Hair loss is a common problem that the majority of men will deal with at some point in their lives. Androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss in men. Although it is more common in older men, male pattern baldness can start at any age.
Despite the widespread nature of the problem, there are still limited options for hair loss treatment. There are two drugs available on the UK market that are proven to have some impact on hair loss: over the counter Regaine (minoxidil) and prescription Propecia (finasteride). Regaine has been shown to be effective in two-thirds of the men who take it, while Propecia is effective in more than 80% of men who use it.
At 121doc, we stock Propecia – the number one prescription treatment option for male hair loss.
Propecia is the only prescription medication clinically proven to treat male pattern baldness, the most common form of hair loss in men. Its active ingredient is finasteride, which works to reduce the amount of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the bloodstream. This prevents further hair loss and encourages hair growth. It may take up to three months to see results and you must continue to take Propecia daily to maintain hair growth. It is available in 1mg tablets.
Contact immunotherapy is another treatment option, where a chemical solution called diphencyprone (DPCP) is applied directly to a small area of the scalp each week. Within three months, hair growth may begin. Immunotherapy has side effects including a severe rash (contact dermatitis) and swollen lymph nodes, especially in the neck.
Plastic surgery is also an option, though it is expensive, irreversible and can have mixed results. Some surgical procedures use laser therapy, but most are a form of hair graft replacement. In a hair graft, small groups of hair are taken from the back of the scalp and transplanted to the bald patch. The transplanted hairs then grow on their own. This is a minor operation done under local anaesthetic, but success depends on the surgeon's skill.
Male pattern baldness can occur in men as young as 19 or 20.