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Treatment for Baldness

It is important to note that most advertised treatments are scientifically unproven. It is important to carefully evaluate any treatment before accepting them.

Minoxidil

Minoxidil, a locally applied lotion( either as 2% or 5%) may provide moderate hair growth in 50-60% of cases. The drug is beneficial in preserving existing hair and thickening the miniature hairs. It however, is not much effective in producing new hair completely bald area. The benefit lasts only as long as the topical drug is applied (i.e., hair falls out upon discontinuation) and the drug has to be applied twice daily. Scalp itching and irritation are possible side effects of this drug treatment. Minoxidil can be used in conjunction with hair transplantation by those who wish to continue this treatment once they begin their hair transplant surgery.

Finasteride

Finasteride is the first approved prescription pill to grow hair. It may produce visible hair growth in half of those who try the drug, although the cosmetic benefit of this hair growth is quite variable and is not predictable. It works best for the earliest stages of hair loss, and growth occurs better over the crown of the scalp than at the frontal receding hairline and temples. It must be used daily for 3-6 months before you can properly assess whether it works, and it has not yet been approved for use in women. As with minoxidil, the hair grown with this treatment also will fall out once the drug is stopped.

Hairpieces and Hair Attachment Systems

These are a satisfactory solution for some, but others find them unnatural looking and difficult to maintain. There are long term maintenance and replacement costs which should be considered by prospective users.

Recent Advances in Hair Transplantation

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