Hair loss can affect both men and women. While genes play a vital role, there are usually other reasons as well, including, hormonal imbalances, an under-active thyroid gland, nutritional deficiencies and insufficient blood circulation in the scalp. Hair loss is a mammoth problem that many people are suffering from. There are lots of factors behind this hair fall problem.
Treatments for the various forms of hair loss have on moderate success. Three medications have evidence to support their use in male pattern hair loss: Finasteride, Dutasteride and Minoxidil. They typically work better to prevent further hair loss than to regrow lost hair.
They may be used together when hair loss is progressive or further regrowth is desired after 12 months. Other medications include ketoconazole, and in female androgenic alopecia spironolactone and flutamide. Combinations of finasteride, minoxidil and ketoconazole are more effective than individual use.
Finasteride is used to treat male pattern hair loss. Treatment provides about 30% improvement in hair loss after six months of treatment, and effectiveness only persists as long as the drug is taken. There is no good evidence for its use in women.
It may cause gynecomastia, erectile dysfunction and depression.
Dutasteride is used off label for male pattern hair loss.
Minoxidil, applied topically, is widely used for the treatment of hair loss. It is effective in helping promote hair growth in both males and females with androgenic alopecia. About 40% of men experience hair regrowth after 3–6 months. It is the only topical product that is FDA approved for androgenic hair loss.