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4 Baldness Treatment Options You Should Know

By Marta Manning
Medically Reviewed by Jennifer T. Haley, MD, FAAD on November 18, 2020
With so many baldness treatment products on the market, it can be hard to make sense of your options. Learn what treatments doctors recommend for managing hair loss.

Dealing with hair loss and trying to find effective baldness treatments on your own can be overwhelming. When searching for over-the-counter supplements or hair regrowth devices there are so many choices on the market. But which of these products are effective? It all depends on what type of hair loss you have. 

Your doctor can help you understand your hair loss by diagnosing its root cause. “The primary question you need to ask yourself when treating baldness or approaching a patient with baldness is: What kind of hair loss do they have? Is it scarring or non-scarring?” Anna H. Chacon, MD, FAAD, and dermatologist tells WebMD Connect to Care.

After diagnosis, your physician can direct you towards the best course of hair loss treatment. Here are a few of the most effective approaches doctors recommend for treating baldness:

1)  Medications

Some kinds of hair loss respond well to medication. Your doctor may prescribe drugs like finasteride if you are experiencing androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness.

Finasteride works by preventing the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that blocks hair growth. Over time, finasteride can help hair grow back within bald patches and thicken hair overall. When taking hair loss medication, “consumption must continue chronically. If not, the effects will dissipate,” Annie Gonzalez MD, FAAD, and dermatologist tells WebMD Connect to Care. “Results can take between six months to a year to become noticeable,” Gonzalez says. 

2)  Topical Treatments

Creams featuring the ingredient minoxidil can stimulate hair growth if you have androgenetic alopecia. Minoxidil is also approved by the FDA for female-pattern hair loss as opposed to finasteride which females are warned not to take. Although scientists do not know exactly how this drug works, years of studies attest to its effectiveness, according to a 2019 review published in Drug Design, Development and Therapy. As with finasteride, minoxidil is only effective if you keep using it. Using both together is optimal.

If you are looking for natural remedies for balding, ask your doctor about using topical rosemary oil. A 2015 study in Skinmed found that the fragrant oil significantly boosted hair growth after 3-6 months of use in people with androgenetic alopecia.

3)  Hair Transplant Procedures

Suppose you have scarring alopecia (baldness where your hair follicles can’t regenerate) or another kind of hair loss that does not respond to medication. In that case, your dermatologist may suggest a hair transplant. These methods “involve procedures to transplant hair follicles from one area to a balding spot or taking hair from the scalp and placing it on the bald area,” Gonzalez says. Finding a skilled plastic surgeon is essential for ensuring your hair looks natural after the transplant.

4)  Laser Hair Regrowth Devices

Some of the newest hair loss treatment devices on the market harness the power of lasers. These products come in different forms, including hats, headbands, and combs. Laser devices use low-level lasers to target the hair follicles, reducing inflammation, and stimulating regrowth. A 2019 study in Lasers in Medical Science found laser hats to be a promising treatment for androgenetic alopecia.  

Because hair loss can signify underlying medical problems, it is important to keep up with your regular checkups and medical appointments. “Regular doctor visits, along with good self-care, physical activity, and a balanced diet, can help address many issues that can cause hair loss, such as diabetes, anemia, psoriasis, and celiac disease,” Gonzalez says.

Don’t Wait. Get Help Today.

The sooner you address the symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you are to prevent irreversible damage. Speak to a medical professional today to begin your journey to a fuller head of hair.