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You naturally lose up to 100 hairs daily. If you’re losing more than that, you may be experiencing hair loss. Hair loss is also known as alopecia and it has several causes.
Androgenic alopecia is the most common cause of hair loss and is commonly referred to as male pattern hair loss or male pattern baldness.
Male pattern hair loss can often be controlled or reduced by at-home treatments. There are also prescription medications that can help.
In this article, we’ll go over some effective and popular male pattern hair loss treatments to consider.
Hair loss treatments don’t permanently cure hair loss. They only work while you use them. For that reason, we included products that could be purchased in 3-month supplies, as well as subscription services that provide monthly deliveries.
Some products, such as minoxidil, are sold by many manufacturers. We included only brand-name products with good reputations and solid reviews. We also included an alcohol-free version of minoxidil, for those who find alcohol irritating to the scalp.
Based on research, laser combs and devices may be beneficial against hair loss. We included information on one brand that gets more positive reviews for efficacy than negative ones.
Hair loss can be upsetting for some people. For that reason, there are many products promising a solution. We only chose products whose active ingredients have research backing up their claims.
Start with a doctor
Since there are many underlying causes of hair loss, it can be helpful to consult with a dermatologist before you start any type of treatment or buy any product.
A dermatologist who understands this condition can determine if genetics, an underlying medical condition, or environmental irritants are the cause.
Finasteride is an oral prescription medication sold generically and under the brand name Propecia. It’s approved by the FDA for male pattern baldness. Finasteride slows down hair loss and stimulates the growth of new hair.
How does finasteride work?
It works by lowering dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. DHT is an androgen that attacks hair follicles, generating hair loss.
Finasteride may be most effective if you take it early, before you notice too much hair loss.
How long does it take to work?
It can take up to 4 months before you start seeing results with finasteride. It’s also not a permanent fix. If you stop taking it, hair loss will resume.
How much does finasteride cost?
Health insurance doesn’t typically cover this medication when it is prescribed for hair loss. Based upon the pharmacy or service you use, Propecia can cost between $30 and $80 per month or more.
Generic finasteride may be less expensive, costing between $20 and $60 per month or more. These costs will vary based upon seller and location.
Finasteride and its brand-name version are available by prescription from a doctor. See more in the Telemedicine section below.
Minoxidil is a topical treatment, applied directly to the scalp. It is sold over the counter and does not require a prescription.
How does minoxidil work?
Minoxidil is a vasodilator that widens blood vessels under the skin, increasing blood flow. Its exact mechanism for treating hair loss is not completely understood.
Minoxidil is most effective for androgenic alopecia when taken early. It may also be more effective when used together with finasteride.
You may notice that your hair starts to shed early on when you start using minoxidil. This is perfectly normal and indicates that your individual hairs are shifting from the resting to the growing stage.
Like finasteride, minoxidil only works for as long as you use it. Once you stop treatment, hair loss will resume.
How much does minoxidil cost?
Minoxidil is sold in different strengths and forms. The strength, label name, and seller will determine how much you pay. Rogaine is typically the most expensive, at around $45 for a 3-month supply. Other brands of minoxidil usually cost $20 to $25 for a 3-month supply.
Alcohol-free minoxidil (Lamfun)
The alcohol content in many brands of minoxidil can cause dry scalp, flaking, and itching in some people. If you notice this, alcohol-free minoxidil may be a better choice.
Alcohol-free minoxidil works via the same mechanism as typical minoxidil formulations. The active ingredient it contains doesn’t change.
How much does alcohol-free minoxidil cost?
Alcohol-free minoxidil is similar in price to generic minoxidil products that contain alcohol.
HairMax laser hair growth devices
Laser combs, bands, and caps are said to stimulate hair follicle growth with low-level, laser light.
How much does a hair regrowth device cost?
There are several laser hair growth devices manufactured by HairMax. They range in price from around $200 to around $550.
The difference between each device is the number of lasers they contain. No data indicates that more lasers mean more hair growth, so keep that in mind when you buy.
These devices get mixed reviews, but most are positive. Some users say they see a real difference in hair growth. Others say that laser combs, bands, and caps are most beneficial when used in conjunction with other products, such as minoxidil or finasteride.
Online telemedicine services
There are several online services that provide telehealth and cloud pharmacy prescriptions for a variety of hair loss products and treatments. They include:
Let’s take a closer look at two of them.
You can get a prescription for Propecia or for generic finasteride through Lemonaid.
To get started, you’ll fill out an online assessment questionnaire, followed by a phone or video consultation. The consultation fee is $25, and not covered by insurance.
If it’s determined that finasteride may help, the medication can be shipped to your home from Lemonaid’s mail order pharmacy. It should arrive within 3 to 5 business days.
Medications filled through the online service are cash pay. If you prefer to use your own pharmacy, Lemonaid will send your prescription there.
Not everyone can use Lemonaid for hair loss. If you are assigned female at birth or have certain medical conditions, such as liver disease or prostate cancer, the care here won’t benefit you.
Roman is an online men’s healthcare service that provides medical support and prescriptions for hair loss, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and other conditions. It staffs licensed healthcare professionals.
A free, medical online assessment will be done to determine if you can access medication through Roman. Like Lemonaid, you must meet specific criteria and not have a condition that would be better treated in person by a doctor.
Roman sells monthly subscriptions of finasteride and minoxidil. Monthly subscription costs start at $20. If you purchase a combination of both treatments, your monthly cost will be $35.
Shipping is free. Your medications will arrive within 2 days of purchase.
Some people find hair loss upsetting. Others aren’t bothered by it at all. No matter how you are affected by hair loss, you can be assured that others feel exactly the same way you do.
Since there are several conditions that can affect hair growth and loss, seeing a doctor prior to self-treating may make sense. You can also choose to use an online pharmacy or to buy products that don’t require a prescription.
Since medications for hair loss only produce active results while you’re taking them, you can also consider surgical hair restoration, a procedure which is also known as a hair transplant. This procedure is permanent but expensive, costing $10,000 or more.
You can also let your hair fall out. Keep in mind, some of history’s most handsome people were bald.
There’s no wrong choice. It’s up to you to decide which strategy makes the most sense for you.
Hair loss can have several underlying causes. To determine what is causing your hair to thin or fall out, see a dermatologist.
Male pattern hair loss (androgenic alopecia) is usually treated with finasteride, minoxidil, or both.
Hair loss products can be purchased online from retailers or from online subscription services that offer telehealth.