Written by: Kimberly A. Wenner, MD
The cause of hair loss typically stems from multiple factors and may result from age, genetics, hormones, stress, and inflammation. Furthermore, low iron, low vitamin D (25-OH), and excess shedding may also contribute to hair loss. Fortunately, the providers at Cascade Eye & Skin Centers offer a variety of treatment options to help regrow your hair.
The most successful hair loss therapies treat a variety of causes, and the best results occur with a combination of treatments. Through a comprehensive exam, lab testing, and a review of all the available treatment options, you may be able to give yourself the best chance at regrowing your hair.
Potential Treatments for Hair Loss
When considering treatment options for hair loss, it is important to tailor the approach to your individual needs. After all, not all cases of hair loss are the same. Your provider will likely discuss several possible treatment options with you, which may include:
Oral Medications for Hair Loss
There are several oral medications available to treat hair loss. Your provider will likely recommend one of the following depending on your case:
- Spironolactone (Used for the treatment of female pattern hair loss)
Specifics on Oral Medications
When considering using oral medication to treat hair loss, you should be aware of the potential side effects associated with each medication. It is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of each medication with your provider before starting any treatment. If your provider does prescribe oral medications, it is because they believe the benefits outweigh potential risks.
Finasteride decreases the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (the main contributor to Androgenetic alopecia or AGA). One mg of Finasteride daily is FDA approved for the treatment of AGA. However, Finasteride may also (rarely) cause side effects such as:
- Decreased libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Lower sperm counts
- Lower PSA counts (may affect prostate cancer screening)
Dutasteride is a stronger medication than Finasteride, and it is thought to have similar side effects, though it has not been well studied. This medication is present longer in the blood and may not have to be taken longer.
Minoxidil is used at high doses to treat hypertension. At lower doses, it is used to treat AGA: usually 0.25-5 mg daily. It is thought to work by increasing blood flow and prolonging the growth phase in hair. Minoxidil is not a testosterone blocker. Therefore, there are no associated sexual side effects. However, rare side effects of Minoxidil include:
- Excess hair growth (facial)
- Rapid heart rate
- Decreased blood pressure
Topical Medications for Hair Loss
In addition to oral medications, there is a range of topical medications that may also be beneficial. Two popular options are minoxidil 5% (Rogaine) and Alopecia Topical solution (minoxidil 7%, finasteride 0.1%. ). For best results, patients are recommended to apply these topical medications twice daily to areas of hair loss on the scalp.
Supplements for Hair Loss
Biotin and specialty shampoos are often thought to help with hair loss, but there is little evidence to support these claims. Nutrafol and Viviscal are the only supplements with scientific studies showing actual improvement in hair growth.
Cascade Eye & Skin Centers offers 90-day supplies of Nutrafol at an affordable price. On the other hand, Viviscal can be found online and in stores. If you are looking for a supplement to help with your hair loss, these are the two most likely to be effective.
Platelet-Rich Plasma for Hair Loss
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a newer treatment option for hair loss that shows great promise. It harnesses your body’s own growth factors from your platelets to help stimulate hair growth. For best results, it is recommended that patients undergo four treatments four weeks apart. Typically, patients may see noticeable results within two months of starting treatment.
Low-level Laser Therapy
Theradome is a low-level laser therapy (LLLT) device that is FDA cleared to treat hair loss. It is worn like a helmet and works by stimulating hair growth. For optimal results, Theradome should be worn twice a week for 20 minutes per session. Theradome is available online or in our office.
What Is the Best Treatment for Hair Loss?
There is no one size fits all answer when finding the best treatment for hair loss. However, starting treatment early is ideal because it is difficult to regrow hair after extensive hair loss.
Your ideal hair loss treatment depends on your personal and family history, preferences, and tolerance of potential side effects. By working with a provider you trust and being open to trying new things, you may be able to find a solution that works for you.
Find Your Hair Loss Treatments at Cascade Eye & Skin Centers
Cascade Eye & Skin Centers is here to help you find the best solution for your hair loss. We offer a variety of treatments, and our providers will work with you to create a treatment plan that fits your needs. Schedule a consultation today to learn more.