Hair Loss Medications Don’t Work on Me

Q:

My doctor put me on propecia at 21 when I told him about the hair loss and I took it for about six months but it had no effect on my hair loss. I also started to use rogaine around age 23/24 for a couple of months but stopped because it made my hair loss worse (before rogaine the majority of my hair loss was in the front area of my head and after using rogaine I started to lose hair on my crown as well). My hair loss has been pretty stable over the past 2-3 years and I have continued to lose some hair but nowhere near the amount I lost initially.

I wash my hair every 2-3 days and only notice about 20-30 hairs lost compared to the hundreds I lost early on. My hairline has not really been effected at all and my hair loss doesn't seem to match any on the norwood scale, it is just diffused loss throughout and matches the description of many accutane users who have lost hair. I have also been using the ProThik concealer spray for the past 3 years which works great because my hair loss is diffuse and makes it unnoticeable, but the process of applying it in and combing through it causes my hair to get tangled and pulled out so I think over time that has also contributed to my hair loss. I lose far more hair putting in the concealer than I do washing it and combing through it naturally.

For the first 2 years of using it I would wash my hair and re-apply it daily, although over the past 6-8 months I have gone 2-3 days between washing and reapplying it and only lose 10-20 hairs when I comb through it in the morning. I am not sure how much of my hair loss in recent years has been caused by this but I suspect that is has had some effect, especially during the time I was applying the concealer every day.

Norwood Scale for Male Patterned Baldness

A:

Many young hair loss patients may start taking finasteride or minoxidil when they see the signs of active hair loss in their early 20s.  That is the time most people lose hair at its maximum speed.  Medications such as finasteride or minoxidil are only to prevent hair loss or even in some cases slow down the process.  They are not to bring your hair back to where it was before you started the process of hair loss.

I recommend you visit a hair specialist who can perform microscopic evaluation of your scalp (miniaturization study).  That can give you more information about the type of your hair loss and the treatment methods. Having regular follow up visit with your hair doctor helps you to know whether or not your hair loss medication works.  You may also need a hair transplant when the time come and the time and type of the restoration surgery could be discussed with your hair transplant surgeon.

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