Starting a treatment regimen to counteract your hair loss is intimidating. With the potential hair restoration side effects, warnings, limitations and the sheer unknown of the results considered, deciding the optimal hair loss restoration journey has its woes. To help you weigh the pros and cons, review the potential hair restoration side effects of prescriptions, topical creams and low-level laser therapy (LLLT).
Finasteride, known under the popular brand name Propecia, is a prescription pill used to fight male pattern baldness. Aside from this drug being unavailable to women due to potential damaging side effects, research shows that finasteride can cause sexual side effects in men. Men taking finasteride may experience erectile dysfunction (ED), ejaculatory dysfunction and lack of libido. However, most symptoms have shown to cease after patients stop taking the drug. But, any new hair grown will be lost approximately one year after ceasing treatment. If you do decide to use Propecia to fight male pattern baldness, keep your prescription locked away safely. Pregnant women should not handle these pills since exposure could cause fetal deformities.
As a topical cream, Rogaine is not typically considered as risky. At the same time, applying any chemical to your scalp has its drawbacks. Side effects of minoxidil include sudden weight gain, tiredness, difficulty breathing, unwanted facial or body hair, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, swelling of the hands and feet and fainting. For women, the only FDA-approved Rogaine formula is the 2 percent strength line. The 5 percent solution can have a more pronounced effect on women’s blood pressure. In general, women are at a higher risk of developing an allergic reaction to minoxidil, such as contact dermatitis from the propylene glycol in the cream. In a 2004 study from the American Academy of Dermatology, women using the 5 percent formula showed severe itching, irritation and excessive body hair growth. There is no conclusive evidence pointing to potential pregnancy complications, but breastfeeding while using Rogaine may pose a threat.
Unlike the other non-invasive hair restoration side effects and methods discussed, low-level laser therapy has no known adverse side effects. In fact, LLLT with Capillus® is FDA-cleared for the treatment of hair loss in both men and women. While the technology is relatively newer, LLLT devices have been used for decades with no adverse reactions noted. While it may take a few tries to get acclimated to wearing your laser cap for 6 minutes every day, the routine is fairly straightforward and comfortable. If you’re seeking a non-invasive hair restoration with no known adverse side effects, LLLT is the clear choice. For more information on laser caps from Capillus®, including the CapillusPro™ available via our physician network, contact us directly at 844-280-4680.  Mysore, V. (2012). Finasteride and sexual side effects. Indian Dermatology Online Journal, 3(1), 62–65. http://doi.org/10.4103/2229-5178.93496