Medical Treatments for Hair Loss

Rogaine (Minoxidil)

  • Antihypertensive agent increases the duration of the growth (anagen) phase of the hair follicle growth cycle and can also induce a new anagen phase
  • This improves the quality of the hair by increasing the diameter and length of the miniaturizing hairs.
  • 5% foam works best bid reverse or slow down miniaturization, a hormone-driven process in which hair follicles shrink over time until they eventually disappear
  • It doesn’t regrow hair on a bald scalp
  • It takes a year to see the final result
  • Once stopped you will shed the hairs you maintained during rx
  • It’s not as effective as propecia


  • the only FDA approved oral medication that treats male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia).
  • Finasteride works by blocking an enzyme (5-alpha reductase) that converts testosterone to DHT.
  • DHT causes a susceptible hair follicle to shrink in size (miniaturize), both in diameter and length. As a result, the miniaturized follicle produces a small unpigmented vellus hair rather than the usual pigmented normal hair. DHT also shortens the susceptible follicle’s growth (anagen) phase. These two effects cause the hair to become progressively shorter and finer until it eventually disappears.
  • 90% of men taking finasteride experienced either a growth of new hair or a halt to their hair loss after 5 years of rx
  • Studies show improvement in hair growth frontal & crown
  • Side effects from 1 mg dose are rare and reversible when stopped the hair loss progresses to level it would have been had pt not used it at all

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

  • Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is concentrated blood plasma which contains approximately three to five times the number of platelets found in normal circulating blood. In addition, it contains platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor (TGF) and other bioactive proteins that aid in wound healing and possibly hair growth.
  • Stimulate the growth of follicles, thereby reversing the hair miniaturization seen in androgenetic alopecia (common baldness)
  • stimulate the stem cells (dermal papilla) of the newly transplanted hair follicles.
  • The patient’s blood sample is centrifuged or spun down to collect the clear (plasma) part of the blood and is injected into the balding areas of the scalp.
  • These treatments are repeated at 4-6 week intervals for three treatment sessions. At the end of 6 months the patient is reassessed and if a response is noted then the treatments are continued every 6 months to maintain the results of PRP treatment.
  • In the medical treatment of male and female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia), PRP can be injected into the balding scalp to potentially stimulate thin (miniaturized) hair to grow into thicker (terminal) hairs. Patients with thinning, but not totally bald, areas would be the best candidates.

Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT)

  • Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) in hair restoration utilizes cool lasers to stimulate hair growth and reduce hair loss. LLLT is based on the scientific principle of photo-biotherapy.
  • Photo-biotherapy occurs when laser light is absorbed by cells and stimulates cell metabolism and protein synthesis. Although the exact mechanism by which laser light promotes hair growth is still unknown, it appears to stimulate the follicles on the scalp by increasing energy production and by reversing miniaturization (the process leading to thicker hair shafts and a fuller look).
  • Recent studies have shown that Low Level Light Laser Therapy (LLLT) appears about equal to the benefits of hair loss medications used over the short term in both men and women, although the long-term benefits are less clear.
  • The use of LLLT should be of particular interest to women in whom medical treatment and surgical options may be limited.

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