Best of all, you do not need a prescription to use a Capillus® device. You also do not have to worry about it interacting with other medications, diminishing your health, or affecting your family.

Everyone deserves to enjoy thicker, healthier hair.. Since you can use our laser therapy caps anywhere or anytime, you will be able to spend more time focusing on your wellness and caring for your health. Treating your hair symptoms as well as your whole body will help you prevent the conditions that lead to thinning hair and hair loss. It is just another way to enjoy enhanced health and confidence.

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