To block hormonal action and help to slow the progression of hair loss in men, a doctor or dermatologist may prescribe finasteride, a prescription-only medication designed to be taken once a day. Side effects of the drug are uncommon, but include decreased sex drive and sexual dysfunction.
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When it comes to stimulating hair growth, a doctor or dermatologist might recommend minoxidil, a lotion — also now in tablet form — which has been used since the 1970s, and is available without a prescription.
Again, side effects are uncommon, but include scalp dryness, itching and dermatitis.
There are also a number of specific medications for women which block the effect of androgen hormones, and help to slow the progression of hair loss.
Whether or not a particular treatment is effective can depend on a number of factors, including the extent of a person’s hair loss.
“The longer it’s been going on, the more hairs are going to be irreversibly lost,” Professor Sinclair says.
Beyond medical treatments, wigs and hair pieces can be viable cosmetic options for people experiencing hair loss.
Hair transplant surgery
For people whose hair loss is too severe for oral medications or hair lotions, they may consider hair transplant surgery.
This is a procedure that involves a surgeon taking strips or plugs of hair from the back or sides of your head, and surgically placing them in areas where there is no hair, or between hairs in thinning areas.
The procedure may take several hours, and you may need several treatment sessions to get satisfactory results.
It can be costly and there is a risk of complications, so — as with any hair loss treatment — it’s important to speak with a dermatologist or GP first.
First woman in UK gets double hand transplant – and she cannot wait to brush daughters’ hair
Amother has become the first woman in the UK to have a double hand transplant – and says she can’t wait to brush her daughters’ hair again.
Tania Jackson, 42, lost both hands and her left arm to sepsis and was convinced she would have to use prosthetics for the rest of her life.
But while recovering in hospital, the mother-of-three spotted a programme on television about the first woman to be placed on the hand transplant register.
She put herself forward and was chosen to begin the pioneering process at Leeds General Infirmary. Having endured a 15-hour procedure in September, she now has a new arm and two new hands and says she can’t wait to brush her daughters’ hair again and hold their hands.